MONTRÉAL, QUÉBEC--(Marketwire - March 1, 2013) - As a result of the joint investments of the governments of Canada and Quebec, the City of Montréal and their local partners, youth in difficulty, aged 12 to 17 years, have access to a shelter comprising six rooms and five affordable housing units.
The official opening of En Marge 12-17, the conversion of which required a total investment of more than $2.3 million, was celebrated today in the presence of Senator Suzanne Fortin-Duplessis, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC); Daniel Breton, Member of the National Assembly (MNA) for Sainte-Marie−Saint-Jacques, on behalf of Sylvain Gaudreault, Minister of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy, Minister of Transport and Minister responsible for the Société d'habitation du Québec (SHQ); and Benoît Dorais, Vice-Chair of the City of Montréal Executive Committee and member responsible for housing and social housing.
The Government of Canada, through the Shelter Enhancement Program, and the Government of Quebec, under the AccèsLogis Québec program of the SHQ, jointly invested over $1.3 million in the renovation of the building. In addition, the SHQ has secured the mortgage loan taken out by the organization to complete the financing of the project. Lastly, the City of Montréal contributed $196,000 to the project, an amount repaid by the Montréal Metropolitan Community (MMC) out of the social housing fund to which the 82 municipalities on its territory contribute, including the City of Montréal, which provides almost half of the funding.
"Our government recognizes the need to provide young people with a safe place during crisis situations. By providing this funding to En Marge 12-17, we are also following through on our commitment to provide safe and affordable housing for all Canadians," said Senator Fortin-Duplessis.
"Young people should all be able to live in a safe and healthy environment. Unfortunately, the reality is sometimes quite different. It is our duty to take care of our children and provide them with all the tools they need to succeed in their lives. In this regard, I am very proud to be here today to highlight the contribution of the Government of Quebec to this great local initiative. Congratulations to everyone involved in En Marge 12-17 and thanks for your dedication to young people," said MNA Daniel Breton.
En Marge 12-17 has been providing a temporary home and support to adolescents since 1992. In the fall of 2011, the new premises of the organization were set up in a newly renovated former rectory, offering a larger space. This move allowed for the addition of five affordable housing units, enabling young people aged 17 to 22 years to develop their independence, while benefiting from community support adapted to their needs.
"For us, supporting projects that so aptly meet the needs of young people in vulnerable situations is perfectly in line with the objectives that we have set for ourselves to address homelessness. And, it is a privilege to have the opportunity to do so with an organization that has a proven track record and the recognition of the community," said Benoît Dorais.
"It is with projects like En Marge 12-17 that we are implementing our targeted homelessness action plan. The contribution of the organization's team of workers in the lives of the young people they accommodate makes all the difference. In addition to providing a safe living environment, En Marge 12-17 offers these young people an opportunity for a fresh start," said Montréal Mayor Michael Applebaum.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
The Government of Canada, through CMHC, will invest approximately $2 billion in housing this year. Of this amount, $1.7 billion will be spent in support of almost 605,000 households living in social housing. In Quebec, this represents some 129,550 households. These investments are improving the quality of life for low-income Canadians and households living in social housing, including individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, seniors, persons with disabilities, recent immigrants and Aboriginal people.
To find out more about how CMHC is working to build stronger homes and communities for all Canadians, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 or visit www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca.
Société d'habitation du Québec
The SHQ's mission is to facilitate citizens' access to appropriate housing conditions. Housing constitutes a structured response to numerous challenges and needs of Quebec society. Whether by helping to preserve the health of families and seniors, by addressing poverty, social exclusion and homelessness or by revitalizing neighbourhoods and regions, the SHQ contributes to improving the quality of life of 230,000 households each year. The SHQ also supports job creation and the economic development of all regions of Quebec. That's why the Government of Quebec announced, in its latest budget, total funding of $231 million for the construction of 3,000 affordable housing units over the coming years.
For more information on the programs and services offered by the SHQ, visit www.habitation.gouv.qc.ca/english.html. You may also visit Espace Habitat, a new Web magazine (in French only) that features, among other things, the benefits of the SHQ's initiatives on all of Quebec society.