SASKATOON, SK, Dec. 3, 2021 /CNW/ -Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that affordable housing is key to Canada’s recovery, as people and communities—including Saskatoon still have challenges in finding safe and affordable housing.
Today, George Chahal, Member of Parliament for Calgary Skyview, on behalf of the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion and Minister Responsible for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the Honourable Kamal Khera, Minister of Seniors, along with Marv Friesen, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Saskatoon Riversdale, on behalf of the Honourable Lori Carr, Minister of Social Services and Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation, and Councillor Hillary Gough on behalf of Mayor Charlie Clark, City of Saskatoon, announced a $2.29 million investment from the federal government to build the Round Prairie Elders’ Lodge. This will include 26 housing units for Indigenous Elders, with 13 of those units intended for low-income women, including women with children and grandchildren.
This investment by the Government of Canada was made possible by the National Housing Strategy’s (NHS) National Housing Co-investment Fund (NHCF).
The 3-storey apartment building is located at 412 Avenue P South in the Pleasant Hill Village area in Saskatoon. All 26 independent living units are energy-efficient and incorporate full universal design to help residents ‘age-in-place’. Capital funding was provided by the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan, the Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan, Indigenous Services Canada, as well as the City of Saskatoon, through the Saskatchewan Co-Investment Program.
On-site support services will address the mental health of Elders by promoting social inclusion and access to various counselling services if requested. The physical health of Elders will be addressed by Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. (CUMFI) providing proper nutrition, exercise classes and access to medical personnel. Spiritual health will be accessed through the on-site multi-faith/ceremony room and overall health will improve through social inclusion, safety, security and an overall improvement in the quality of life for residents.
“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Through the National Housing Co-Investment Fund, our government is investing in affordable housing here in Saskatoon and across Canada to help create jobs and improve quality of life for those who need it most. Thanks to today’s announcement, Indigenous Elders in Saskatoon now have access to affordable homes. This is the National Housing Strategy in action.” – The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)
“Taking care of our Elders is an important priority of our Métis Government in Saskatchewan. We are proud of everyone working together to make this invaluable project happen and gratified to have been a partner in seeing it come to fruition. The affordable and accessible Elders’ Lodge serves as a space of comfort that allows our Elders to age in a home where cultural and traditional ways can be practiced.” – Glen McCallum, President of Métis Nation – Saskatchewan
“We are very excited to have the Round Prairie Elders Lodge opening in the Pleasant Hill Neighborhood. It’s been two decades in the making and our Elders finally have a place to call home. For years we have seen our Elders struggle and make decisions between rent and other essentials such as medicine or food. CUMFI is proud to help in this small way to overcome these issues and we will continue to work for our Elders and people. By working collaboratively with the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan, Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments, this Lodge is now a reality.” – Shirley Isbister, President of Central Urban Métis Federation Inc.
“We know how difficult this pandemic has been for seniors, who have experienced higher rates of social isolation and loneliness as a result of the public health measures. The pandemic also shone light on the importance of access to affordable housing, especially for our most vulnerable populations. In light of this, the Government of Canada is committed to providing seniors a safe a Canada is committed to providing seniors a safe and affordable place to call home. With today’s announcements, Indigenous Elders of Saskatoon will have the opportunity to age in their community and the access to services that foster healthy aging and social inclusion.” – The Honourable Kamal Khera, Minister of Seniors
“The Government of Saskatchewan is committed to building strong families, strong communities and a strong province, and part of this commitment includes investing in housing for people in need. We look forward to continuing our work with our valued partners and finding more opportunities to develop housing initiatives that support Saskatchewan residents in greatest housing need.” – The Honourable Lori Carr, Minister of Social Services and Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation
“On behalf of the Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative (IHII) Steering Committee members, I offer congratulations to the Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. on the successful implementation of its Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative project to provide culturally relevant accommodations for Métis Elders. The steering committee saw the importance of this project – particularly the welcoming gathering space where residents can connect and build community.” – Sean Willy, Indigenous Home Innovation Initiative (IHII), Indigenous Steering Committee
“This project represents a turning point for housing in our community. The welcoming Indigenous design creates homes that residents can feel a sense of true belonging while reflecting the teachings and traditions of this place. I am proud that the City of Saskatoon has been a partner in this project and congratulate CUMFI and all of the partners on all of the hard work to make this exciting project happen.” – Charlie Clark, Mayor of Saskatoon
“This investment will provide secure, affordable, and quality housing for Indigenous Elders in Saskatoon, allowing residents to continue living in their community and improving their quality of life. Through the National Housing Strategy, our government will continue to invest in projects that will deliver affordable housing for those who need it most, so that everyone has a safe and affordable place to call home.” – George Chahal, Member of Parliament for Calgary Skyview
The $2.29 million NHCF funding was attributed in the form of:
An approximately $1.61 million repayable loan, and
A $683,845 thousand forgivable loan.
