Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

December 11, 2009 23:59 ET

Governments of Canada and Ontario Celebrate New Affordable Housing in Thunder Bay

THUNDER BAY, ON, Dec. 11 - Funding of $6.6 million for 132 new affordable housing rental units for seniors living on low income was announced today in Thunder Bay.

The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC); Bill Mauro, Member of Provincial Parliament for Thunder Bay-Atikokan, on behalf of the Honourable Jim Watson, Ontario's Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing; Councillor Joe Virdiramo, Secretary - Treasurer of The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board (TBDSSAB); City of Thunder Bay Councillor Brian McKinnon; along with Tracy Buckler, President & CEO of St. Joseph's Care Group made the announcement.

"The Government of Canada is helping Canadians during these tough economic times and giving hope to seniors who need quality, affordable housing that meets their needs," said Minister Finley. "This investment is possible through Canada's Economic Action Plan, the federal government's plan to stimulate the economy and create jobs during the global recession. For Ontario, this includes a $1.2 billion joint investment."

"Today's announcement positions Thunder Bay as a community with the full continuum of health care for seniors," said Bill Mauro, MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan. "Supportive housing has long been viewed as the missing piece, and today we have addressed that component in a very big way."

"The TBDSSAB is pleased that the vision of a Centre of Excellence for Integrated Seniors' Services is one step closer to being realized. Through service integration and partnership, the 132 unit supportive housing project will improve the quality of services to seniors, allowing them to maintain their independence while receiving necessary supports to age in place," said Joe Virdiramo, Secretary -Treasurer, The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board.

"Thunder Bay welcomes the Federal and Provincial support for this exciting aspect of the Centre of Excellence for Integrated Seniors' Services," said Mayor Lynn Peterson. "Supportive housing allows our seniors to live independently and gain better access to the health care services they need."

"This 132-unit Supportive Housing building is a vital element to ensure the continuum of care model as envisioned during the Centre of Excellence for Integrated Seniors' Services (CEISS) project planning. We know that seniors would prefer to live independently in an apartment setting if they are able. This project will permit more seniors to age in place while receiving the assistance they require," said Tracy Buckler, President & CEO, St. Joseph's Care Group and Co-Chair of the CEISS Steering Committee.

The Government of Canada wants to ensure that Canadians on fixed incomes can live with independence and dignity and remain in their communities, close to family and friends. Canada's Economic Action Plan provides $400 million, over two years, to build new rental housing for low-income seniors. Overall, the Economic Action Plan includes $2 billion for new and existing social housing, plus up to $2 billion in loans to municipalities for housing-related infrastructure.

Canada's Economic Action Plan builds on the Government of Canada's commitment in 2008 of more than $1.9 billion, over the next five years, to improve and build new affordable housing and help the homeless.

Today's announcement celebrates funding for the 132-unit Centre of Excellence for Integrated Seniors' Services project at 300 Lillie Street North. The project is sponsored by St. Joseph's Care Group.

Ontario is moving quickly to implement this additional funding. The province has already approved more than $224 million for construction-ready projects, which will improve access to affordable housing for low-income families, seniors and persons with disabilities across the province. It will also create jobs and strengthen local economies. To find out more about affordable housing in Ontario, visit

More information on this and other measures in Canada's Economic Action Plan can be found at To find out more about how the Government of Canada and CMHC are working to build stronger homes and communities for all Canadians, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 or visit

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Contact Information

  • For further information: Media Inquiries: Michelle Bakos, Office of Minister Finley, (819) 994-2482; Beth Bailey, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, (416) 218-3355; Adam Grachnik, Office of Minister Watson, (416) 585-6492; Mary Lucas, CAO, The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board, (807) 766-2103; Karen Lewis, City of Thunder Bay, (807) 625-3859