Released on September 21, 2020
The Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan are working together to deliver more affordable housing solutions for households in greatest need, with a combined investment of more than $4.3 million for six housing projects in four Saskatchewan communities.
This investment includes $522,000 for renovations to 144 units across all six Embassy Gardens buildings in Saskatoon. Upon completion, Embassy Gardens will provide a desirable, safe and affordable place to live for low-income families.
One of the buildings, leased by EGADZ for their Fusion 22 housing partnership, is specifically designated for vulnerable youth and their children, and provides them the opportunity to build a better future.
Additional housing initiatives include:
- $225,000 toward a new home through the Trades Training project in Ile-a-la-Crosse – a win-win because house construction projects are unique ways of attracting northern youth to vocations in the building trades, as well as providing affordable housing for northern families;
- $875,000 to construct 12 units of housing to professionals working in healthcare and education in La Loche;
- $645,376 to Methy Single Parent Housing Phase V in La Loche to provide six units of affordable housing to single-parent families;
- $775,000 to Meadow Lake Native Urban Housing to develop four units of affordable housing to vulnerable families through the KidsFirst Housing Project; and
- $1.33 million to the Meadow Lake Tribal Council to reopen the Wakoosis Safe Shelter, six bedrooms of emergency shelter for women and children fleeing domestic violence.
Social Services Minister and Minister Responsible for the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation (SHC) Paul Merriman, and EGADZ Executive Director Don Meikle, made the announcements today.
“Every Canadian deserves a home that meets their needs and they can afford,” said Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. “Today’s announcement under the National Housing Strategy ensures more Saskatchewan residents will have homes that are suitable for their family’s needs and helps build more inclusive communities where Canadians can build and thrive.”
“Today’s announcements are part of our commitment to work with the federal government on the National Housing Strategy to provide safe and affordable housing to Saskatchewan people,” Merriman said. “We are pleased to support EGADZ’s vital mission to help vulnerable children, youth and their families improve their quality of life, which includes having access to safe, affordable housing. These initiatives are wonderful examples of partnerships in action to help Saskatchewan families find a place to call home and focus on their future.”
“Our partnership with the Saskatoon Housing Authority allows us to provide our Fusion 22 residents the opportunity to not only learn a trade but to move away from reliance on government assistance toward hope and independence while providing for their families,” EGADZ Executive Director Don Meikle said. “Our young moms and dads gain skills that will help them move forward in their lives.”
- Significant renovations will be conducted on the decks and cedar shakes of all six Embassy Gardens buildings. Construction began in Summer 2020, and is estimated to be completed by Spring 2021.
- The Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and the Government of Saskatchewan, through Saskatchewan Housing Corporation (SHC), are jointly contributing $522,000 to renovate these 144 units through the National Housing Strategy’s Canada Community Housing Initiative.
- The Saskatoon Downtown Youth Centre Inc. (commonly referred to as EGADZ) leased a 24-unit building from Embassy Gardens, consisting of 22 rental suites and two office spaces. With a partnership with the Saskatoon Housing Authority (SHA), EGADZ provides their tenants the opportunity to gain trades experience by performing maintenance tasks around the building, administered through their Action to Employment program.
- EGADZ was contracted to work on replacing the bottom decks of five buildings, and replacing existing derelict cedar shakes with cement boards on all six buildings of Embassy Gardens. All the work in the project will be a part of EGADZ’s Action to Employment program.
- The Government of Canada is currently rolling out its National Housing Strategy (NHS), an ambitious 10-year, $55 billion plan that will create 125,000 new housing units and lift 530,000 families out of housing need, as well as repair and renew more than 300,000 housing units and reduce chronic homelessness by 50 per cent.
- EGADZ is a nationally and internationally recognized social innovator, and won Saskatchewan’s first Governor General’s Award for Innovation in 2019. They offer several programs and services to Saskatoon’s children, youth and their families to improve their quality of life, including street outreach, housing, education and employment support and parenting programming. To learn more about EGADZ, visit www.egadz.ca.
- As Canada's authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. CMHC’s aim is that by 2030, everyone in Canada has a home they can afford, and that meets their needs. For more information, please visit www.cmhc.ca or follow us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook. To find out more about the National Housing Strategy, visit www.placetocallhome.ca.
- Pursuant to the National Housing Strategy, the Canada-Saskatchewan Bilateral Agreement will invest $449.9 million over the next 10 years, cost matched by the federal and provincial governments, in housing across the province. CMHC and the Government of Saskatchewan have reached agreement on the first three-year action plan. Under the Agreement, housing is a key priority in providing a better quality of life for Saskatchewan families and communities.
- Since 2007, the Government of Saskatchewan has invested $804 million to develop or repair more than 16,600 housing units around the province. To learn more, visit www.saskatchewan.ca.
For more information, contact:
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation