Province begins housing initiative – Metro US

Province begins housing initiative

Over 1,000 Albertans will have a place to call home by the end of 2009, as the building blocks for a decade-long foundation to end homelessness are laid by provincial officials.

Premier Ed Stelmach and Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Yvonne Fritz rubbed elbows with front-line industry workers and 55 former homeless people on Wednesday night where a commitment was made to secure safe housing for our province’s most vulnerable residents.

“We heard evidence from people and their stories,” Fritz said. “They show strength that we can only imagine.”

More than $400 million was set aside recently in the provincial budget for a three-year commitment to create 2,700 homes.

“It’s breaking ground and reaffirming and solidifying the ‘housing first’ model’ that we’ve been working with for years,” said Hope Mission spokesman Peter Gerber. “This pats us on the back and tells us we’re going in the right direction.”

Over 120 people have been placed in permanent housing through Hope Mission’s “Rapid Exit” program since November. The plan will create 700 new units this year.

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