Transitional and affordable housing to benefit Calgary's Northeast

    CALGARY, Oct. 4 /CNW/ - Canada's New Government, together with the
Government of Alberta and the Horizon Housing Society today officially opened
Hamilton House, a renovated eight-bed transitional and affordable housing
project in Northeast Calgary. This $803,000 project will provide housing and
support to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness who no longer
require the services of a hospital.
    The Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social
Development; Mr. Wayne Stewart, President and CEO of the Calgary Homeless
Foundation; and  Lydia Lytwyn, President of Horizon Housing Society attended
the grand opening.
    "Canada's New Government is committed to helping create new affordable
housing across Calgary for the people who need it most," said Minister
Solberg. "Hamilton House will provide supportive housing for vulnerable
individuals so they can begin to build better, safer and stronger futures."
    The home will be owned and operated by Horizon Housing Society with
support services provided by the Canadian Mental Health Association. Funding
for the project's renovation include $128,000 from Canada Mortgage and Housing
Corporation's (CMHC) Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) and
$187,500 from the Government of Alberta.
    The initial purchase of the property was made possible through
contributions of $319,679 in federal homelessness funding; $100,000 from the
Government of Alberta; and $67,821 from the Calgary Homeless Foundation.
    "Through the Provincial Homeless Initiative, we are pleased to work with
our partners to provide much-needed support that addresses homeless priorities
in Calgary and throughout the province," said the Honourable Ray Danyluk,
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. "Projects like Hamilton House
provide a key service in helping those in need achieve independence and a
higher quality of life."
    Hamilton House is a shared home for eight tenants in Calgary. The
residence provides support and affordable housing for persons with a mental
illness who are unable to function independently in their own or family home.
Required outreach support is provided by the Canadian Mental Health
Association. Tenants are able to live in a healthy, protective environment
within an accepting community that allows them to regain their dignity,
independence and hope.
    "Hamilton House is a critically important affordable housing initiative,"
said Lydia Lytwyn, President of Horizon Housing Society. "This project will
provide an appropriate, integrated, affordable and supported home for those
with a mental illness."

    Horizon Housing Society is a registered charitable organization that owns
and manages 14 different residences in Calgary. The Society provides a safe
home to over 460 tenants, including 231 with a mental illness. The Society is
governed by a committed volunteer Board of Directors and staffed by a
dedicated group of people, all of whom are committed to putting the best
interests of its tenants first.
    Canada's New Government, through its Homelessness Partnering Strategy, is
providing $269.6 million over two years to help communities across Canada
combat homelessness more effectively. The Strategy puts in place structures
and supports that help people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless
achieve self-sufficiency and full participation in society.
    CMHC's renovation programs, including RRAP, help preserve the quality of
existing affordable housing. Through RRAP for persons with disabilities,
funding is available for home modifications to improve accessibility - helping
low-income people with a disability to live independently in their home. The
federal investment in renovation programs will help improve living conditions
for low-income seniors, people with disabilities, victims of family violence
and Aboriginal peoples.

For further information:

For further information: McCol Befus, Resource Development Manager,
Horizon Housing Society, (403) 297-1741; Kimberlee Jones, Senior
Communications Consultant, CMHC Communications, Tel: (403) 515-3048; Robert
Storrier, Municipal Affairs and Housing, (780) 427-8862, Dial 310-0000 for
toll free access outside Edmonton

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