Celebrating the Start of Construction of Heartwood Place

CAMBRIDGE, ON, Nov. 13 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, the Region of Waterloo and the City of Cambridge today celebrated the start of construction of Heartwood Place on Ainslie. This development is supported by over $4.6 million in funding through the Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program.

The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science & Technology), (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario), on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation; the Honourable John Milloy, Minister of Research and Innovation, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities and Member of Provincial Parliament for Kitchener Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Jim Watson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing; Waterloo Regional Chair, Ken Seiling; Mayor of Cambridge, Doug Craig, and Chair of the Heartwood Place Board, Mary Bales, attended the event.

"This is great news for individuals and families in Cambridge," said Minister of State Gary Goodyear. "These new apartments will provide more rental options for those in need of suitable, affordable housing, and are important to the economic and social well-being of the community."

"Heartwood Place on Ainslie is an example of our government commitment to improve the lives of Ontarians and build healthier communities," said MPP Milloy. "I would like to congratulate the developer, our partners in other levels of government and community groups for making this project a reality."

When completed, Heartwood Place on Ainslie will have 66 affordable units for low-income families and singles. The federal and provincial allocations to the project were complemented by more than $536,000 in municipal financial incentives by the City of Cambridge and more than $342,000 by the Region of Waterloo. To date, over $1.4 million in community donations has been raised in support of this project.

"The people behind Heartwood Place on Ainslie have been long time partners in the development of affordable housing in our community," said Ken Seiling, Regional Chair. "Through their ongoing generous contributions of time and money, our residents will now have more options for safe and affordable housing in Cambridge."

"We are tremendously excited to see the continuous transformation of our downtown cores. This redevelopment of the former Cambridge Reporter site in Galt on the Grand incorporates a courtyard for the residents and the building is designed to complement heritage features of the surrounding neighbourhood," said Cambridge Mayor Doug Craig.

"Celebrating the commencement of this project is a significant moment for our organization," said Mary Bales, Chair of the Heartwood Place Board. "It took six years to address the issues of contamination on the site and reach the point of construction. Thanks to everyone, including all levels of government, donors, committed volunteers and staff for helping us achieve our goal. Special thanks to Todd Smith of Torstar, Thomas Franz of Franz Environmental and to Al Way of Jamesway Construction for their commitment to this project."

The Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program Agreement comprises a commitment of $301 million from each of the two senior levels of government. In total, the federal, provincial and municipal governments will invest at least $734 million in the program, which will provide affordable housing for up to 20,000 households in Ontario.

Last fall, the Government of Canada committed more than $1.9 billion over the next five years to improve and build new affordable housing and to help the homeless. Canada's Economic Action Plan builds on this with an additional one-time investment of more than $2 billion over two years in new and existing social housing and lending of up to another $2 billion to municipalities for housing-related infrastructure. Combined for Ontario, this means a further $1.2-billion joint investment under the amended Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program Agreement. The federal and provincial governments are contributing equally to this overall investment.

Ontario is moving quickly to implement this additional funding with a total of 39 quick start projects totaling over $76.5 million, which will improve access to affordable housing for low-income families, seniors and persons with disabilities. It will also create jobs and strengthen local economies. To find out more about affordable housing in Ontario, visit www.mah.gov.on.ca.

To find out more about how the Government of Canada and CMHC are working to build stronger homes and communities for all Canadians, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 or visit www.cmhc.ca/housingactionplan. For more information on Canada's Economic Action Plan, call 1-800-O Canada or visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.

For more information visit: http://www.cmhc.ca/




SOURCE Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

For further information: For further information: Media contacts: Michelle Bakos, Press Secretary, Office of Minister Finley, (819) 994-2482; Adam Grachnik, Minister Jim Watson's Office, (416) 585-6492; Stephen Derksen, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, (416) 218-3443; Ken Seiling, Waterloo Regional Chair, (519) 575-4585; Linda Fegan, City of Cambridge, (519) 740-4683 Ext. 4623

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