Released December 21, 2009

The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister of Transportation and Works and Minister Responsible for Newfoundland Labrador Housing.

Six New Accessible Housing Units to Open in Stephenville

As Minister Responsible for Newfoundland Labrador Housing, I rise in this Honourable House today to advise the public of some very positive news.

By mid-January 2010, through Newfoundland Labrador Housing, the Stephenville area will have six brand new, and much needed, affordable rental homes for families and individuals. Last spring, Newfoundland Labrador Housing awarded a $783,000 contract to Whalen Enterprises Ltd. for the design and construction of three accessible duplexes on Wyoming Drive.

We have been eagerly anticipating the completion of this new project given that vacancy rates have been at an all-time low throughout the province of late. With the holiday season nearly upon us, this is a wonderful time to make this announcement.

The six new social housing dwellings replace homes that were lost during flooding in September 2005. One of the six units is fully accessible with three bedrooms, while five units are semi-accessible with 36 inch-wide doors, as opposed to the standard 32 inches. This is in keeping with the goals of the Provincial Social Housing Plan, to increase the availability of accessible social housing and individuals’ well-being by enabling persons with disabilities to live more independently and participate in community life.

The buildings are one-level dwellings with flushed, easy-access entrances. The project also includes significant exterior site landscaping such as reinstatement of sidewalks, curbs, gutters, pavement and roadways.

The two-bedroom design addresses the greatest current rental needs in the town, and in fact, most of our province. This project shows the long-term interest and commitment by the Provincial Government to continue revitalizing rural communities with adequate social housing opportunities.

As members would know, Newfoundland Labrador Housing is the province’s largest landlord with approximately 5,511 non-profit social housing dwellings province-wide, approximately 284 of those houses service the Stephenville regional area which includes communities as far south as Port aux Basques and Ramea.