Community organizations get almost $3M for housing from province

Seniors, the Indigenous community, Islanders facing homelessness and those with physical and intellectual disabilities will receive almost $3 million for shelter, the province announced Friday morning at a news conference in Charlottetown.

The money will flow through the Community Housing Fund, which is a partnership between the Canadian Mental Health Association and the province's Department of Social Development and Housing.

"We are very pleased to partner with the province in this major investment for Islanders in need," said Matt Younker, president of the Canadian Mental Health Association on P.E.I., in the release.

"Each of these projects will have a positive impact in their respective communities by providing affordable housing for vulnerable populations and to those that require increased support." 

"We must be open to ideas and consider a variety of housing solutions that help support safe, affordable, accessible housing," said Minister of Housing Ernie Hudson. 

The organizations receiving funding are:

  • Parkdale Sherwood Lions Club $750,000.
  • Inclusions East $587,019.
  • Cymbria Lions Club $541,656.
  • Harbourview Training Centre $420,925.
  • Queens Country Residential Services $398,800.
  • Harvest House $55,000.
  • P.E.I. Council of People with Disabilities $50,000.
  • Town of Stratford $50,000.
  • Native Council of P.E.I. $50,000.
  • Blooming House Women's Shelter $25,000.

More affordable housing

A number of things are considered when the Canadian Mental Health Association and government try to determine who gets funding, and how much of it. 

"You want to look at, you know, the needs of the different groups that we're trying to deal with whether it be seniors, whether it be individuals with physical or intellectual disabilities," said John Horrelt, a board member for the association. 

Horrelt said they tried to take a regional approach with the funding. 

Travis Kingdon/CBC

"The urban areas because they are centralized, they're larger … they're always going to get the first look," he said. "Because that's obviously where the most need would be. But that doesn't negate or mean that there's no need in the rural areas."  

The release said the Lions Club in the Parkdale Sherwood area of Charlottetown plans to build 32 affordable housing units in Sherwood for seniors, that will include 26 one-bedroom and six two-bedroom units.

A majority of the money the Lions Club in Parkdale is getting will go toward paying the mortgage on the new building. 

"If you're building an affordable housing unit, the biggest cost of course over the long term is the mortgage. And so these projects allow you to have a rent level that's affordable but also then able to afford the mortgage payments," said Barry Stewart, with the Parkdale Sherwood Lions Club. 

The club expects construction will start on the new building in 2021.

Inclusions East plans to build a new independent living apartment complex in Montague, including eight one-bedroom units and one three-bedroom unit, the release said. 

The Cymbria Lions Club will spend more than $541,000 to build a 12-unit affordable housing development for seniors in South Rustic, on land next to the Lions Club Community Centre. 

Harbourview Training Centre in Souris, which supports Islanders with intellectual disabilities, will spend more than $420,000 to build supportive housing for 10 to 12 people with intellectual disabilities, the release said. 

Queens County Residential Services, a non-profit that provides day programming, employment supports, respite care and residential services for Islanders with intellectual disabilities, will receive almost $400,000 toward building a new accessible home for six residents, as well as one respite unit. 

Travis Kingdon/CBC

Harvest House, which operates an outreach centre in Charlottetown for Islanders struggling with addictions and other problems, plans to spend $55,000 to renovate is second floor into transitional housing for homeless men, in collaboration with Bedford MacDonald House shelter in the city. 

The P.E.I. Council of People with Disabilities said it plans to spend $50,000 on pre-construction research and design for affordable mini-homes and a training facility for carpentry, in partnership with the Atlantic Canada Regional Council of Carpenters, Millwrights and Allied Workers. 

The Town of Stratford will put $50,000 toward a study on land use planning and housing to be carried out jointly with Cornwall and Charlottetown. 

The Native Council will spend $50,000 of developing plans for a 20-unit temporary housing facility for members of the off-reserve Indigenous community

Blooming House women's shelter in Charlottetown will expand services and develop a five-year plan with its $25,000, the release said.

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