The official opening of 140 new affordable housing units for low-income families, singles and seniors was held today in Richmond Hill. The Mackenzie Green project received $16.8 million in funding from the federal and provincial governments.
The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development); Reza Moridi, Ontario’s Minister of Research and Innovation and Member of Provincial Parliament for Richmond Hill, on behalf of the Honourable Linda Jeffrey, Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing; Bill Fisch, York Region Chairman and CEO; and Dave Barrow, Mayor of Richmond Hill, made the announcement.
“Our government is committed to helping vulnerable Canadians become self-sufficient and fully participate in our economy,” said Minister Bergen. “I’m pleased that this investment in Mackenzie Green will ensure that seniors and low income households benefit from affordable housing, which in turn supports the local economy and creates jobs. We are taking concrete action to create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity across Canada and right here in Richmond Hill.”
“Mackenzie Green is another example of how the Ontario government is committed to providing affordable housing options to people across the province,” said MPP Moridi. “This project has created a safe and stable community that offers residents a sense of dignity, pride and independence that is deserved by all Ontarians.”
“Improving social and health supports for residents in York Region, regardless of income level, is a priority,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch. “Strong communities are created when families have a safe and suitable place to call home. Mackenzie Green is a great example of the success that comes when all levels of government and community stakeholders work together towards a common goal.”
“In addition to providing additional and much needed rental supply, Mackenzie Green is York Region’s newest green building,” said Richmond Hill Mayor Dave Barrow. “It was built with locally manufactured building materials, has a state-of-the-art three stream recycling program, and has many energy and water conservation features.”
Mackenzie Green is located at 145 Essex Avenue in the heart of Richmond Hill. The building includes 38 one-bedroom units, 51 two-bedroom units, 47 three-bedroom units and four, four-bedroom units for a mix of families, singles and seniors. It is located within walking distance to schools and shopping with easy access to public transit. The federal and provincial governments are contributing to this overall investment through the Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program Agreement, which includes funding under Canada’s Economic Action Plan. The investment is complemented by $7.2 million in municipal financial incentives from the Regional Municipality of York.
Annually, the Government of Canada, through CMHC, invests approximately $2 billion in housing. Of this amount, $1.7 billion in federal funding is provided in support of close to 594,000 individuals and families living in existing social housing both on- and off-reserve. In Ontario, this represents an estimated 237,950 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. The commitment continues with Economic Action Plan 2013, which provides more than $1.25 billion over five years to renew the Investment in Affordable Housing. In the coming months, the Government will work with provinces and territories to confirm the implementation details of this investment.
Ontario continues to build new affordable housing and repair existing units for Ontarians with housing needs. Since 2003, Ontario’s funding commitment of nearly $3 billion is the largest affordable housing program in the province’s history. Ontario is supporting the creation of over 17,000 affordable rental housing units, making more than 263,000 repairs and improvements to social and affordable housing units, and providing rental down payment assistance to over 81,000 households in need. The province’s Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy sets a strong foundation for a more efficient, accessible affordable housing system in Ontario.
Affordable housing is a key component of Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. Consultations on a renewed Poverty Reduction Strategy are taking place this summer across the province and all Ontarians have the opportunity to host gatherings and submit feedback until October 4, 2013. To find out more about affordable housing in Ontario, visit www.ontario.ca/housing. For more information about affordable housing in the Regional Municipality of York, visit www.york.ca.
To find out more about how the Government of Canada and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation are working to build stronger homes and communities for all Canadians, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642.