Media Release

September 24, 2012

Summit Place Officially Opens in Corner Brook

People who require support to live independently in the community now have access to 10 new affordable housing units built and operated by the Community Mental Health Initiative (CMHI) in Corner Brook. An official opening was held today to begin operations at the $1.6 million Summit Place supportive living apartment complex.

The Federal and Provincial Governments contributed equally to a $1 million investment through the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Affordable Housing Program Agreement.

In addition, Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation (NHLC) provided $350,000 through its Supportive Living Program and Provincial Homelessness Fund as well as $147,000 that will be provided annually through NLHC‘s Supportive Living Program to employ staff at the facility, including a mental health support worker, a housing support worker and a part-time maintenance worker. CMHI also received $331,573 through Human Resources and Skills Development Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS).

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) and the Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister Responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation, made the announcement today.

“Our government is proud to be investing in these new units here in Corner Brook,” said Minister Penashue. “Summit Place will provide access to safe, affordable housing for people with special needs and for them, a place to call home.”

“I am pleased with the level of investment the Provincial Government is making to provide supportive housing through Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation,” said Minister Hedderson. “One of our main Social Housing Plan objectives is to develop partnerships throughout the province that provide a greater range of supportive living options for individuals with complex needs. I have every confidence that our partnership with the Community Mental Health Initiative and the development of Summit Place will help many people in need of safe affordable housing in Corner Brook.”

Located on Premier Drive in Corner Brook, Summit Place opened in July. Founded in 1994 and incorporated in 1996, the CMHI is a non-profit community-based organization comprised of representatives from professional agencies, community groups and health care consumers who work together to address mental health needs in the Corner Brook, Bay of Islands and Deer Lake areas.

“CMHI is thrilled to see Summit Place finally opened,” said Jade Mahoney, Co-ordinator for CMHI. “We have received such positive feedback from tenants, neighbours and the community-at-large. It’s important to note that Summit Place provides more than just housing to 10 individuals; we have staff on site who offer various programs, including mental health and housing support to the tenants as well as the broader community.”

A key objective for the Provincial Government is to stimulate the development of affordable rental housing by the private, public and non-profit sectors. A priority is placed on developing rental housing for persons with disabilities, seniors and people who require supports 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 605,000 households living in existing social housing. In Newfoundland and Labrador, this represents some 12,250 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.

The HPS is a unique community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness by providing direct support and funding to 61 designated communities across Canada. The HPS provides structures and supports that help people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness achieve self-sufficiency and full participation in society.

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

Caroline Arsenault
Principal, Communications & Marketing
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
902-426-8127
cmarsena@cmhc.ca
Marian Ngo
Special Assistant, Communications
Office of Minister Finley
819-994-2482

Jade Mahoney
Co-ordinator
Community Mental Health Initiative
(709) 634-4117
cmhi.iac@gmail.com