Released November 10, 2010

New Social Housing Homes to Meet Needs of Two St. John’s Families

Two St. John’s families recently moved into new accessible homes built for them by Newfoundland Labrador Housing to meet the disability related needs of their children.

"I am so pleased that these two families have moved into their accessible homes," said the Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister of Transportation and Works and Minister Responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation. "Providing accessible housing removes barriers to participation in society, and we are pleased to support this important initiative."

The two single-storey homes, located on Linegar Avenue in the Shea Heights neighbourhood of St. John’s, were constructed with a $650,000 investment provided under the affordable Housing Trust Funds.

"I have personally known these two families for many years, and I know how delighted they are with their new homes," said Tom Osborne, MHA for St. John’s South. "Whether you are an individual with a disability, or you have a family member with a disability, having an accessible home – especially of this calibre – removes barriers to daily living."

One bungalow has five bedrooms, the other two. Both have fully accessible kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and living spaces. The five-bedroom bungalow has three accessible bedrooms and one of its two bathrooms is equipped with a roll-in shower. The smaller unit has two accessible bedrooms and one bathroom with a roll-in shower. Both houses are equipped with lowered kitchen cabinets and stove-tops, widened doors, ramps and lowered switches and thermostats to give individuals in a wheelchair more access and control of their living environment. The contract was recently completed by G.S. Hunt.

"I never thought it would be possible for my family to come to live in a home with so many accessibility options, however Newfoundland Labrador Housing made this dream come true for us," said tenant Gail O’Neill. "They made sure that we were involved in the process from the start so that what we required to make daily life a bit easier was accommodated."

"Project by project we are making significant gains in renovating and modernizing our affordable social housing portfolio throughout the province and where possible addressing the accessibility requirements of families with specific needs," said Minister Hedderson. "Quite a lot of planning went into the design of these units, including extensive consultations between our own engineering and tenant relations staff, the families and occupational therapists."

One of the objectives of the Provincial Social Housing Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador: Secure Foundations, released in August 2009, is to increase the supply of accessible housing; this project brings us closer to that goal.

In Budget 2010: The Right Investments – For Our Children and Our Future, the Provincial Government is investing $27 million for housing infrastructure projects, affordable housing and increased maintenance funding. Newfoundland Labrador Housing is the province’s largest landlord with approximately 5,511 non-profit social housing dwellings province-wide.

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Media contacts:

Roger Scaplen
Director of Communications
Department of Transportation and Works
709-729-3015, 697-5267 
Jenny Bowring
Manager, Communications
Newfoundland Labrador Housing