GATINEAU, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 2, 2011) - Note to editors: A photo is associated with this press release.

The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC); Maryse Gaudreault, Member of the National Assembly (MNA) for Hull and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of International Relations, on behalf of Laurent Lessard, Minister of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy and Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food; and Marc Bureau, Mayor of the City of Gatineau, are pleased to mark the official opening of the residence Mon Chez Nous (Projet du Ruisseau), which provides six housing units for vulnerable people experiencing social exclusion and isolation problems and to which the governments of Canada and Quebec jointly contributed an amount of more than $396,000. The development of this great initiative required a total investment of over $1 million.

In addition to the Government of Canada, through the Affordable Housing Initiative Program Extension Agreement, and the Government of Quebec, under the AccèsLogis Québec program of the Société d'habitation du Québec (SHQ), the City of Gatineau contributed $120,000.

"Our government is dedicated to giving a hand-up to those in need, which is why we are proud to have invested in this project here in Gatineau," said Minister Cannon. "These new units are more than just safe and affordable places to live. They will be the key to a better life for the residents who will call them home."

"The residence Mon Chez Nous Projet du Ruisseau is a great example of what can be achieved when the community comes together, and it is perfectly natural for our government to support this initiative that will provide people going through difficult times with a safe and pleasant place where they will get all the help they need. This commitment demonstrates the importance that we attach to ensuring the wellness of Quebec's citizens, especially those experiencing difficulties. Thanks to all the partners who contributed to this success," said MNA Maryse Gaudreault, in the presence of Marc Bureau, Mayor of the City of Gatineau, Benoit Fortin, Chair of the Board of Directors of Mon Chez Nous, and community partners.

"The City of Gatineau is proud to have contributed to the development of these housing units, all the more so since this is very first project delivered by Gatineau as an agent city for the AccèsLogis Québec program. Thanks to the collaboration of many partners, today we can provide some vulnerable people with quality, affordable dwellings that meet universal design principles. This project is a great success for everyone," said Marc Bureau, Mayor of the City of Gatineau.

It should be noted that all the tenants of the residence can benefit from the Rent Supplement program, which provides financial assistance to low-income individuals who would otherwise have to spend more than 25 per cent of their income on housing. The rent supplements provided will represent, over a five-year period, more than $94,000 in additional financial assistance, including some $84,000 from the SHQ and over $9,000 from the City of Gatineau.

The Agence de l'efficacité énergétique du Québec has committed to supporting the project with a grant of more than $10,000 to ensure that the building meets the Novoclimat standard. The SHQ is giving particular attention to energy efficiency. In fact, since June 1, 2010, all projects developed under the AccèsLogis Québec program must be designed so as to obtain the Novoclimat certification.

In 2008, the Government of Canada committed more than $1.9 billion over five years for housing and homelessness programs. This investment extended the Affordable Housing Initiative and the renovation programs for low-income households. Canada's Economic Action Plan also provides for an investment of more than $2 billion in new and existing social housing. For Quebec, these combined contributions mean an additional joint investment of more than $820 million under the Agreement concerning certain residential renovation and adaptation programs, as well as the Affordable Housing Initiative Program Extension Agreement, which includes $538 million for Canada's Economic Action Plan.

In addition, Canada's Economic Action Plan provides for up to $2 billion in funds to municipalities for housing-related infrastructure.

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 For more information on Canada's Economic Action Plan, call 1­800-O Canada or visit

In the 2010/2011 budget, the Government of Quebec announced that it intends to build an additional 3,000 community housing units, bringing to 30,000 units its objective of producing new affordable social housing in Quebec. This represents an additional contribution of $210 million under the AccèsLogis Québec program, and brings to $1.3 billion the total assistance provided since 2003.

Since 2003, more than 1,040 community housing units have been, or are being, developed in the Outaouais region, including 97 in the riding of Hull, representing total investments of more than $125 million by the governments and their partners.

The SHQ's mission is to facilitate citizens' access to appropriate housing conditions. For more information on this agency's programs and services, visit

The photo associated with this press release is available at the following address:

Contact Information: Sources:
Office of the Minister of Municipal Affairs,
Regions and Land Occupancy
Sylvain Bourassa, Press Secretary
Office of Minister Finley
Michelle Bakos
City of Gatineau
Office of the Mayor
Martin Potvin, Press Secretary
819-243-2345, ext.: 7177
Societe d'habitation du Quebec
Francois Simard
Communications Advisor
418-643-4035, ext. 1341
Sophie Dupuis
Communications, CMHC
Quebec Region