The governments of Canada, British Columbia and Kelowna, along with community partners, gathered today to celebrate the official opening of Tutt Street Place, a new $10.1-million supportive housing development in Kelowna. The new building has 39 apartments with integrated support services to help women and women with children who are homeless, at risk of homelessness or who have proven financial need.
"Our government is proud to have been a partner in the development of this project - one that will have a lasting impact on this community," said Ron Cannan, MP for Kelowna-Lake Country, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). "The opening of Tutt Street Place means that more women and children will have a safe, supportive place to live, as well as the help they need to begin a new chapter in their lives."
"Tutt Street Place combines housing security with the support residents need to make positive changes for themselves and their families," said Steve Thomson, MLA for Kelowna-Mission. "This is more than a building. Women who come here have the courage and commitment to work towards a new path in life. They are why we are here and why this development is so important."
Through an amendment to the Canada-British Columbia Affordable Housing Agreement, the federal government contributed almost $2.9 million to support the construction of Tutt Street Place. The Province of British Columbia provided $6.2 million and will also provide almost $300,000 in annual operational funding. The City of Kelowna provided a land lease reduction of $550,000 as well as levy reductions of close to $300,000. Additional contributions to the project were provided by community partners, including the Real Estate Foundation of BC, Connection Drug Rehabilitation Society in Vancouver, and New Opportunities for Women (NOW) Canada Society.
"Kelowna, like many cities in our province, is facing the challenge of homelessness head on," said Mayor Sharon Shepherd, City of Kelowna. "I'm so pleased to see Tutt Street Place open and already helping some of the most vulnerable citizens in our city. It's only when all partners work together that we can make a difference in our community."
"Tutt Street Place offers women and children a safe and supportive environment where they can live healthy and fulfilling lives," said Liz Talbott, executive director of NOW Canada Society. "It's a wonderful community that's developing in this building - it's truly a home and not just a place to live."
"At the Real Estate Foundation of BC, we believe that affordable housing is a key piece of a sustainable community," said Jack Wong, Real Estate Foundation CEO. "We are pleased that Tutt Street Place will make a difference in people's lives by providing a safe, affordable place to call home."
In 2008, the Government of Canada committed more than $1.9 billion over five years to improve and build new affordable housing and to help the homeless. As part of this investment, the Affordable Housing Initiative and the federal renovation programs for low-income households were extended for two years, which represents some $60 million in federal funding for B.C.
Canada's Economic Action Plan builds on this with an additional one-time investment of more than $2 billion over two years for the construction of new and the renovation of existing social housing. For B.C., this represents a further $150 million. The Action Plan also provides up to $2 billion in low-cost loans to municipalities for housing-related infrastructure.
Tutt Street Place is part of an overall $14-billion capital infrastructure program supported by the Province that will create up to 88,000 jobs and help build public infrastructure in every region of B.C. Increasing affordable housing, reducing homelessness and helping those who cannot help themselves is a key agenda for the Province of British Columbia. Through the provincial housing strategy, Housing Matters BC, the Province is addressing a range of housing needs, from homelessness to affordable rental housing and home ownership.
CMHC has been Canada's national housing agency for more than 65 years. CMHC is committed to helping Canadians access a wide choice of quality, environmentally sustainable, affordable housing solutions, while making vibrant, healthy communities and cities a reality across the country.
More information on Canada's Economic Action Plan, the federal government's plan to stimulate the economy and protect those hit hardest by the global recession, can be found at www.actionplan.gc.ca. 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.ca/housingactionplan.
Over the last decade, the Province has invested $2.8 billion to provide affordable housing for low income individuals, seniors and families. This year, more than 93,000 B.C. households will benefit from provincial social housing programs and services.
Visit www.bchousing.org to learn more about provincial programs and services to address homelessness.
A backgrounder follows.
Media Relations CMHC BC Region
City of Kelowna
Office of Minister Finley
Tutt Street Place
Tutt Street Place, located at 2970 Tutt Street in Kelowna, will provide 39 apartments with integrated support services to help women and women with children who are homeless or at risk of homelessness or who have a proven financial need.
The development provides 24 one-bedroom, 12 two-bedroom and three three-bedroom apartments for women and women with children. Four suites are wheelchair accessible. The four-storey building includes space for support services, and is designed and built to LEED Gold standards.
This building is the second of three supportive housing developments to open under an agreement between the Province and City of Kelowna. Willowbridge, located at 330 Boyce Crescent, opened in August 2010 and provides 40 apartments of short-term housing with support services for people who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. The third development, New Gate Apartments, is under construction and will open in early 2012.
Tutt Street Place is managed and operated by New Opportunities for Women (NOW) Canada Society, who also used their own equity to build office and program space within the development. This space allows NOW Canada to run their operations on-site, while also offering life skills training, job training and counselling to their clients living in Tutt Street Place and to the broader community.
Partners and Funding:
- The total capital cost of this development is $10,123,725.
- The Government of Canada provided $2,895,750 through the two-year extension of the Affordable Housing Initiative.
- The Province provided a Provincial Infrastructure Grant of $6,210,986.
- The City of Kelowna provided a land lease reduction of $550,000 as well as levy reductions of $298,404.
- Connection Drug Rehabilitation Society provided $50,000.
- The Real Estate Foundation of BC provided $100,000.
- NOW Canada provided equity of $18,585.
- The Province will provide $292,500 in annual operational funding.
Since 1998, NOW Canada has been providing programs, services and ongoing support to women, youth and children who have experienced addictions, mental health challenges and have suffered from abuse. The society also provides emergency shelter as well as transitional housing and affordable, supportive living for women, with and without children, who have a proven financial need.
THE REAL ESTATE FOUNDATION OF BC
The Real Estate Foundation of BC works to advance knowledge and practices leading to more sustainable real estate and land use through a variety of initiatives, including its grants program. Since 1988, the Foundation has approved over $58 million in grants for non-profit projects in communities throughout British Columbia.
Media Relations CMHC BC Region
City of Kelowna
Office of Minister Finley