REGINA, Saskatchewan, March 3, 2004 — The governments of Canada, Saskatchewan and the City of Regina are breaking down walls in order to make more room at the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) of Regina. The three levels of government are contributing just over $1.6 million to renovate 43 existing units and to add 19 new units.
The project will enhance the building's health and safety standards, provide additional rental units and create the only wheelchair accessible first stage crisis shelter in Regina. This project is one of six to be built in Regina under the Canada-Saskatchewan Affordable Housing Agreement.
Participating in today's event were the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Wascana on behalf of the Honourable Andy Scott, Minister of State (Infrastructure) and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and the Honourable Claudette Bradshaw, Minister of Labour and Minister responsible for Homelessness, Saskatchewan Premier Lorne Calvert, Community Resources and Employment Minister Joanne Crofford, and Regina City Councillor Fred Clipsham on behalf of Mayor Pat Fiacco.
"The Government of Canada works with local groups and organizations to develop and implement successful ways of addressing housing needs in Regina," Minister Goodale said. "Getting local input really is the key to ensure our efforts hit the right targets."
"The Province is committed to ensuring adequate, suitable and affordable housing for people in Saskatchewan," Premier Lorne Calvert said today. "This upgrade and additional units for YWCA of Regina will mean a brighter and wide open future for more low- to modest-income women and children, and it is another example of governments and communities coming together to make our province a great place to live."
"The City is pleased to participate with the federal and provincial governments on such an important project, providing not only affordable housing for Regina residents but also a safe, healthy and accessible environment for women and children in crisis," Mayor Pat Fiacco said. "Again, we see the value in working together as partners to strengthen our communities."
"Today is a day of celebration at the YWCA," President of YWCA of Regina Tamara Stocker said. "This project will allow us to expand our programs and services and to better meet the needs of women and children in our community." YWCA offers emergency residential housing, housing for homeless women, shelter for women and children who are victims of violence, Big Sisters of Regina, child care and recreational services. Their building is 34 years old. Over 1,000 individuals access YWCA programs and services each year.
This project is expected to total $2.5 million. Funding includes $355,000 from the Centenary Affordable Housing Program (CAHP), $537,000 from the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP), $342,000 from the Shelter Enhancement Program (SEP) and $375,000 from the Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative component of the Government of Canada's National Homelessness Initiative (NHI). The balance will be funded through private donations.
CAHP is funded under the Canada-Saskatchewan Affordable Housing Agreement. It provides $22.93 million in federal funding for affordable housing, matched by Saskatchewan, municipalities and other parties. With these matching contributions, a total of $45.9 million over five years will be available to develop up to 1,500 affordable housing units in Saskatchewan.
RRAP is intended to bring housing, occupied by lower-income persons, to a minimum standard of health and safety. SEP assists in repairing, rehabilitating and improving existing shelters for women, children, and youth who are victims of family violence and in acquiring or building new shelters and second-stage housing where needed. RRAP and SEP are cost-shared on a 75/25 basis between the federal and provincial governments.
The Government of Canada launched the NHI in December 1999 to support communities' efforts to help Canadians out of homelessness. Building on the successes achieved, the February 2003 Budget announced $405 million for three years to continue the federal government's commitment to addressing homelessness in Canada.
Since the NHI was launched, the Government of Canada has invested over $14 million through more than 80 projects to fight homelessness in Saskatchewan.
For more information, contact:
Minister Goodale at work with children of the YWCA of Regina
The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Finance