MONTRÉAL, QUÉBEC--(Marketwire - Feb. 25, 2013) - As a result of the combined efforts of the governments of Canada and Quebec, the City of Montréal and their local partners, women experiencing difficulties now have access to a completed renovated, 14-room shelter.
The Maison Sainte-Catherine, the renovation of which required a total investment of nearly $1.9 million, officially opened 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); Carole Poirier, Member of the National Assembly (MNA) for Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, 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, City of Montréal Executive Committee member responsible for housing and social housing.
The Government of Canada, through the Agreement for Investment in Affordable Housing 2011-2014, and the Government of Quebec, under the AccèsLogis Québec program of the SHQ, jointly invested nearly $754,000 in the conversion of this shelter. In addition, the SHQ has secured the mortgage loan taken out by the Carrefour d'alimentation et de partage St-Barnabé to complete the financing of the project. The community contributed a total of slightly over $348,000, including $122,000 from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada under the Homelessness Partnering Strategy and $226,000 from the City of Montréal, 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. It should also be mentioned that the project also received an additional grant of $147,000 under the Renovation Québec program of the SHQ.
"Our government is committed to working with its partners to develop and implement local solutions to housing. This investment will help these women access safe and affordable housing that meets their needs," said Senator Fortin-Duplessis.
"Thanks to this residence, women in need will be able to access lower-cost housing, in a safe environment, allowing them to regain control of their lives. The support offered by the Carrefour d'alimentation et de partage St-Barnabé will no doubt help these women recover the confidence and dignity they need to achieve personal growth. Our government is proud to contribute to this great community initiative," said MNA Carole Poirier.
The Maison Sainte-Catherine is located in a building of the borough of Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, in Montréal. The 14 rooms are equipped with a kitchenette, favouring the independence of the residents. The Carrefour d'alimentation et de partage St-Barnabé, situated close to the shelter, offers guidance and support services for women in difficulty and people in need, as well as a food bank.
"There are these small projects that require heaven and earth to be moved in order to complete them. I suspect that the Maison Sainte-Catherine might be one of those small projects that needed inordinate efforts from its developers, considering only the size of the project. I therefore salute, in my own name, and also on behalf of the City of Montréal, the excellent work of these community developers, thanks to which today we can officially open this new residential resource for women in precarious situations," said Benoît Dorais.
"The southwestern part of our borough was identified in 2010 as a priority intervention zone for revitalization. Since then, collaboration with the community has led to the targeting of the design, environmental and economic development challenges to be addressed and the implementation of a formal integrated urban revitalization process, to which the City of Montréal granted $100,000 in financial support in 2012. Of this amount, $30,000 was provided by the Borough in support of the interventions of the Carrefour d'alimentation et de partage St-Barnabé," pointed out Borough Mayor Réal Ménard.
Nearly $241,000 in additional financial assistance over five years, assumed by the SHQ (90 per cent) and the City of Montréal (10 per cent) and repaid by MMC, enables all the tenants of the Maison Sainte-Catherine to benefit from the Rent Supplement program, ensuring that they will not pay more than 25 per cent of their income on housing.
It should be noted that the Agreement for Investment in Affordable Housing 2011-2014 will result in an investment of $346 million over three years. This Agreement, signed between the governments of Canada and Quebec, is intended to help improve the housing conditions of Quebec households in need.
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.
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 Société d'habitation du Québec 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.