New Affordable Housing for Individuals With Complex Needs Opens in Prince Albert

December 8, 2014

The Government of Canada and the Province of Saskatchewan, along with River Bank Development Corporation, celebrated the official opening of a new rental housing project that will provide safe, affordable accommodations for individuals with complex needs. The project consists of six one-bedroom units, one of which is barrier-free.

Randy Hoback, Member of Parliament for Prince Albert, on behalf of the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development), along with Victoria Jurgens, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Prince Albert Northcote, on behalf of the Honourable Donna Harpauer, Minister of Social Services and Minister responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation made the announcement.

“I am delighted to see that construction is complete on this project,” said MP Hoback. “Our government remains committed to working with our partners to develop and implement solutions to housing in Prince Albert.”

“Together with our partners, our government remains committed to supporting those in greatest housing need,” said MLA Jurgens. “Housing is a vital part of a strong Saskatchewan and we know there is a close relationship between the availability of safe, quality and affordable housing and quality of life for all Saskatchewan citizens. This project builds upon this vision, and we are proud to be a part of it.”

“We want to express our appreciation to the Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan for their support for this worthwhile project that will provide housing options for individuals with complex needs,” said Brian Howell, Executive Director of River Bank Development Corporation.

Located at 3096 – 5A Avenue East in Prince Albert, each unit is approximately 560 square feet or 52 square meters. Tenants are individuals with complex needs or disabilities who may have a challenge accessing and retaining affordable housing. River Bank is a non-profit corporation operating in Prince Albert since 1998, with a mandate of promoting social and economic development in Prince Albert’s low-income community.

The total cost of the project is approximately $725,000. The Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and the Province of Saskatchewan, through Saskatchewan Housing Corporation, jointly contributed a total of $455,000 under the Canada-Saskatchewan Investment in Affordable Housing 2011-2014 Agreement. The funding balance of approximately $270,000 was contributed by River Bank Development Corporation through mortgage financing and cash equity.

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, recent immigrants and Aboriginal people. Economic Action Plan 2013 continues 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 $520 million to develop and repair more than 11,600 homes around the province. In Prince Albert, 223 housing units (both rental and homeowner) have been completed with support from the Province, including 24 affordable rental units for persons at risk of homelessness or with complex needs. An additional 74 units are currently under construction in Prince Albert.

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