CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Oct. 15, 2013) - The Governments of Canada and Alberta, along with Bethany Care Society, celebrated the official opening of Mikkelsen House today. The complex consists of 139 affordable housing suites for low-income seniors. Fifteen of the 139 affordable suites are barrier free, 74 are bachelor, 39 are one-bedroom and 11 are two-bedroom.
Rob Anders, Member of Parliament for Calgary West, on behalf of the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development), along with Wayne Cao, Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Calgary - Fort, attended the opening today.
"Our Government remains committed to helping seniors in Calgary and throughout the country. Projects like this one are providing safe, affordable housing to many residents in our community while creating jobs and stimulating our economy," said MP Anders. "We remain focused on four priorities, as outlined by the Prime Minister, that Canadians care about most: their families, the safety of our streets and communities, their pride in being a citizen of this country, and of course, their personal financial security."
"By working with our partners on projects like Mikkelsen House, we are building Alberta and strong communities where seniors can continue to live independently," said Wayne Cao, MLA for Calgary-Fort. "Looking ahead, our government is very excited about future plans for Mikkelsen House to meet the needs of even more seniors in southeast Calgary."
"Our vision is to create an integrated aging-in-place community on the expansive Riverview Village site," said Greer Black, President and CEO of Bethany Care Society. "This begins with independent living in the existing buildings and Mikkelsen House. We also have future plans for the development of supportive living and long term care programs. The location in the southeast community of Dover is ideal, as it is close to the heart of the city, with ready access to transportation, shopping and a range of amenities."
Approximately $18.4 million was invested in Mikkelsen House. The Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta jointly contributed more than $5.8 million through Canada's Economic Action Plan - Housing for Low-Income Seniors for 46 of the 139 units. In addition, more than $12.6 million was granted by the Province of Alberta through the Housing Capital Initiatives Grant Program.
Annually, the Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), will invest approximately $2 billion in housing. Of this amount, $1.7 billion will be spent in support of close to 594,000 households living in existing social housing. In Alberta, this represents an estimated 37,250 households. The remaining funding supports housing-related activities and affordable housing programs, including the Investment in Affordable Housing. These investments are improving the quality of life for low-income Canadians and households living in existing social housing, including individuals who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness, seniors, persons with disabilities, recent immigrants and Aboriginal people. Economic Action Plan 2013 continues this commitment with a federal investment of more than $1.25 billion over five years to renew the Investment in Affordable Housing to 2019. The Government of Canada will ensure that funds provided to provinces and territories support the use of apprentices, which will support training of skilled labour. More than 146,769 households across Canada are no longer in housing need as a result of funding provided under the IAH from April 1, 2011 to June 30, 2013.
Through partnerships with federal and municipal governments, community groups, and the non-profit and private sectors, Alberta has made great strides to increase the supply of affordable housing across the province. Since 2007, the Government of Alberta has supported the development of 12,000 affordable housing units for homeless and lower-income Albertans through capital grant funding in 62 communities. The province celebrated achieving and exceeding its original goal of 11,000 units by 2012 in September. For more information on Alberta's housing support, visit www.municipalaffairs.gov.ab.ca/housing.cfm.
Since the very first community was created in 1945, Bethany has been providing housing, health and support services that honour Alberta seniors and adults with disabilities. We live, work, play and raise our families in the communities we serve in southern and central Alberta.
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-schl.gc.ca.