MONTRÉAL, QUÉBEC--(Marketwired - May 24, 2013) - As a result of the combined efforts of the governments of Canada and Quebec, the City of Montréal and their local partners, women experiencing difficulties now have access to 31 affordable housing units.

The Maison Ontario, the construction of which required a total investment of more than $5.2 million, was celebrated today by the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry, Minister of State (Agriculture) and Member of Parliament for Mégantic-L'Érable, 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 ceremony took place in the presence of Carole Poirier, Member of the National Assembly (MNA) for Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, on behalf of Sylvain Gaudreault, Minister of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy, Minister of Transport and Minister responsible for the Société d'habitation du Québec (SHQ).

The Government of Canada, through the Affordable Housing Initiative Program Extension Agreement, and the Government of Quebec, under the AccèsLogis Québec program of the SHQ, jointly invested nearly $2.5 million in the construction of this project. In addition, the SHQ has secured the mortgage loan taken out by the Réseau Habitation Femmes de Montréal to complete the financing of the project. The City of Montréal, for its part, invested over $611,000 in this project, an amount repaid by the Montréal Metropolitan Community (MMC) out of the social housing fund to which the 82 municipalities on its territory contribute, including the City of Montréal, which provides almost half of the funding. It should also be mentioned that the project also received an additional grant of more than $9,000 under the Renovation Québec program of the SHQ.

"The Government of Canada is helping to make affordable housing available in Quebec and across the country for those who need it the most. These 31 new units in Montréal will enable women in need to find safe and affordable housing and build a better future for themselves. Our government remains focused on four priorities, as outlined by the Prime Minister, that Canadians care most about: their families, the safety of our streets and communities, their pride in being citizens of this country and, of course, their personal financial security," said Minister Paradis.

"Our government is proud to support this community initiative that provides a safe and affordable living environment to women in need. The Maison Ontario is an oasis where women can regain control of their lives, forge new social ties and recover the confidence and dignity they need to achieve personal growth," said MNA Carole Poirier.

The Maison Ontario is intended for women in difficulty who, after a stay in a transitional home or shelter, are now ready to live in a dwelling independently, while benefiting from community support. The tenants of the 31 units of the Maison Ontario can then benefit from the support services offered by the organization Réseau Habitation Femmes de Montréal.

"It is with the development of projects like the Maison Ontario that we are collectively better equipped to address the issue of homelessness. The construction of these 31 new units contributed to achieving the objectives we set ourselves in terms of housing that meets the needs of vulnerable people at risk of homelessness," said Mayor Applebaum.

Nearly $534,000 in additional financial assistance over five years, assumed by the SHQ (90 per cent) and the City of Montréal (10 per cent) and repaid by the MMC, enables all the tenants of the Maison Ontario to benefit from the Rent Supplement program, ensuring that they will not pay more than 25 per cent of their income on housing.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

The Government of Canada, through CMHC, will invest approximately $2 billion in housing this year. Of this amount, $1.7 billion will be spent in support of almost 594,000 households living in social housing. In Quebec, this represents some 127,150 households. These investments are improving the quality of life for low-income Canadians and households living in social housing, including individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, seniors, persons with disabilities, recent immigrants and Aboriginal people.

To find out more about how CMHC is working to build stronger homes and communities for all Canadians, call CMHC at 1 800 668-2642 or visit www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca.

Société d'habitation du Québec

The SHQ's mission is to facilitate citizens' access to appropriate housing conditions. Housing constitutes a structured response to numerous challenges and needs of Quebec society. Whether by helping to preserve the health of families and seniors, by addressing poverty, social exclusion and homelessness or by revitalizing neighbourhoods and regions, the Société d'habitation du Québec contributes to improving the quality of life of 230,000 households each year. The SHQ also supports job creation and the economic development of all regions of Quebec. That's why the Government of Quebec announced, in its latest budget, total funding of $231 million for the construction of 3,000 affordable housing units over the coming years.

For more information on the programs and services offered by the SHQ, visit www.habitation.gouv.qc.ca/english.html. You may also visit Espace Habitat, the SHQ's Web magazine (in French only) that features, among other things, the benefits of this agency's initiatives on all of Quebec society.

Contact Information:

Sources:
Marie-Eve Imonti
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Municipal Affairs,
Regions and Land Occupancy and Minister of Transport
418 691-2050

Jan O'Driscoll
Press Secretary
Office of Minister Finley
819 994-2482

Sarah Shirley
Office of the Mayor and the Executive Committee
City of Montreal
514 872-5628

Information:
Alexandra Pare
Communications Advisor
Societe d'habitation du Quebec
418 643-4035, ext.: 1297
alexandra.pare@shq.gouv.qc.ca

Monique LaPlante
Communications
CMHC, Quebec Region
514 283-3679

Francois Goneau
Communications
City of Montreal
514 868-5859