Media Release

February 29, 2012

Marguerite’s Place Officially Opens in St. John’s

The Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador today celebrated the official opening of Marguerite’s Place in St. John’s.

“Our government is dedicated to helping those in need,” said the Honourable Peter Penashue, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Regional Minister for Newfoundland and Labrador and MP for Labrador, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). “That’s why we are proud to have invested in this housing project in St. John’s. The new units are safe and affordable, and help to enhance the lives of the members of the community who will be calling them home.”

“I am pleased the Provincial Government has been able to provide comprehensive support towards the opening of Marguerite’s Place,” said the Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister Responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation. “In addition to Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation’s funding contributions under the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Affordable Housing Program Agreement, the Provincial Government has provided $1.04 million through various departments and programs, which includes $200,000 through our own Provincial Homelessness Fund, and $562,802 in annual operating funding through the Supportive Living Community Partnership Program to help ensure the success of this valuable new facility.”

Funding of $930,000 for Marguerite’s Place was made available as a result of a joint investment under the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Affordable Housing Program Agreement. The program is equally cost-shared between the Federal and Provincial Governments and is administered by Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation. Marguerite’s Place also received $282,500 through Service Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy.

“This new facility is named in memory of the late Marguerite Dyson, a mother of eight from Cartwright who volunteered at the St. John’s Women's Centre. Her smile would warm the room,” said Maureen Murphy-Kearley, Board Member, Marguerite’s Place. “She offered friendship and hope to many other women who were homeless and living in dangerous situations. They are our mothers, sisters, daughters and friends. They are valuable members of our community. We hope the support they find at Marguerite’s Place will help them reach their full potential.”

The new facility offers affordable, accessible programming and eight supportive housing units in a women-centred environment. It also houses the offices and programs of St. John’s Status of Women Council and the Women’s Centre.

Provincial priority for the Affordable Housing Program is on rental housing for seniors, families and persons with disabilities who have low-to-moderate incomes, and people who require support to live independently in the community. This work is in keeping with A Social Housing Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador - Secure Foundations, released by the Provincial Government in August 2009, which outlines a long-term vision for social housing. It is aimed at improving the housing circumstances of people with low incomes and helping create healthier communities. A copy of the social housing plan is available at www.nlhc.nl.ca/SocialHsingPlan/report.pdf .

The Government of Canada, through CMHC, will invest more than $2 billion in housing this year. Of this amount, $1.7 billion will be spent in support of almost 615,000 households living in existing social housing. In Newfoundland and Labrador, this represents some 12,500 households. These investments are improving the quality of life for Canadians with low incomes 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.

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.ca .

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Media contacts:

Jason Card
Director of Communications
Department of Transportation and Works
709-729-3015, 699-0470
jasoncard@gov.nl.ca
Jenny Bowring
Communications Manager
Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation
709-724-3055
jmbowring@nlhc.nl.ca

Katherine LeBlanc
Consultant, Communications & Marketing
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
902-426-6581
krleblan@cmhc.ca

Alyson Queen
Director of Communications
Office of Minister Finley
819-994-2482

Leslie MacLeod
Executive Director
St. John’s Status of Women Council
709-753-0220, ext.: 223
executivedirector@margueritesplace.ca

BACKGROUNDER
Marguerite’s Place Partners and Funding

The new facility, located at 170 Cashin Avenue Extension in St. John’s, offers affordable, accessible programming and eight supportive housing units in a women-centered environment. It also houses the offices and programs of St. John’s Status of Women Council and the Women’s Centre.

Partners and Funding:
The investments in the project are as follows:

  • The Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador provided a $930,000 investment under the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Affordable Housing Program Agreement.
  • The Government of Canada provided $282,500 through Service Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy.
  • The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has invested a further $1.04 million which includes:
    • Annual operating funds through the Supportive Living Community Partnership Program ($562,802);
    • Women’s Policy Office ($121,500);
    • Department of Justice ($10,000);
    • Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation contributed $200,000 through the Provincial Homelessness Fund. Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation also provided the land and site preparation for Marguerite’s Place; and,
    • The Department of Environment and Conservation provided $150,000 through the Newfoundland and Labrador Green Fund.