Government of Canada

Government of Canada
Government of Ontario

Government of Ontario
City of St. Thomas

City of St. Thomas
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

June 14, 2013 15:30 ET

New Transitional Housing Created in St. Thomas

ST. THOMAS, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 14, 2013) - The governments of Canada and Ontario celebrated today the conversion of a building in downtown St. Thomas, into transitional housing for men at risk of homelessness.

Joe Preston, Member of Parliament for Elgin-Middlesex-London, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC); Deb Matthews, Member of Provincial Parliament for London North Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Linda Jeffrey, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing; and Heather Jackson, Mayor of the City of St. Thomas, made the announcement.

"Our Government is pleased to be a partner of Second Story," said MP Preston "The creation of this transition housing means that men at risk of homelessness in St. Thomas will have a safe and supportive place to live, as well as the services they need to begin a new chapter in their lives." We remain focused on four priorities, as outlined by the Prime Minister, that Canadians care most about: their families, the safety of our streets and communities, their pride in being a citizen of this country, and of course, their personal financial security."

"I'm delighted our government is investing in additional affordable housing in St. Thomas," said MPP Matthews. "Housing is simply essential to the well-being of Ontario's families. This much needed project will provide people with a safe, affordable and accessible place where they can live, thrive and be a part of their community."

"Second Story on Talbot would not be possible without financial support from various levels of government," said St. Thomas Mayor Heather Jackson. "The City of St. Thomas is very grateful to the federal and provincial governments for providing financial assistance under the Investment in Affordable Housing program. Second Story on Talbot will provide much-needed housing and supports for residents of St. Thomas and Elgin as they transition from homelessness to permanent housing."

The $300,000 investment provided by the federal and provincial governments has been used to create seven new housing units located at Second Story, a converted historic commercial building at 657 Talbot Street. Second Story is owned by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and operated by the YWCA. As part of the conversion, residents will have access to two new sitting rooms as well as a new communal kitchen. An additional $10,000 of Seed funding was provided by CMHC during the initial planning stage of the project. The funding comes as a result of the recently announced $481 million Investment in Affordable Housing 2011-2014 Agreement between the Governments of Canada and Ontario.

"This project is a wonderful example of community partnership involving CMHA Elgin, the YWCA, and all three levels of government," said Heather DeBruyn, Executive Director of CMHA Elgin. "CMHA Elgin was happy to be able to offer the space for the new men's transitional residence."

"There has been a transitional housing gap in Elgin County for over a decade," said Marla Champion, Executive Director of YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin. "The YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin is thrilled to partner with Canadian Mental Health Association to develop this much-needed resource for the community."

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 close to 594,000 households living in existing social housing. In Ontario, this represents an estimated 237,950 households. 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.

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 St. Thomas, visit www.city.st-thomas.on.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.

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