QUÉBEC CITY, QUÉBEC--(Marketwired - Feb. 18, 2014) - As a result of the combined efforts of the governments of Canada and Quebec, the City of Québec and their local partners, semi-independent seniors now have access to 46 affordable housing units adapted to their needs.

The second phase of the Coopérative de solidarité en habitation de l'ARC, the construction of which required a total investment of nearly $7.6 million, was officially opened today by the Jacques Gourde, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, for Official Languages and for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, and Member of Parliament for Lotbinière-Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, on behalf of the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development); André Villeneuve, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy, 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); and Régis Labeaume, Mayor of Québec.

The Government of Canada, through the Agreement for Investment in Affordable Housing 2011-2014, and the Government of Quebec, under the AccèsLogis Québec program of the SHQ, jointly invested over $3.1 million for the construction of these housing units. In addition, the SHQ has secured the mortgage loan taken out by the Coopérative de solidarité en habitation de l'ARC to complete the financing of the project. The community contributed a total of more than $941,000, including about $850,000 from the City of Québec and over $91,000 from Bureau de l'efficacité et de l'innovation énergétiques of the Ministère des Ressources naturelles to ensure that the building would meet the standards of the Novoclimat program.

"Our government is committed to working with the partners to develop and implement local solutions to housing. This investment is helping Quebeckers access safe and affordable housing that meets their needs," said PS Jacques Gourde.

"The co-operative model at the basis of the second phase of the Coopérative de solidarité en habitation de l'ARC allows seniors to get involved and help keep their community vibrant. In addition to enhancing the well-being of seniors, this housing complex blends in well with its environment, which reflects the Government of Quebec's vision of social and community housing development," said Parliamentary Assistant André Villeneuve.

Located in the borough of Charlesbourg, the second phase of the Coopérative de solidarité en habitation de l'ARC has 46 housing units on four storeys. The meal services and community space maintenance are ensured by the Coopérative de solidarité des services à domicile de Québec. This organization also offers companionship and home support for the tenants. The property is located a few steps away from the first phase, which comprises two buildings with a total of 48 affordable housing units for independent seniors.

"I want to salute the efforts made by the members of the Coopérative d'habitation de l'ARC for the development of this second phase. In a context where there are few vacant dwellings, it is important for the City to improve the housing conditions of seniors who have special needs and enable them to remain active and present in our community," said Mayor Régis Labeaume.

Nearly $396,000 in additional financial assistance over five years, assumed by the SHQ (90 per cent) and the City (10 per cent), enables 23 tenants of the second phase of the Coopérative de solidarité en habitation de l'ARC 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 600,000 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. Each year, thanks to its programs and many partners, the SHQ helps more than 230,000 Quebec households.

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:

Andrew McGrath
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of State (Social Development)
819 953-2350

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

David O'Brien
Communications Advisor
Quebec City
418 641-6210

Alexandra Pare
Communications Advisor
Societe d'habitation du Quebec
418 643-4035, ext. 1297

Monique LaPlante
CMHC, Quebec Region
514 283-3679