KITCHENER, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Jan. 24, 2014) - The governments of Canada and Ontario celebrated the official opening of 35 David Street in Kitchener today. The construction of this new rental housing property has helped stimulate the economy and create approximately 95 jobs in Ontario and will help meet the housing needs of low-income individuals and persons with disabilities in Kitchener.
Stephen Woodworth, Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development); John Milloy, Member of Provincial Parliament for Kitchener Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Linda Jeffrey, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing; Ken Seiling, Chair for the Region of Waterloo and Carl Zehr, Mayor for the City of Kitchener, made the announcement today.
"Our Government's investment in affordable housing here in Kitchener is helping to improve the quality of life of individuals and persons with disabilities, and is also contributing to the social well-being of the entire community," said MP Woodworth.
"Our government is committed to improving access to affordable housing for people in need", said MPP Milloy. "Projects like this make a meaningful difference in the lives of residents and help create safe, stable and healthy communities."
"Since 2001, 2,064 affordable housing units have been created in the Region of Waterloo through partnerships the Region has forged with local municipalities, community housing proponents, both public and private, and the Province and the Federal governments", said Ken Seiling, Regional Chair. "David Street is just another example of partnering to leverage financing and support for affordable housing for our growing community."
The $4.9 million investment provided by the federal and provincial governments was used to create two new four-storey buildings. The new buildings replace 16 former units demolished in 2010 that were located at 31, 35, 39 and 43 David Street. The 39 new affordable housing units, including three that are fully accessible, provide tenants with standard appliances, shared laundry facilities, and a common room. The investment is complemented by $155,820 from the Region of Waterloo and $114,982 from the City of Kitchener in waived development charges.
"Investment in affordable housing is essential for meeting the needs of our most vulnerable citizens", said Mayor Carl Zehr. "As the second largest housing provider in the region, Kitchener Housing Inc. plays an important role in providing safe and affordable housing for individuals and families with modest incomes."
The $2.4 million funding for phase 1 of the project comes as a result of Canada's Economic Action Plan and through the Social Housing Renovation and Retrofit Program. The $2.5 million funding for phase 2 of the project comes as a result of the $481 million Investment in Affordable Housing 2011-2014 Agreement between the governments of Canada and Ontario.
Annually, the Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), invests approximately $2 billion in housing. Of this amount, $1.7 billion in federal funding is provided in support of close to 600,000 individuals and families living in existing social housing both on- and off-reserve. In Ontario, this represents an estimated 237,950 households. The remaining funding supports housing-related activities and affordable housing programs, including the Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH). These investments are improving 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. The commitment continues with Economic Action Plan 2013, which provides more than $1.25 billion over five years to renew the Investment in Affordable Housing. In the coming months, the Government will work with provinces and territories to confirm the implementation details of this investment. More than 146,769 households across Canada are no longer in housing need as a result of funding provided under the IAH from April 1, 2011 to June 30, 2013.
Ontario continues to build new affordable housing and repair existing units for Ontarians with housing needs. Since 2003, Ontario's funding commitment of nearly $3 billion is the largest affordable housing program in the province's history. Ontario is supporting the creation of over 17,000 affordable rental housing units, making more than 263,000 repairs and improvements to social and affordable housing units, and providing rental down payment assistance to over 81,000 households in need. The province's Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy sets a strong foundation for a more efficient, accessible affordable housing system in Ontario.
Affordable housing is a key component of Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy. To find out more about affordable housing in Ontario, visit www.ontario.ca/housing. For more information about affordable housing in Kitchener, visit www.kitchenerhousinginc.ca.
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 www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca.