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Government of Canada helping those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Halifax

by NationTalk on September 10, 2009411 Views

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA, September 10, 2009—The Government of Canada is helping those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless build a stronger future for themselves.

The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, Minister for the Atlantic Gateway and Member of Parliament for Central Nova, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, today celebrated the opening of a 20-unit supportive housing structure in Halifax.“Our government is supporting Canadians with housing needs and fulfilling our commitment to help those who want to break free of the cycle of homelessness and poverty,” said Minister MacKay. “This investment by our government helps the Metro Non-Profit Housing Association assist individuals and families in need.”

The Homelessness Partnering Strategy has invested $1.9 million in this project to provide supportive housing for homeless persons with mental health and addiction challenges.

“These housing units with support are helping to fill a major gap in the housing continuum and will make it possible for individuals to move from transiency to stability,” said Ms. Carol Charlebois, Executive Director, Metro Non-Profit Housing Association.

In September 2008, the Government of Canada announced $1.9 billion over five years for housing and homelessness programs for low-income Canadians. This commitment provides the Government with the flexibility to work with the provinces and territories, municipalities and charitable organizations to develop ways to improve the effectiveness of federal spending in the area of housing and homelessness.

This ongoing funding will ensure that the Government can continue to assist those who need support, including homeless people and those at risk of homelessness—low-income Canadians, seniors, people with disabilities, recent immigrants and Aboriginal Canadians.

Canada’s Economic Action Plan is building on these investments by making an additional one-time investment of more than $2 billion over two years in new and existing social housing, and by making available up to $2 billion in loans to Canadian municipalities over two years for housing-related infrastructure improvements. To learn more about Canada’s Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca

The provision of safe and stable housing and related supports is an important element for addressing homelessness and helping individuals achieve greater self-sufficiency and improved quality of life. The Homelessness Partnering Strategy therefore places an emphasis on longer-term transitional and supportive housing through a housing-first approach to help people overcome homelessness.

For more information on the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, please visit www.hrsdc.gc.ca/homelessness

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This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

For further information (media only):

Michelle Bakos
Press Secretary
Office of Minister Finley
819-994-2482

National Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
819-994-5559

Backgrounder

The Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) is a unique community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness by providing direct support and funding to more than 60 communities across Canada. The HPS took effect April 1, 2007, with annual funding of $134.8 million for two years. Funding for housing and homelessness programs has been extended for another five years, until March 31, 2014.

Under the HPS, the Government of Canada is offering to work in partnership with all provinces and territories. Such partnerships would encourage better alignment of federal and provincial/territorial investments, and help provide a seamless continuum of support for homeless people and those at risk of homelessness.

The Homelessness Partnering Strategy uses a housing-first approach, recognizing that the first step is to provide individuals with transitional and supportive housing.

The HPS has seven funding streams:

Regionally Delivered:

1. Designated Communities
2. Outreach Communities
3. Aboriginal Communities

Nationally Delivered:

1. Federal Horizontal Pilot Projects
2. Homelessness Knowledge Development
3. Homeless Individuals and Families Information System
4. Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative

For more information on the Homelessness Partnering Strategy and the seven funding streams, please visit the following Web site:www.hrsdc.gc.ca/homelessness

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