OTTAWA, Ontario, June 2, 2006 — The Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, and the City of Ottawa today celebrated the official opening of the Ste. Anne Avenue Residence, a project that will provide 26 units of affordable, transitional housing in Ottawa under the Canada — Ontario Affordable Housing Program. The Honourable Madeleine Meilleur, Minister of Community and Social Services, Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs and MPP for Ottawa — Vanier; Ottawa Mayor Bob Chiarelli and Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC) congratulated Rita Thompson, President of the John Howard Society of Ottawa, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the building.
"The McGuinty government firmly believes that every person in this province has the right to safe, healthy, affordable shelter," said Minister Meilleur. "With stable housing, the residents of the Ste. Anne Avenue Residence will have the support they need to successfully reintegrate into the community. I'm proud that the province is a partner in this important development."
"CMHC is pleased to work with partners to meet the housing needs of the residents of Ottawa," said Peter Friedmann, General Manager, Ontario Business Centre. "Together with our partners, we are helping more people access new homes and start new lives, while contributing to safe, healthy communities across the province."
The $1.9 million Ste. Anne Avenue Residence includes more than $750,000 in funding from the Canada — Ontario Affordable Housing Program, and over $340,000 from the Government of Canada's National Homelessness Initiative. The project is sponsored by the John Howard Society of Ottawa and the units will be occupied by individuals making the transition from prison to the community.
"Affordable, appropriate housing is a fundamental building block of healthy, inclusive and complete communities," said Mayor Bob Chiarelli. "The City's mission is to see Ottawa offer a coordinated and complete system of housing options, supports and opportunities to prevent people from becoming homeless. As a city we need to ensure that those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness have a full range of affordable housing options and appropriate supports. The opening of the new John Howard Society supportive housing project moves Ottawa one more step closer in that direction."
The residence provides a stable and structured living situation. Supports include crisis and motivational counselling, employment assistance, literacy and academic up-grading, and lifestyle management.
"Today we celebrate the opening of the Ste. Anne Avenue residence by dedicating the building to the memory of our founder, Tom Lamothe," said Rita Thompson, President of the John Howard Society of Ottawa. "Mr. Lamothe is remembered for his years of dedicated assistance to individuals wanting to build better lives. We welcome this opportunity to recognize the important contributions that Mr. Lamothe has made to individuals in need, to this Society and to the Ottawa community."
The federal and provincial funding is complemented by more than $246,000 in municipal financial incentives.
In Ottawa, the Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), has contributed $6.7 million through the pilot round of the Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program.
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 invest $734 million through the Canada — Ontario Affordable Housing Program. In total, the program will help 20,000 Ontario households by 2010.
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