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Heartwood Place on Gaukel Celebrates Official Opening

KITCHENER, Ontario, December 5, 2003 - The Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario and the Region of Waterloo today celebrated the official opening of Heartwood Place on Gaukel, a converted clothing factory designed to help meet the demand for affordable apartments in the core area of Kitchener. The project was built by non-profit organization Heartwood Place and adds 33 affordable units to the community.

The project was opened by the Honourable Steven Mahoney, Secretary of State responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Karen Redman, M.P. for Kitchener Centre, MPP John Milloy, Kitchener Centre; and Region of Waterloo Chair Ken Seiling.

"The opening of this project is a positive step in moving to address a critical need in this part of the province," said the Secretary of State Mahoney. "It represents a tangible demonstration and innovative approach to converting existing structures to create new affordable rental housing."

"Heartwood Place represents the very best of the Kitchener community," said John Milloy, MPP Kitchener Centre, on behalf of David Caplan, Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal. "You've taken a former commercial building and, through the hard work and generosity of the community, turned it into affordable housing for 33 families. That is a terrific example of how great it is to live in this part of Ontario."

"The Region of Waterloo has been a leader in the development of new affordable housing due to partnerships with groups such as Heartwood Place," said Ken Seiling, Regional Chair. "These partnerships have been critical to the success of our Affordable Housing Strategy with approximately 650 new affordable units approved since we began in 2001."

"As Founder and Chair of HEARTWOOD PLACE, it is wonderful to celebrate the official opening of 19 Gaukel Street in downtown Kitchener," said Mary Bales. "Just two years ago we dreamed of how this might happen. Today we have 33 apartments with new appliances, quality mechanicals, a Community Room with roof-top-garden--and very happy tenants. We are overjoyed to have our first dream realized and now we must carry forward to create more affordable housing. It's plain but true--without decent, safe, affordable housing everyone in our community suffers and the quality of life for all of us is at risk."

The Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), has contributed $450,000 through the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) as well as Project Development Funding.

The Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario also contributed $132,000 to the Heartwood Place project under the Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program. This project is part of a component of the Program designed to kick-start the production of affordable rental housing in Ontario by providing funding for some 2,000 rental units in areas of the province with the highest need for affordable rental housing.

The Region of Waterloo contributed $495,000 to the project. The project was also exempted from Region of Waterloo and City of Kitchener Development Charges under the Core Area Exemption policies. The Trillium Foundation gave $75,000. An additional $422,000 was raised through private fundraising.

RRAP funding for this project was under the Rental Conversion program, which provides funds to convert non-residential properties into affordable rental housing units. As part of Canada's national housing strategy, the Federal Government recently extended funding for CMHC's RRAP and other renovation programs geared towards low-income Canadians for another three years. A total of $384 million will be available through CMHC for these popular programs nationally.

The Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Agreement is a five-year, $489 million commitment that will create 10,500 affordable housing units in Ontario. This partnership combines Government of Canada funding of $245 million with matching contributions of the Government of Ontario, municipalities and other private and non-profit partners.

For further information please contact:

Chris Vivone
Office of Minister Mahoney
(613) 990-1707
Dorothy McCabe
Office of MPP John Milloy
(519) 579-5460
Ken Seiling
Regional Chair
(519) 575-4585
Martha Lantz
Heartwood Place
(519) 745-9315

For more information visit :

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)


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