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Celebration Marks Opening of New Residential Units in Renovated Landmark

NAPANEE, Ontario, September 8, 2006 — Lennox and Addington Community Mental Health Services today celebrated the official opening of their new building after more than a year of extensive renovations. The downtown Napanee landmark at 70 Dundas Street East will provide 12 apartments for clients at risk of homelessness as well as office and program space.

The $4,123,271 project received $3.7 million from the Ontario government. In addition, the federal government provided $423,271 through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP).

“People with mental health disabilities are often stigmatized by society and can face many barriers to finding safe and stable housing,” said Scott Reid, Member of Parliament for Lanark – Frontenac – Lennox and Addington. “Canada’s new Government is proud to be a partner in this project which will help provide inclusive affordable housing options in Napanee.”

“Affordable and supportive housing is an essential part of improving the quality of life for people with mental health issues,” said Health and Long-Term Care Minister George Smitherman. “This newly renovated building will provide safe and secure housing for clients at risk of becoming homeless.”

Lennox and Addington Community Mental Health Services (LACMHS) were able to maximize resources by converting a former commercial building into both residential and office space. The building tenants benefit from on-site access to LACMHS programs if needed.

“This funding has allowed the creation of secure, affordable housing for individuals with a serious mental illness who are homeless or at high risk of homelessness in our community. In addition, this initiative will be available to persons being discharged from the local psychiatric system. The close proximity of our clinical programs will increase the ability of achieving our goal to enhance clients’ quality of life and to optimize their individual level of independence,” said Robert Hough, Board Chair, Lennox and Addington Community Mental Health Services. “It has been a very rewarding experience to be involved in the co-operative efforts of both the federal and provincial governments as well as our local community who have all worked very hard to make this happen,” added Mr. Hough.

LACMHS provides comprehensive crisis response and a wide range of services to individuals experiencing both acute and chronic symptoms of serious mental illness. They offer client-centered treatment, rehabilitation, advocacy and support, with the goal of enhancing their clients’ quality of life and optimizing their ability to function independently in the community.

Today’s initiative is part of the McGuinty government’s plan for innovation in public health, building a system that delivers on three priorities — keeping Ontarians healthy, reducing wait times and providing better access to doctors and nurses.

The conversion component of CMHC's Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program provides assistance to convert non-residential properties into affordable self-contained rental housing units or bed-units. The RRAP-disability component provides assistance to modify housing to improve access for low-income disabled persons.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has been Canada's national housing agency for more than 60 years. CMHC is committed to helping Canadians access a wide choice of quality, affordable homes, while making vibrant, healthy communities and cities a reality across the country.

Media inquiries:

Bill DeVries
Lennox and Addington Community
Mental Health Services

John Letherby
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Beth Bailey

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)


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