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Places for People Celebrates Renovations to Affordable Housing in Orillia

ORILLIA, Ontario, October 12, 2006 — Places for People unveiled renovations to three rental apartments in their first affordable housing project today in Orillia. The newly renovated units, located at 290 Mississauga Street West, will provide affordable, permanent housing for families or individuals at risk of homelessness.

The federal government provided $72,000 through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's (CMHC) Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) to renovate and upgrade the apartments. In addition, Simcoe County provided a $20,000 grant, the City of Orillia contributed $2,000, and Places for People raised money for the $105,208 renovation through donations from local community organizations and companies.

"Canada's New Government is proud to have been a partner in helping to renovate this building for Places for People" said Bruce Stanton, Member of Parliament for Simcoe North, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development. "These renovations will make a real difference in the lives of three Orillia families, and are a good example of our commitment to dealing with homelessness, and giving those most in need the opportunity to build a better life for themselves and their families."

Places for People expects the three apartments will be fully occupied by the spring of 2007. Two apartments contain two bedrooms each and one is a bachelor unit.

"The Orillia Places for People organization has been totally dedicated to providing accommodation for families and individuals who cannot afford to pay for rental accommodation that exceeds 30 per cent of their total income," said Orillia Mayor Ron Stevens. "Their first renovation project has met that criteria only as a result of a lot of hard work and dedication. The many hours of work that have been provided by this enthusiastic team clearly shows that this project has been a labor of love. On behalf of Council and the residents of the Sunshine City, I congratulate them on showing us the benefits of what hard work and dedication can do to ensure a successful project. Their efforts are greatly appreciated.

The rents within the newly renovated apartments will not be more than 30 per cent of household's income. Places for People also has an ongoing mandate to focus on helping children and youth who might be at risk. All three apartments will house children or a youth.

"One of the things that amazes me most about this project is the way that it has inspired people and brought them together," said David Nicholls, President of Places for People. "Community members have worked nights and weekends to make this project work. They have donated their time and their money. In the short time since we started this project we have raised over $150,000. People understand how important safe, affordable shelter is. And they see that it is a need that they can help to fill. It feels so good to be a part of this project."

Founded in 2002, Places for People purchased their first property at 290 Mississauga Street West in 2005. Their goal is to help tenants break the cycle of poverty by providing housing at the lowest rent possible, helping tenants build equity by holding a portion of their rent payments in trust, and providing access to support services in the community.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has been Canada's national housing agency for over 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. For more information, call 1-800-668-2642.

Media inquiries:

Megan Pottage
Places for People
705-326-6444 ext. 32

Beth Bailey
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation