KINGSTON, Ontario, December 18, 2006 — The Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario and the City of Kingston held a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to mark the official opening of 14 units of supportive, affordable housing for single people struggling with homelessness.
The Honourable John Gerretsen, Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and MPP for Kingston and the Islands; the Mayor of the City of Kingston, Harvey Rosen and representatives from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) attended today’s ceremonies.
“Canada’s new government believes that everyone should have a fair shot and that we should help those that need a hand up,” said the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development. “Canada’s new government is committed to working with our partners at all levels of government and in the community to develop effective housing and homelessness solutions for the residents of Kingston.”
“The McGuinty government firmly believes that every person in this province has the right to safe, healthy and affordable shelter,” said Minister Gerretsen. “The Fresh Start Apartments is an excellent example of the positive impact that community organizations and government can have when they work together. It represents hope for a better future for the people who will call it home.”
The $924,460 project, including $406,000 from the Canada – Ontario Affordable Housing Program, provides 14 new apartments at 41 Joseph Street in Kingston. In addition, the Government of Canada contributed $268,559 under the Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative (SCPI), a component of the National Homelessness Initiative (NHI). The project is sponsored by Kingston Home Base Non-Profit Housing Inc.
“On behalf of City Council and the City of Kingston, I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to all the staff and volunteers at Kingston Home Base Non-Profit Housing for their extraordinary efforts to bring new, safe, secure and affordable housing to this fine community,” said Mayor Rosen. Their Fresh Start Project is the first of many new Affordable Housing projects to be developed over the next few years and they continue to help meet a serious need for more supportive housing that remains a priority for this Council and the City.”
Bill Cormier, President of Kingston Home Base Housing, stated: "Home Base Housing has taken a positive step towards reducing homelessness in our community. The goals of the Joseph Street development are two-fold; housing and improved health for our tenants and reduced strain on an already over-burdened emergency shelter system.
To date the program appears to be doing an excellent service to our community. Government assistance combined with the generous support of many individuals, churches and businesses in Kingston have made the project a success."
The federal and provincial funding for the project was complemented by more than $196,000 in municipal financial incentives from the City of Kingston.
In the City of Kingston, the Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), has contributed $3.65 million through the Canada – Ontario Affordable Housing Program Agreement.
The Canada – Ontario Affordable Housing Program comprises a commitment of $301 million from each of the two senior levels of government. In total, the federal, provincial and municipal governments will invest at least $734 million in the program, which will provide affordable housing for 20,000 households in Ontario.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
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