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Groundbreaking Launches Affordable Housing Project in Inner City

EDMONTON, Alberta, August 27, 2004 — A groundbreaking ceremony held Friday in Edmonton’s inner city signaled the start of construction of a 78-unit complex that will provide more affordable housing for low-income persons and will foster revitalization of an inner city community.

The Honourable Anne McLellan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, on behalf of the Honourable Joe Fontana, Minister of Labour and Housing, and Stan Woloshyn, Minister of Seniors with responsibility for Housing, Edmonton Mayor Bill Smith, Councillors Michael Phair and Jane Batty were on hand to celebrate the announcement today the beginning of construction of the new building being developed by Pino Brothers Affordable Housing Ltd.

"Quality, affordable housing is what the Governments of Canada and Alberta and our other partners plan to produce for the people of this province," said Minister McLellan. "Housing projects such as this one in Edmonton help us ensure lower income Canadians obtain the quality, affordable housing they require to lead independent lives."

"This project represents an excellent first-step in addressing the need for affordable housing in Edmonton’s inner city," said Stan Woloshyn, Minister of Seniors. "Next year at this time, many low-income Edmontonians will enjoy safe and suitable housing in a community that boasts a rich and caring culture. This project is very significant for Edmonton and sets the mark for what the Alberta government hopes to accomplish through the Canada-Alberta Affordable Housing Program."

"When I chaired the Task Force on Affordable Housing a couple of years ago, it became clear that the lack of affordable housing in our city was a serious problem. I am pleased to report that now, with provincial and federal partnerships in place, momentum is building for an effective solution to this problem," said Mayor Bill Smith.

"After months of hard work in partnership with all three levels of government, we are pleased to be underway with this new project, said Peter Pino of Pino Brothers Affordable Housing Ltd. "This facility will be more than a building; it will be home for many people in dire need of affordable housing and at the same time, it will revitalize our community with new shops, beautiful architecture and landscaping."

This new affordable housing project will assist low-income families, single parents and individuals in becoming self-sufficient while providing safe and suitable housing for those on limited incomes. In addition to providing them with a home, basic services such as medication monitoring and support service referrals to outside agencies will be available to tenants.

Funding for the $4.8 million project includes $3.9 million from the federal and provincial governments under the Canada-Alberta Affordable Housing Program, $156,000 from the City of Edmonton under the Low Income Housing Capital Assistance Program (LIHCAP) and the remaining funds being either contributed or financed by Pino Brothers Affordable Housing Ltd.

Now in its fourth year, the Canada-Alberta Affordable Housing Program will see the federal and provincial governments each contribute $67 million to increase the supply of affordable housing throughout the province. To date, approximately 1,300 new affordable housing units have been generated through the program. These projects are located in Edmonton, Calgary, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Red Deer, Lethbridge, Cochrane, Brooks, Leduc, Rocky Mountain House and northern remote communities in the Municipal Districts of Greenview, Opportunity and Wood Buffalo. In 2004-05, $51 million will be allocated towards projects through the Canada-Alberta Affordable Housing Program.

For more information on the Canada-Alberta Affordable Housing Program, visit the Alberta Seniors Web site at www.seniors.ab.ca.

For more information, contact:

Deb Biddiscombe
CMHC
(780) 982-5209
Ed Conway
Government of Alberta
(780) 415-9952
Pat Lobregt
City of Edmonton
(780) 496-8100