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Transitional and Affordable Housing to Benefit Calgary's Northeast

CALGARY, Alberta, October 04, 2007 — Canada’s New Government, together with the Government of Alberta and the Horizon Housing Society today officially opened Hamilton House, a renovated eight-bed transitional and affordable housing project in Northeast Calgary. This $803,000 project will provide housing and support to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness who no longer require the services of a hospital.

The Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development; Mr. Wayne Stewart, President and CEO of the Calgary Homeless Foundation; and Lydia Lytwyn, President of Horizon Housing Society attended the grand opening.

“Canada’s New Government is committed to helping create new affordable housing across Calgary for the people who need it most,” said Minister Solberg. “Hamilton House will provide supportive housing for vulnerable individuals so they can begin to build better, safer and stronger futures.”

The home will be owned and operated by Horizon Housing Society with support services provided by the Canadian Mental Health Association. Funding for the project’s renovation include $128,000 from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) and $187,500 from the Government of Alberta.

The initial purchase of the property was made possible though contributions of $319,679 in federal homelessness funding; $100,000 from the Government of Alberta; and $67,821 from the Calgary Homeless Foundation.

“Through the Provincial Homeless Initiative, we are pleased to work with our partners to provide much-needed support that addresses homeless priorities in Calgary and throughout the province,” said the Honourable Ray Danyluk, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Projects like Hamilton House provide a key service in helping those in need achieve independence and a higher quality of life.”

Hamilton House is a shared home for eight tenants in Calgary. The residence provides support and affordable housing for persons with a mental illness who are unable to function independently in their own or family home. Required outreach support is provided the Canadian Mental Health Association. Tenants are able to live in a healthy, protective environment within an accepting community that allows them to regain their dignity, independence and hope.

“Hamilton House is a critically important affordable housing initiative.” said Lydia Lytwyn, President of Horizon Housing Society. “This project will provide an appropriate, integrated, affordable and supported home for those with a mental illness.”

Horizon Housing Society is a registered charitable organization that owns and manages 14 different residences in Calgary. The Society provides a safe home to over 460 tenants, including 231 with a mental illness. The Society is governed by a committed volunteer Board of Directors and staffed by a dedicated group of people, all of whom are committed to putting the best interests of its tenants first.

Canada’s New Government, through its Homelessness Partnering Strategy, is providing $269.6 million over two years to help communities across Canada combat homelessness more effectively. The Strategy puts in place structures and supports that help people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless achieve self-sufficiency and full participation in society.

CMHC’s renovation programs, including RRAP, help preserve the quality of existing affordable housing. Through RRAP for persons with disabilities, funding is available for home modifications to improve accessibility - helping low-income people with a disability to live independently in their home. The federal investment in renovation programs will help improve living conditions for low-income seniors, people with disabilities, victims of family violence and Aboriginal peoples.

For further information contact:

McCol Befus
Resource Development Manager
Horizon Housing Society

Kimberlee Jones
Senior Communications Consultant
CMHC Communications

Robert Storrier
Municipal Affairs and Housing
Dial 310-0000 for toll free access outside Edmonton

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)


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