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Local Landmark Now Provides Affordable Housing

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE, Alberta, January 13, 2005 — Through a complex renovation and conversion project, the Old Post Office building will deliver affordable housing to Rocky Mountain House.

The Old Post Office has been divided into seven affordable units, creating two family and five single barrier free suites. The main floor of the building will also accommodate office space for five local community services supporting individuals at risk, as well as a women's emergency shelter.

The affordable housing conversion project was supported largely through a partnership between the Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta, and the Town of Rocky Mountain House. The Canada-Alberta Affordable Housing Program provided $350,000, while Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation provided $264,000 through the Rental Rehabilitation Assistance Program. The Old Post Office building was acquired through the Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative (SFRPHI) under the Government of Canada's National Homelessness Initiative (NHI). The Town of Rocky Mountain House also contributed funding towards the project.

"Affordable and accessible housing is about more than bricks and mortar, it's about the people who need and use it," said the Honourable Anne McClellan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Emergency Preparedness on behalf of Joe Fontana, Minister of Labour and Housing. "The conversion of the Old Post Office here in Rocky Mountain House, is a true community project and demonstrates how all levels of government can work together and help people meet their housing needs."

"I congratulate the Town of Rocky Mountain house for their work in developing a creative housing solution for lower-income residents in their community," said Minister Yvonne Fritz, provincial Minister of Seniors and Community Supports. "The old post office is a good example of what communities can accomplish in partnership with government."

"On behalf of our citizens of Rocky Mountain House and area, I want to acknowledge the perseverance and dedication of all our User Groups and government agencies that co-operatively produced a facility long recognized as a need by our community," said Rocky Mountain House Mayor Jim Bague. By working together with a common vision we were able to partner with CAAHP, CMHC and SFRPHI to turn an outdated and vacant federal building into a vibrant and useful tool to provide affordable and safe housing, as well as cost effective office space for community service organizations."

Since the Canada-Alberta Affordable Housing Program Agreement was signed in June 2002, more than $106 million has been allocated towards the creation of 2,368 affordable housing units throughout the province. These communities now include Brooks, Calgary, Camrose, Canmore, Cochrane, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, the MD of Greenview, Hythe, Leduc, Lethbridge, the MD of Opportunity, Red Deer, Rocky Mountain House, Stony Plain, Villeneuve and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

Federal and provincial contributions to affordable housing projects are enhanced by contributions from other partners including municipalities, local community housing authorities, non-profit organizations and private sector companies.

Backgrounder follows

For more information, contact:

Ed Conway
Alberta Seniors and Community Supports
Communications Communications
Ph: (780) 415-9950

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

Harold Northcott
Town of Rocky Mountain House
Ph: (403) 875- 3720

Project Name / Location: Old Post Office Conversion
Applicant: Rocky Mountain House Low Income Housing Coalition
Project Address: 5106 and 5110 - 50 Avenue
Target Clients: Low-income families and singles, disabled
Number of Units 7 units
Unit type: 5 x barrier-free units
2 x family units
Total Project Cost: $ $882,808
CAAHP Grant: $ 175,000 (Federal)
$ 175,000 (Provincial)
Other contributions: $ 195,000 Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative (HRSDC)
$ 168,000 RRAP- Conversion (CMHC)
$ 96,000 RRAP - Disabled (CMHC)
$ 10,000 Town of Rocky Mountain House
Contact: Harold Northcott
Town of Rocky Mountain House
Ph: (403) 875-3720