Saskatchewan Housing Corporation has contributed $633,000 towards this project through the Saskatchewan Co-Investment Partner program. The Métis Nation-Saskatchewan provided $1.5 million and the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (CANDO) provided nearly $2.23 million through the Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative. The total project cost is more than $7 million.
The project will be required to maintain affordable rents for 13 units for at least 50 years.
The building’s common areas and all units have a universal design, and 4 units will be completely accessible.
CUMFI is a non-profit corporation operating in Saskatoon since 1993, with a total housing portfolio of approximately 75 units.
Part-time integrated support and services for the tenants is offered on-site by CUMFI.
Through the National Housing Strategy, the Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan are working to ensure that Saskatchewan citizens in need of safe, affordable housing become connected to housing supports that meet their needs.
With a budget of $13.2 billion, the NHCF gives priority to projects that help people who need it most, including women and children fleeing family violence, seniors, Indigenous People, people with disabilities, those with mental health or addiction issues, veterans, and young adults.
Through the NHCF, the Government of Canada will work with partners to build up to 60,000 new affordable homes and repair up to 240,000 existing affordable and community homes.
Under the NHCF, investments are also planned to create or repair at least 4,000 shelter spaces for victims of family violence, as well as create at least 7,000 new affordable housing units for seniors and 2,400 new affordable housing units for people with developmental disabilities.
To help Canadians find affordable housing, Budget 2021 provides an additional $2.5 billion over seven years in new funding and to reallocate $1.3 billion in previously announced funding to speed up the construction, repair, and support over 35,000 additional housing units.
In Budget 2021, $750 million in existing funding under NHCF has been advanced to 2021-22 and 2022-23. This will accelerate the creation of 3,400 new units and the repair of 13,700 units. $250 million in existing funding will also be allocated to support the construction, repair, and operating costs of an estimated 560 units of transitional housing and shelter spaces for women and children fleeing violence. This funding will help the Government address gender-based violence.
Canada’s National Housing Strategy (NHS) is a 10-year, $72+ billion plan that will give more Canadians a place to call home.
As of August 2021, the NHS has built over 68,700 new units of housing, repaired and renewed over 90,400 homes, and has reduced or eliminated housing need from 320,000 households.
As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. CMHC’s aim is that by 2030, everyone in Canada has a home they can afford and that meets their needs. For more information, please visit cmhc.ca or follow us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.
Pursuant to the National Housing Strategy, the Canada-Saskatchewan Bilateral Agreement will invest $449.9 million over the next 10 years, cost matched by the federal and provincial governments, in housing across the province. CMHC and the Government of Saskatchewan have reached agreement on the first three-year action plan.
Under the Agreement, housing is a key priority in providing a better quality of life for Saskatchewan families and communities. Since 2007, the Government of Saskatchewan, through SHC, has invested $786 million to develop more than 12,000 housing units and repair nearly 5,500 homes. SHC has also invested more than $61 million to build nearly 300 units in residential care homes, and $430 million to improve provincially owned housing. To learn more, visit www.saskatchewan.ca.