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Womens Housing Facility Opens in Terrace

TERRACE, British Columbia, February 2, 2006 — Women and their children fleeing abusive relationships will benefit from a new $1.3-million eight-unit transition house opened today by the Ksan House Society. The project is one of 13 under development as part of the Premier's Task Force on Homelessness, Mental Illness and Addictions.

"We know that a key factor in a woman's ability to leave an abusive relationship is having access to safe housing," said Housing Minister Rich Coleman. "With commitments from the Province, the federal government and the community, we're able to provide women and children in Terrace a safe place to call home."

The provincial and federal governments are each contributing capital funding of approximately $220,000 as part of the Canada — British Columbia Affordable Housing Agreement. In addition, contributions totalling almost $425,000 are being made by the Ksan House Society, the Real Estate Foundation, the Vancouver Foundation and the Terrace and Skeena Rotary Clubs.

Operating funding of approximately $400,000 per year will be provided by the Ministry of Community Services for transition house services that include counselling and support for women and their children.

"By providing safe shelter along with counselling and outreach services, we are able to help end the cycle of violence in these families' lives," said Ida Chong, Minister for Community Services and Minister Responsible for Seniors' and Women's Issues. "The supports offered through Ksan House are critical for allowing affected women and their children the chance to heal and move forward with their lives."

"This development will allow vulnerable women and children in Terrace to live in a quality environment at an affordable cost," said Nelson Merizzi, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's general manager for the B.C. region. "Shelter is one of the foundations upon which healthy communities and individual dignity are built. We are pleased to be working with our partners to help those who need our help the most and provide them with a new start on life."

The new transition house will connect to a counselling and support centre that will provide a variety programs helping those in need to make positive life changes while ensuring their safety needs are met.

"Ksan House represents a new approach to transition house services by recognizing the need for integrated support services for the residents," said Ksan House Society Programs director Jan LeFrancois. "Working together with community groups, governmental agencies, private donors, and non-governmental organizations, and with the countless support of the society's clients and employees, the new Ksan House has come to exemplify the type of services that women fleeing abuse actually need."

The Premier's Task Force has also announced new housing and support service developments for Victoria, Kelowna, New Westminster, Prince George, Fort St. John, Vancouver, Surrey and Nanaimo. To date, the Task Force has announced a total of 533 new housing units with support services and shelter beds.

The Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, will contribute $130 million by 2008 towards affordable housing in this province. The provincial government, through BC Housing, will provide a minimum of $34 million annually to subsidize the cost of units built under the Canada — BC Affordable Housing Agreement, as part of a larger strategy to provide a range of housing options for British Columbians in greatest need.

Media Contact:

Naomi Brunemeyer
Communications Specialist
BC Housing
(604) 209-0013

Jean LaFrancois
Director of Programs
Ksan House Society
(250) 635-2373 ext.26

André Robichaud
Regional Manager
CMHC
(778) 772-5962 (cell)

For more information on government services or to subscribe to the Province's news feeds using RSS, visit the Province's website at www.gov.bc.ca.

Backgrounder

Ksan House

Ksan House will be wheelchair accessible and include eight units for women and their children fleeing abusive relationships. Counselling, outreach, a children's play area with an outdoor secured playground, a communal kitchen, dining area and lounge will also be included.

Programs will be available to women and children staying in the transition house as well as women, men and children from the community seeking support. Programs include the Terrace Sexual Assault Centre & Specialized Victim Services, Stopping the Violence Against Women Counselling Program, and the Children Who Witness Abuse Counselling Program, as well as two outreach programs designed to meet the changing needs of the Terrace community.

The new building will replace the existing transition house as well as another building that houses the society's offices.

Partners and Funding

Capital cost of this project is $1.3 million.

Operating funds will also be required:

Ksan House Society

The Ksan House Society was incorporated in 1979 and currently owns and operates the Terrace Emergency Shelter and Hostel, the Terrace Transition House, Skeena Kalum Housing, (a 50-unit family housing complex) as well as subsidized housing for adults with serious mental illness.