The Timmins Native Friendship Centre's affordable housing project received a shot in the arm with the announcement of $3 million dollars combined funding by the governments of Canada and Ontario.
The announcement was made yesterday at the TNFC and included statements from Adam Vaughan, the Parliamentary Secretary for the federal minister of Families, Children and Social Development and the Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs; Minister Chris Ballard, Ontario's Minister of Housing represented the Ontario government.
Minister Ballard is also the minister responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy.
The participation of Vaughan, a federal parliamentary secretary was of significance because it marks a re-entry of the federal government into housing development, a field which the government of Canada has been absent from for more than 20 years.
"Safe, adequate and affordable housing is a catalyst that enables Canadians to achieve their other goals -- from raising healthy children to pursuing education, jobs and opportunity," Vaughan said. "When housing is in short supply, Canada's whole economy suffers."
The joint announcement also provided $10.3 million in federal and provincial contribution to 86 additional units combined in the following communities:
- Sault Ste. Marie Indigenous Residence, 181 Greenfield Dr. $2.7 million, 16 units
- Lively, Ontario, $4.7 million, 32 units
- Thessalon, Ontario $569,400, six units
- Sault Ste. Marie, Silver Birch Apartments 531 Trunk Rd. $689,715, five units
- Schumacher, Ontario housing for survivors of domestic violence, $392,400, six units
- Timmins, 11 Spruce St. S. $300,000, six units
- Timmins, 344 Lang St. $300,000 three units
- Cochrane, 225 Grenier Road, $446,223 nine units
- Desbarats, PossAbility Community Homes, $203,926
"Ontario is committed to providing more affordable housing for families across the province," said Ontario Minister of Housing Chris Ballard. "We know when people have a home, they are healthier, eady to pursue employment, and better equipped to contributed to their communities.
Timmins Mayor Steve Black was pleased with the investment of almost $4 million into housing for the community.
"We are encouraged with the Government's investment in affordable housing in Timmins to provide our residents with a safe and affordable place to call home," Mayor Black said. "I am encouraged to see government working with local organizations to form partnerships, to help address the growing problem many residents have in obtaining affordable housing."
Construction on the 18 units of housing commenced in December, 2016 and nine units have been completed so far. The remaining nine units are well underway and should be completed in the next two or three months.
"The Native Friendship Centre strives to improve the quality of life for Indigenous people living in an urban environment," said Gary Martin, the President of TNFC. " We are on our way to providing 18 units - two bedroom units, with accessible units. We are excited to provided 18 families with as sense of security, lift them from homelessness and provide them onsite services as needed."