Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

July 11, 2009 13:00 ET

Government of Canada Helping Those Who Are Homeless or at Risk of Homelessness in Olds

OLDS, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - July 11, 2009) - The Government of Canada is helping those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless build a stronger future for themselves.

Mr. Blake Richards, Member of Parliament for Wild Rose, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, today participated in the official Habitat for Humanity-Mountain View family welcoming and key transferring ceremony for the first of two duplexes in Olds, Alberta. The Government of Canada's Surplus Federal Real Property for homelessness initiative (SFRPHI), through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS), contributed land worth $192,000 for this project.

This funding will ensure the Government of Canada can continue to assist those who need support, including homeless people and those at risk of homelessness, low-income Canadians, seniors, people with disabilities, recent immigrants and Aboriginal Canadians.

"Our government is supporting many Canadians with housing needs and is fulfilling our commitment to help those seeking to break free of the cycle of homelessness and poverty," said Mr. Richards. "Through this investment, the Habitat for Humanity-Mountain View Affiliate Society will be able to help individuals and families in need."

"The Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative has been vital to us here in Olds in obtaining land on which to build our homes. The land made available has allowed us to build four units of affordable housing that otherwise would not have existed for families trying to obtain a home of their own," said Charles Brinton, Chairman of Habitat for Humanity Mountain View affiliate Society.

The Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative (SFRPHI) is a Government of Canada interdepartmental partnership involving Human Resources and Skills Development Canada's HPS, Public Works and Government Services Canada, and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. SFRPHI will contribute $3 million each year from April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2011 to make available surplus federal real properties for community organizations, the not-for-profit sector, and other levels of government for projects to help prevent and reduce homelessness.

In September 2008, the Government of Canada announced $1.9 billion over five years for housing and homelessness programs for low-income Canadians. This commitment provides the Government with the flexibility to work with the provinces and territories, municipalities and charitable organizations to develop ways to improve the effectiveness of federal spending in the area of housing and homelessness.

Canada's Economic Action Plan is building on these investments by making an additional one-time investment of more than $2 billion over two years in new and existing social housing, and by making available up to $2 billion in loans to Canadian municipalities over two years for housing-related infrastructure improvements. To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.

For more information on the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, please visit
www.hrsdc.gc.ca/homelessness.


BACKGROUNDER

The Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) is a unique community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness by providing direct support and funding to more than 60 communities across Canada. The HPS took effect April 1, 2007, with annual funding of $134.8 million for two years. Funding for housing and homelessness programs has been extended for another five years, until March 31, 2014.

Under the HPS, the Government of Canada is offering to work in partnership with all provinces and territories. Such partnerships would encourage better alignment of federal and provincial/territorial investments, and help provide a seamless continuum of support for homeless people and those at risk of homelessness.

The Homelessness Partnering Strategy uses a housing-first approach, recognizing that the first step is to provide individuals with transitional and supportive housing.

The HPS has seven funding streams:

Regionally Delivered:

- Designated Communities

- Outreach Communities

- Aboriginal Communities

Nationally Delivered:

- Federal Horizontal Pilot Projects

- Homelessness Knowledge Development

- Homeless Individuals and Families Information System

- Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative

For more information on the Homelessness Partnering Strategy and the seven funding streams, please visit the following: www.hrsdc.gc.ca/homelessness.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    819-994-2482
    or
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    National Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559