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26 New Social and Community Housing Units in Gatineau

GATINEAU, Québec, October 11, 2005 — Vulnerable individuals taking steps toward social reintegration, in the Gatineau area, now have more affordable housing options thanks to the development of a new residential care home providing 26 low-cost rooms with community support, on Hamel Street, in Gatineau.

This announcement was made today by Françoise Boivin, MP for Gatineau, on behalf of the Honourable Joe Fontana, Minister of Labour and Housing, by Benoît Pelletier, Minister responsible for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs, Francophones within Canada, the Agreement on Internal Trade, the Reform of Democratic Institutions and Access to Information and Minister responsible for the Outaouais region, on behalf of Nathalie Normandeau, Minister of Municipal Affairs and the Regions, and by Yves Ducharme, Mayor of the City of Gatineau. In addition to Françoise Boivin, Benoît Pelletier and Yves Ducharme, Benoît Fortin, Chair of the Board of Directors of Mon chez nous inc., was present at the opening ceremony.

The recycling of an old building on Hamel Street into a housing project, which required investments of over $2.1 million, was completed thanks to the participation of public, private and community partners. The financial contributions for the development of this project, totalling $1,356,158, were made under the Affordable Housing Agreement, in a proportion of 50 per cent by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and 50 per cent by the Société d’habitation du Québec (SHQ) and the community, which provided $235,000. The Government of Canada also contributed a sum of $120,000, through the National Homelessness Initiative (NHI). The other costs are being assumed by Mon chez nous inc., in particular through a mortgage loan secured by the SHQ.

All the residents of the housing project can benefit from the Rent Supplement program, which provides financial assistance to low-income individuals who would otherwise have to spend more than 25 per cent of their income on housing.

"This new residential care home will help provide assistance to vulnerable individuals who want to take charge of their lives and build a better future for themselves," said Françoise Boivin. "The Government of Canada is proud to support this home, which is meeting the needs of the community and making a positive difference."

"The financial support of the Government of Quebec for this housing project confirms our will to develop sustainable resources to meet the needs of vulnerable individuals seeking support in their social reintegration process. Such a commitment on the part of governments, the community and the private sector is a brilliant example of a successful partnership," said Minister Pelletier.

The development of this project is part of the Government of Quebec’s initiative to produce 18,600 social, community and private housing units for low- and moderate-income households. This initiative is notably supported by federal funds made available under an Affordable Housing Agreement.

It should be recalled that an Affordable Housing Agreement was signed between CMHC and the SHQ in 2001. It provides for a total contribution of $323.3 million to increase the supply of affordable housing in Quebec, with $161.65 million from the federal government, $104 million from the Quebec government and $57 million from the municipalities participating in the program.

Since the NHI was launched, the Government of Canada has invested over $74 million in Quebec for no fewer than 675 activities and projects.

Sources:

Hélène Bégin
Communications Advisor
Société d’habitation du Québec
(418) 644-5762

Paul Sauvé
Communications and Marketing
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
(514) 283-5110

Information:

Jonathan Trudeau
Press Assistant to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and the Regions
(418) 691-2050
(514) 873-2622