Released May 20, 2009

More Affordable Housing Being Made Available in St. John's

Eastern Gate Manor, a 12-unit affordable housing project owned and operated by Eastern Gate Church in St. John’s, officially opened its doors today. The project has received a total of $1.2 million in funding under the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Affordable Housing Program, which is cost-shared – 50/50, between both levels of government. The proponent also received seed funding of $20,000 directly from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to assist during the initial planning stages. The total cost of the building is $1.5 million, with the proponent covering the remaining costs.

Senator Ethel Cochrane, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Minister Responsible for CMHC, and the Honourable Trevor Taylor, Minister of Transportation and Works and Minister Responsible for Newfoundland Labrador Housing (Housing), made the announcement today.

The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, was unable to attend the opening, however, offered his congratulations to the Eastern Gate Church.

"The Government of Canada is committed to making affordable housing available in Newfoundland and Labrador and across Canada for those who need it most," said Senator Cochrane. "These new units in St. John’s provide seniors access to suitable, affordable housing that meets their specific needs."

"I’m honoured to be here today to participate in this exciting event," said Minister Taylor. "Through the commitment and continued efforts of all levels of government and the solid partnerships we’ve developed in the private and non-profit sectors, we will be able to continue increasing the supply of affordable housing available to the people of our province for many years to come."

The Eastern Gate Church made a submission for this project to Newfoundland Labrador Housing under the Province’s 2006 proposal call for non-profit sector development and operation of affordable rental housing to benefit low-to-moderate income households. This development consists of 12 two-bedroom units, two of which are fully accessible.

"Today’s announcement is good news for St. John’s," said Minister MacKay. "This significant investment will help to build brighter futures for the residents of St. John’s who are in need of suitable, affordable housing."

"I’m very happy to see this new housing development open here today," said Bob Ridgley, MHA, St. John’s North. "It will provide more rental options for low-income households, who may find it difficult to find housing with the current low vacancy rates within the area."

"This project has been exciting from start to finish," said Gordon Young, Pastor of Eastern Gate Church. "Many of our tenants will realize the dream of having a safe, comfortable place to call their own, and be able to build a stronger more secure future for themselves."

In Budget 2009, the Provincial Government allocated $14.55 million for building, renovating, and retro-fitting social housing infrastructure throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.

Since 2003, the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Affordable Housing Program Agreement has invested over $40 million in the creation of affordable housing units in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Last fall, the Government of Canada committed more than $1.9 billion over the next five years to improve and build new affordable housing and to help the homeless. Canada's Economic Action Plan builds on this with an additional one-time investment of more than $2 billion over two years in new and existing social housing and lending of up to another $2 billion to municipalities for housing-related infrastructure.

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Media contacts:

David Salter
Director of Communications
Department of Transportation and Works
709-729-3015, 699-7903

Jenny Bowring
Communications Manager
Newfoundland Labrador Housing

Michelle Bakos
Press Secretary, Office of Minister Finley
Dawn L. Ring
Consultant-Communications and Marketing
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation