SUMMERSIDE, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND--(Marketwire - Aug. 18, 2011) - The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), along with the Honourable Janice Sherry, Minister of Community Services, Seniors and Labour, celebrated today the start of construction of the Summerside Seniors Project, a local housing initiative for seniors.

Funding of approximately $4 million has been made available for the construction of a new 34-unit development for seniors through Canada's Economic Action Plan, the federal government's plan to stimulate the economy and create jobs during the global recession. The federal and provincial governments are contributing equally to an overall investment of $8.54 million under the amended Canada – Prince Edward Island Affordable Housing Agreement.

Canada's Economic Action Plan provides $400 million, over two years, to build new rental housing for low-income seniors. Overall, the Economic Action Plan includes $2 billion for the construction of new and the renovation of existing social housing, plus $2 billion in low-cost loans to municipalities for housing-related infrastructure.

"The Government of Canada is proud to have contributed to this project through Canada's Economic Action Plan," said Minister of State Alice Wong. "These new 34 units will provide quality, affordable housing for seniors, and benefit the economic and social well-being of the Summerside community."

"This state-of-the-art seniors' facility is a wonderful addition to the City of Summerside. The building will provide seniors with the services they need, while allowing them to maintain their independence in private one and two-bedroom apartments. Full accessibility will be attainable as twenty-five per cent of the units will offer residences barrier-free living," said Minister Sherry. "The provincially owned building represents the first building built by the province for seniors in nearly two decades."

The new seniors complex will be located in central Summerside within easy access to services. It will feature modern, energy efficient one- and two-bedroom apartments, including accessible and barrier-free units. This provincially built, owned and operated project will increase the number of subsidized seniors units in Summerside to over 175.

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 represented some $3 million in federal funding for Prince Edward Island. A new agreement signed in July 2011 by both orders of government implements P.E.I.'s allocation of the remaining three years of the $1.9 billion, which amounts to a further $4.4 million in federal funding for P.E.I. residents in housing need.

The Provincial Department of Community Services, Seniors and Labour is committed to helping seniors of Prince Edward Island reach their full potential. To this end, the Department operates housing units across the province for families, seniors and persons with disabilities who need help finding affordable, appropriate homes. The Seniors' Housing program supports housing units in 35 communities across the province. Islanders aged 60 and older are eligible for assistance. The Province partners with the Government of Canada to provide this assistance for many of these units.

To find out more about how the Government of Canada and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation are working to build stronger homes and communities for all Canadians, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 or visit

Contact Information:

Giselle Thibault
Communications, CMHC - Atlantic Region

Amber Nicholson
Senior Communications Officer
P.E.I. Dept. of Community Services, Seniors and Labour

Alyson Queen
Press Secretary
Office of Minister Finley