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Rejuvenated Housing Project Opens in Saskatoon

SASKATOON, Saskatchewan, October 12, 2004 — Three renovated and rejuvenated apartment buildings featuring 36 affordable housing apartments were officially opened today in Saskatoon. Located in the inner-city neighbourhood of Pleasant Hill on 102 and 104 Avenue U South and 101 Avenue T South, the apartments have been renovated in part with funding from the Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan, and the City of Saskatoon.

The project is managed by the Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. (CUMFI) and is intended for low to middle income families, many of whom are single parent households. Funding for the project was provided under the Centenary Affordable Housing Program (CAHP) ($1,443,000) and the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) ($357,000) for a total of $1.8 million dollars. The City of Saskatoon will contribute up to $180,000 towards CAHP along with contributions through the Enterprise Zone and Future Property Tax Abatement Programs totaling approximately $50,000. CUMFI provided $100,000 cash and in-kind donations.

Helping to make this project a reality was the successful development of a work education training program made in partnership between CUMFI, the Dumont Technical Institute (DTI), Métis and Employment Training Saskatchewan Inc. (METSI), Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC) and Career and Employment Services (CES). This program enabled individuals on employment insurance or social assistance to participate in trades training and to gain hands-on experience in the apartment renovations.

"We are pleased that this partnership is helping Métis families in Saskatoon", noted Ralph Goodale, Minister of Finance on behalf of the Joe Fontana, Minister of Labour and Housing. "The CUMFI project fills a clear need in Saskatoon and will ensure lower income residents get the quality affordable housing they need."

"Today we celebrate the grand opening of 36 affordable apartments under the provincial HomeFirst housing strategy," Community Resources and Employment Minister Joanne Crofford said. "These good quality homes and the Métis community's excellent work in the renovations are vital to individual and family health and the starting point to independence and lasting participation in the social and economic life of the province."

"The community demonstrated a clear desire for this affordable housing project and the City has strongly supported it," Saskatoon Mayor Don Atchison said. "It is an important improvement to our inner city and contributes to healthy communities and healthy neighbourhoods."

"This new project helps us further meet our goal to serve our Métis members and also significantly benefits the inner city community in which we live and work", CUMFI President Bob McLeod said.

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 for affordable housing.

RRAP is intended to bring housing, occupied by lower-income persons, to a minimum standard of health and safety. RRAP is cost-shared on a 75/25 basis between the federal and provincial governments.

The Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. is an organization incorporated in 1993 to represent Métis people in Saskatoon. It has a membership of approximately 6,000 and has a goal of ensuring that its members are represented and participate in the affairs of Saskatoon.

For more information contact:

Terry Lazarou
Community Resources and Employment
(306) 787-8689

Jason Cobb
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
(403) 515-2903

Lorne Sully
City of Saskatoon
(306) 975-2686

Kelly Pruden
(306) 230-8839