LA LOCHE, Saskatchewan, January 22, 2007 — The Dené Empowerment Centre, a new facility which provides transitional housing for single parents, officially opened today in La Loche. The facility will empower residents to gain self-reliance, social inclusion and well-being, and build independence so they can make the transition to non-supportive housing.
“Canada's New Government is working to ensure funding is available for projects like this one, to address the challenges of homelessness in communities across the country," said the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development. "Today, I am pleased to announce this project which will make an important difference in the lives of Aboriginal individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless."
“We are pleased to work with the federal government, the Northern Village of La Loche and other community partners to give low-income, single parents an opportunity to improve their quality of life,” Community Resources Minister Buckley Belanger said. “Projects like this exemplify what our housing strategy, HomeFirst, is all about. The program was designed to provide Saskatchewan residents with choices in where and what they call home, and to build a better future for every family and every young person.”
“The Dené Empowerment Centre is more than a building. It provides a sense of security and stability for single mothers and their children who live at the Centre,” Mayor Georgina Jolibois said. “The Northern Village of La Loche is proud and honoured to have built the Centre with the help of federal and provincial governments. This has been an excellent project for La Loche.”
The first phase of the Centre involved the renovation of the existing hospital building, as well as the new construction of adjoining support facilities. These include seven apartments, a classroom, a meeting room, two offices, and a daycare/multipurpose area for use by the tenants and community. The success of this phase was recognized and the Centre was awarded Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Housing Award under the category of “Best Practices in Affordable Housing”.
Community stakeholders developed a second phase which saw the creation of twenty additional family housing units which included sixteen two-bedroom suites in four four-plexes and four three-bedroom units in two duplexes. The second phase allows tenants to make the transition to more independent living.
The total cost of this two-phase project is approximately $3.8 million. The funding breakdown is as follows: $2 million from the federal government’s National Homelessness Initiative; approximately $1.1 million under the Centenary Affordable Housing Program (CAHP) including more than $561,000 from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and $549,000 from Saskatchewan Housing Corporation; $147,000 under CMHC’s Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) which is cost-shared with the province; $420,000 from the Northern Village of La Loche; $100,000 from Methy Construction and Maintenance Corporation; $50,000 each from Kids First North Initiative and Saskatchewan Community Resources; and $20,000 from the La Loche Community Development Corporation.
CAHP is funded under the Canada – Saskatchewan Affordable Housing Agreement. It provides approximately $33 million in federal funding for affordable housing, matched by the province of Saskatchewan, municipalities and other partners. With these matching contributions, a total of over $66 million will be committed by 2007 – 2008 for affordable housing.
For media inquiries:
Mayor Georgina Jolibois