Salt Spring Island – New affordable housing for seniors and transitional housing for women is now available on Salt Spring Island thanks to a partnership with the governments of Canada and British Columbia along with community partners.
“Our Government is committed to supporting women and children in need of a safe place during crisis situations,” said the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development. “By investing in The Cedars, we are helping to make an important difference in the lives of women who are trying to build a better future for themselves and their families.”
“To help women escape abusive relationships we first need to make sure that they have somewhere safe to go, somewhere they feel secure,” said Rich Coleman, Minister Responsible for Housing. “Our government makes it a priority to help those in greatest need. This development will provide women with safe, affordable housing and access to the supports they need to regain their independence and build a new life.”
The governments of Canada and B.C. provided a combined investment of $280,000 through the Federal-Provincial Housing initiative, under the Canada-B.C. Investment in Affordable Housing 2011-2014 Agreement. In addition, the Government of B.C. arranged financing of $382,830 and Salt Spring Island Abbeyfield Housing Society and Island Women Against Violence Society provided cash equity of $309,500 which includes private donations. The Capital Regional District provided $165,000 through their Housing Trust Fund. Salt Spring Lion’s Club provided a forgivable loan of $150,000 and Salt Spring Island Foundation provided a $40,000 grant, in addition to $18,100 provided through in-kind contributions.
“The Capital Regional District is proud to support this project by providing $165,000 through our Housing Trust Fund,” said Paul Gerrard, chair of the Regional Housing Trust Fund, Capital Regional District. “The availability of affordable housing is a key priority for us and the development of buildings like The Cedars is important for our region to address this need.”
The Cedars offers seven units of transitional housing for women with or without children, three-bedrooms of affordable housing for senior women and one unit for an on-site resident manager who provides support to tenants. This development is co-owned and operated by Salt Spring Island Abbeyfield Housing Society and Island Women Against Violence Society.
“This project wouldn’t be a reality without the support from our volunteers, community, governments and our partnership with Island Women Against Violence Society. We are thrilled to be able to provide affordable housing for senior women at this beautiful location,” said Olive Mann, president, Salt Spring Island Abbeyfield Housing Society.”
“The lack of affordable housing is a significant concern for many on Salt Spring Island and the Southern Gulf Islands, but is particularly critical for the more vulnerable members of our community,” said Dana Peace, executive director, Island Women Against Violence Society. “This project not only allows us to fill a critical gap in our continuum of supports and services, it is also a model of the two societies’ common goal to develop and provide affordable, and supported housing options. This is an exciting opportunity for our community.”
The Federal-Provincial Housing initiative is a component of the $180 million Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH) 2011-2014 Agreement between the governments of Canada and British Columbia, which was announced in July 2011. With matching contributions of $90 million from both levels of government, this total combined investment helps to support affordable housing programs for B.C. residents.
Annually, the Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), will invest approximately $2 billion in housing. Of this amount, $1.7 billion will be spent in support of close to 594,000 households living in existing social housing. In British Columbia, this represents an estimated 68,050 households. The remaining funding supports housing-related activities and affordable housing programs, including the Investment in Affordable Housing.
These investments are improving the quality of life for low-income Canadians 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.
Economic Action Plan 2013 continues this commitment with a federal investment of more than $1.25 billion over five years to renew the Investment in Affordable Housing to 2019. The Government of Canada will ensure that funds provided to provinces and territories support the use of apprentices, which will support training of skilled labour. More than 146,769 households across Canada are no longer in housing need as a result of funding provided under the IAH from April 1, 2011 to June 30, 2013.
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-schl.gc.ca
Since 2001, the Government of B.C. has invested $3.6 billion to provide affordable housing for low-income individuals, seniors and families. This year, more than 98,000 B.C. households will benefit from a diverse range of provincial housing programs and services. To find out more, visit: www.bchousing.org
A backgrounder follows.
A/Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of State (Social Development)
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect