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November 9, 2005
New transitional housing facility opens doors
At a ceremony in Toronto’s east end today, members of Mahogany Management and
Houselink Community Homes, along with dignitaries, guests, tenants and
community supporters, gathered to officially open 19 new transitional housing
units at 131 Coxwell Avenue.

The Honourable Maria Minna, Member of Parliament for Beaches-East York, on
behalf of the Honourable Joe Fontana, Minister of Labour and Housing; Toronto
Deputy Mayor Sandra Bussin for Ward 32 Beaches-East York; and Peggy Birnberg,
Executive Director of Houselink Community Homes, attended the ceremony.

“Today’s opening of this new 19-unit building demonstrates the Government of
Canada’s commitment to work with each level of government and other partners to
ensure Canadians have access to safe, affordable housing,” said Mrs. Minna. “I’
m very happy to be here in Toronto again today to witness first-hand how groups
like Mahogany Management and Houselink Community Homes continue to help
vulnerable individuals find a place to call home.”

“Providing affordable housing to those who need it is one of the ways that the
McGuinty government is investing in prosperity for our people,” said Ontario’s
Minister of Municipal Affairs, the Honourable John Gerretsen. “Our Strong
Communities Rent Supplement Program helps our most vulnerable to transition
into more stable housing. Today’s announcement supports these efforts.”

This transitional housing project received $820,000 from the Government of
Canada’s National Homelessness Initiative (NHI), as well as 19 rent supplements
worth $158,000 per year and $2,370,000 over the life of the Strong Communities
Rent Supplement Program from the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and
Housing. Both programs are administered by the City of Toronto. The project
also receives a 20-year exemption from property taxes with the City’s share
estimated at $6,500 per year and the Provincial share an additional estimated
$3,200 per year for provincial education taxes.

“I am very happy to be working with Houselink to provide affordable housing,
supportive housing, and administer this program,” said Councillor Bussin.

The project at 131 Coxwell Avenue is a model example of partnerships between
government, private sector developers and non-profit community agencies. The
federal, provincial and municipal governments provided the necessary funding.
Mahogany Management received the funds to construct the building and Houselink
Community Homes will manage the property and provide onsite support to the

“Houselink has 28 years of experience in providing support and housing to
people who live with serious mental illness,” said Peggy Birnberg, Executive
Director of Houselink Community Homes. “The commitment of the federal and
provincial governments to permanent, affordable housing, together with our
partnership with Mahogany Management, will enable 19 consumer survivors to
manage their illness and will improve the quality of their lives.”

The Government of Canada launched the National Homelessness Initiative in
December 1999 to support communities’ efforts to help the homeless and those at
risk of becoming homeless. As part of the NHI, the Supporting Communities
Partnership Initiative program, administered by partnering municipalities, is
continuing to make a difference by encouraging the development of flexible,
community-driven solutions to help alleviate homelessness and support those who
are at risk of homelessness.

Ontario’s Strong Communities Rent Supplement Program represents the government’
s commitment to building a strong and healthy Ontario. The Strong Communities
Rent Supplement Program offers up to $50 million per year to municipal service
managers to assist low-income households. This program empowers municipalities
to quickly supply funding in order to fulfill a fundamental necessity – to
provide housing to those in need.

For further information visit:

Media Contacts:

Catherine Kaye
Service Canada - Ontario Region

Toni Farley
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Government of Ontario

Phil Brown
City of Toronto

Peggy Birnberg
Houselink Community Homes



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