SUMMERSIDE, Prince Edward Island, October 11, 2007 — Individuals coping with a mental illness now have access to affordable, supportive housing in Summerside.
The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, along with the Honourable Doug Currie, Prince Edward Island Minister of Social Services and Seniors, recognized the official opening of a new housing project that was developed by the Canadian Mental Health Association — Prince Edward Island Division (CMHA/PEI Division).
The Notre Dame Place Supportive Residential Complex, located on Duke Street in Summerside, will provide seven new residential units for individuals as well as a new location for the Prince County Branch of the CMHA.
“Canada's New Government is delivering on its commitment to help individuals who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, including the many Canadians who have mental illness,” said Minister MacKay. “Notre Dame Place will provide safe, affordable and quality supportive housing for vulnerable individuals so they can begin to build better, safer and stronger futures.”
This complex will give new options to individuals who are coping with mental illness by providing a stable environment, geared to improving health and increasing independence and participation in the community. In addition to the seven independent apartment units, a common area will provide support in enhancing daily living skills, access to services, crisis management and medication management.
Minister Currie thanked all parties involved for their role in the work leading up to today’s opening, including the CMHA/PEI Division, the City of Summerside, and many volunteers who made this project a success. “Through my department, the Government of Prince Edward Island is committed to working and consulting with the community to provide and improve supports to persons with disabilities.”
Funding for this $715,000 project was announced in September 2006. CMHA/PEI Division received $175,000 under the Canada – Prince Edward Island Affordable Housing Agreement; $217,500 through federal homelessness funding; and $114,766 through the Canada/Prince Edward Island Labour Market Development Agreement, co-managed by Service Canada and the provincial Department of Development and Technology. The balance of funding was provided by municipal tax relief from the City of Summerside, by the CMHA/PEI Division, and through a mortgage loan.
“CMHA is pleased that this new affordable, supportive facility has become a reality and has brought a much-needed resource to the Summerside region,” states Gordon Matheson, President of CMHA/PEI Division. “Shelter is a basic prerequisite for health, and combined with the support component, this new facility has proven to be an invaluable service for our new tenants.”
The Canada – Prince Edward Island Affordable Housing Agreement involves an investment of $8.32 million in the creation of affordable housing units in Prince Edward Island. To date, 123 units have been supported by the Agreement in rural and urban communities across PEI.
Canada’s New Government has been committed to making mental health issues a national priority. In August, the Prime Minister announced the creation of the Mental Health Commission, which will be the cornerstone of Canada’s efforts to address mental health, mental illness and addictions in Canada.
Canada’s new Homelessness Partnering Strategy began on April 1, 2007. It 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 fosters partnerships aimed at realizing concrete results.
For more information on the federal government's Homelessness Partnering Strategy, visit www.homelessness.gc.ca.
For more information (media only):
Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Social Development Canada
Verna Lynne Weeks
PEI Department of Social Services & Seniors
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Canadian Mental Health Association