NORTH BATTLEFORD, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwired - Dec. 6, 2013) - The Government of Canada and the Province of Saskatchewan, along with the City of North Battleford, marked the start of construction of a new housing development that will assist homeless Aboriginal adults with complex needs. The project will consist of eight bachelor-style apartments located at 1322 - 103rd Street in North Battleford.

The Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food; along with Member of the Legislative Assembly for The Battlefords, Herb Cox on behalf of the Honourable June Draude, Minister of Social Services and Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation and His Worship Ian Hamilton, Mayor of the City of North Battleford, made the announcement today.

"Through investments in affordable housing, our Government is providing assistance to those who need it most here in Saskatchewan and in all corners of the country," said Minister Ritz. "We are committed to making communities stronger through projects like these. 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."

"Our government is pleased to work with the Government of Canada and the City of North Battleford to provide affordable housing for eight individuals in need and to help them achieve greater independence," said MLA Cox. "An overarching goal of the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth is to ensure that we are meeting the challenges of a growing province. I am pleased that this project will help North Battleford to meet that goal."

"This project will help meet an identified need for rental housing units in our community," said Mayor Ian Hamilton. "We are appreciative of the partnership between the federal and provincial governments and the Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs to see this project come to fruition."

The approximate total capital cost is $954,000. The federal and provincial governments are jointly contributing $425,000 under the Canada-Saskatchewan Investment in Affordable Housing 2011-2014 Agreement and Employment and Social Development Canada is contributing $474,000 under the Homelessness Partnering Strategy. The City of North Battleford and Battleford Agency Tribal Chiefs Inc. provide the remaining capital cost. The two-storey building will contain eight transitional housing units. Each apartment will average 320 square feet (29.7 square meters) with separate entrance, a built-in kitchen and a private bathroom. The building will be located near amenities and support services. The project is estimated to be completed in March 2014.

Part of this funding comes as a result of the $55 million Canada-Saskatchewan Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH) 2011-2014 Agreement. Under the agreement, the Province of Saskatchewan will use the funds to create new and renovate existing affordable housing for households in need.

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 Saskatchewan, this represents an estimated 28,000 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.

In October 2012, the Government of Saskatchewan released the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth: Vision 2020 and Beyond, which sets out the Government's vision for a province of 1.2 million people by 2020. The Plan identifies principles, goals and actions to ensure Saskatchewan is capturing the opportunities and meeting the challenges of a growing province. Under the Plan, the province has invested $344 million to help create 12,600 new housing units and repair or upgrade approximately 24,000 more housing units around the province.

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

Contact Information:

Andrew McGrath
A/Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of State
(Social Development)

Linda Saliken
Communications, Saskatchewan Ministry of Social Services

Young Ong