CONSTRUCTION OF EMERGENCY SHELTER UNDERWAY IN MELFORT
The Government of Canada and the Province of Saskatchewan, along with community partners, celebrated the construction of a new emergency shelter for women and children who are victims of family violence. The 16-bed shelter, to be owned by North East Outreach and Support Services Inc. (NEOSS), will serve the community of Melfort and surrounding area and include support services.
Randy Hoback, Member of Parliament for Prince Albert, on behalf of the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development), along with Kevin Phillips, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Melfort, on behalf of the Honourable Donna Harpauer, Minister of Social Services and Minister responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation, made the announcement today.
Our Government is giving a hand-up to those in need, which is why we are proud to have invested in this project here in Melfort. This shelter will play a vital role in the community and is more than just a safe and affordable place to live; it is the key to a better life for the women and children who will call it home.
Louise Schweitzer, Executive Director of NEOSS said: “As an organization working with victims on a daily basis we look forward to being able to open our doors to provide emergency shelter. This will enhance and grow the services we currently provide to better assist the women and children in our community of the North East to transition to a violence free lifestyle.”
The federal and provincial governments, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Saskatchewan Housing Corporation (SHC), are jointly contributing over $1.6 million under the Canada-Saskatchewan Investment in Affordable Housing 2014-2019 Agreement. In addition, the City of Melfort contributed $188,000 for the land and NEOSS contributed approximately $111,000 in cash equity and about $460,000 in mortgage financing. The Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice is also contributing just over $659,000 this fiscal year. The funding will support the development of the transition house services, as well as ongoing family violence outreach services that help victims of interpersonal violence and abuse.
Construction originally began in the spring of 2014, and was expected to be complete by April 2015. It was about 70 per cent complete at the time of an accidental fire on November 30, 2014. The project totals 7,350 square feet (683 square meters) and the shelter will provide 16 beds in seven bedrooms. In the event of an emergency, the shelter will also be able to accommodate four additional individuals, to a total of 20. The project is estimated to be completed in spring 2016.
This funding comes as a result of the $92 million Canada-Saskatchewan Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH) 2014-2019 Agreement. Under the IAH, the Province of Saskatchewan has the flexibility to design and deliver a range of affordable housing programs to address local housing needs and priorities.
Annually, the Government of Canada, through CMHC, will invest approximately $2 billion in housing. These investments improve the quality of life for low-income Canadians and households living in existing social housing, including individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, seniors, persons with disabilities, and Aboriginal people. Economic Action Plan 2013 continued this commitment with a federal investment of more than $1.25 billion over five years to renew the Investment in Affordable Housing to 2019. The Government of Canada will ensure that funds provided to provinces and territories support the use of apprentices, which will support training of skilled labour.
In October 2012, the Government of Saskatchewan released the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth: Vision 2020 and Beyond, which sets out the Government’s vision for a province of 1.2 million people by 2020. The Plan identifies principles, goals and actions to ensure Saskatchewan is capturing the opportunities and meeting the challenges of a growing province. Since 2007, the Government of Saskatchewan has invested over $580 million to develop and repair more than 12,500 homes around the province.
To find out more about how the Government of Canada and CMHC help Canadians meet their housing needs, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642.