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$1.7 Million Allocated to Affordable Housing for Seniors in York Region

VAUGHAN, Ontario, October 3, 2005 — The Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, the Regional Municipality of York Region and the City of Vaughan held a sod-turning ceremony today to mark the start of construction of 60 units of affordable housing for lower-income seniors.

The Honourable Maurizio Bevilacqua, Member of Parliament for Vaughan, on behalf of the Honourable Joe Fontana, Minister of Labour and Housing, the Honourable Greg Sorbara, Minister of Finance and MPP for Vaughan–King–Aurora, on behalf of John Gerretsen, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, York Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch and City of Vaughan Mayor Michael DiBiase attended the ceremony.

Blue Willow Terrace is an $11 million project, including more than $1.7 million from the Canada–Ontario Affordable Housing Program. Sponsored by York Region, Blue Willow Terrace will provide 60 new units for seniors at 133 Fieldstone Drive in the City of Vaughan. Fourty-two units will be supported by Ontario’s Strong Communities Rent Supplement Program; a contribution of over $220,000 per year.

"Housing is more than bricks and mortar, it’s about having an address," said MP Bevilacqua. "With an address, citizens are able to contribute and participate fully in communities like ours. Affordable housing is good business for every community to ensure a continuum of housing is available for all residents."

"The McGuinty government realizes that we all share a need for safe, affordable housing and the best way to meet this need is through partnerships between all levels of government," said Minister Sorbara. "Because of this partnership, many seniors in the City of Vaughan will enjoy a better quality of life, now and in the future."

"Ongoing population growth combined with an aging society over the next two decades will result in nearly four times more seniors in York Region than today," said York Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch. "There is a need for continued investment in affordable housing for residents across York Region."

"The City of Vaughan is proud to be a partner in this very important project," said Mayor Michael DiBiase. "Our seniors have provided us with so much. By working together, with all levels of government and building Blue Willow Terrace, we can now assist our seniors by providing them with a respectful and affordable place to live."

York Region’s investment in this project is an equity contribution of approximately $6 million, plus a financing arrangement of $2.9 million that will be re-paid through tenant rental income.

The City of Vaughan invest $1 million in the senior’s Active Living Centre on the first floor of the building.

In the York Region, the Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), has allocated $3.2 million through the Canada–Ontario Affordable Housing Program Agreement.

The new federal–provincial agreement, signed on April 29, 2005, comprises a commitment of $301 million from each of the two levels of government. With this commitment, the federal, provincial and municipal governments will have invested at least $734 million through the Canada–Ontario Affordable Housing Program. In total, the program will help 20,000 Ontario households by 2010.

For further information, please contact:

Nancy MacMillan
CMHC
(416) 218-3336

Tim Paleczny
Corporate Communications, York Region
(905) 830-4444 ext. 1238
Toll-free: 1 877 464-9675

Patti Munce
Office of Minister Gerretsen
(416) 585-6333

Madeline Zito
Cit of Vaughan
(905) 832-8585 ext. 8027

For more detailed information, please consult the following websites:

www.mah.gov.on.ca
www.york.ca
www.city.vaughan.on.ca