Released on May 13, 2022
People with mental, intellectual or cognitive disabilities have improved access to affordable housing in Saskatoon.
Today, Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, and Riversdale MLA Marv Friesen on behalf of Social Services Minister and Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation (SHC) Lori Carr, joined representatives from the National Affordable Housing Corporation (NAHC) to celebrate the grand opening of 14 new units in Saskatoon, which will house 19 individuals.
The governments of Canada and Saskatchewan are jointly providing $460,000 through the Canada-Saskatchewan Bilateral Agreement.
The new units are located at Willowview Heights, in the Willowgrove neighbourhood, and Aspen Heights, in the Aspen Ridge neighbourhood, in Saskatoon. Both locations are stacked townhouse-style homes and provide access to affordable rental units to individuals with mental, cognitive or intellectual disabilities. Each location has two- and three-bedroom units, which provide the opportunity for in-home supports if required.
The NAHC has partnered with Inclusion Saskatchewan and the Canadian Mental Health Association to provide support services to tenants. Inclusion Saskatchewan provides support services to residents of both the Willowview Heights and Aspen Heights projects, including employment supports such as resume building, job coaching and career planning. The Canadian Mental Health Association provides support services for residents of Aspen Heights, including mental health support, vocational programs and referral services to health and wellness resources in the community.
This announcement builds on additional funds announced today with Oxford House Saskatchewan for the purchase and renovation of five single, detached houses for people recovering from addictions in Saskatoon. The governments of Canada and Saskatchewan jointly provided $865,000 through the Canada-Saskatchewan Bilateral Agreement to the initiative.
“Our government is investing in supportive housing to help create jobs and improve the quality of life for those who need it most," said Hussen. "When persons with disabilities have the same opportunities, the same level of service, the same quality of life as every other Canadian, everyone benefits. The opening of these 14 affordable homes across Willowview Heights and Aspen Ridge will go a long way for families here in Saskatoon. These new rental homes will provide residents with the necessary on-site supports they need and the opportunity to find jobs near their local communities. This is the National Housing Strategy at work.”
"These new housing units give residents more than just a safe and affordable place to live; they also offer a support system, a connection to the community and an opportunity for residents to reach their full potential to the best of their abilities," Friesen said. "The NAHC's housing model helps break down barriers that people with disabilities sometimes face in accessing housing and does great work with other partners to offer services that help tenants experience life in the community. These new housing developments will make a difference in the lives of the residents, their families and Saskatchewan communities as a whole."
"After welcoming our first Inclusion Saskatchewan tenants to their new homes in October 2020 and multiple delays to this formal celebration due to COVID, we are so thrilled to finally commemorate the opening and success of Willowview Heights with everyone here today," National Affordable Housing Corporation Chief Executive Officer Tyler Mathies said. "Thanks to contributions from CMHC, SHC, the City of Saskatoon, ourselves and Inclusion Saskatchewan, were able to see this new form of inclusive affordable supportive independent living become a reality for the Saskatoon community. This inclusive housing initiative has highlighted what is possible when we work together to create new solutions to address affordable housing gaps in our community; we are hopeful we will be able to offer more units like this in the future."
For more information, contact:
Office of the Minister for Housing and Diversity and Inclusion
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation