Construction began on a new housing project in Melfort Monday aimed at providing rental housing and support services for women fleeing violence.
The four-unit project is receiving $670,000 from the federal and provincial governments through the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation. The funding is a part of the five-year federal-provincial affordable housing agreement set to expire in 2019.
The remaining $287,000 will come from North East Outreach and Support Services (NEOSS) through cash/land equity and mortgage financing. NEOSS will operate the housing units.
The project will provide second-stage housing for NEOSS clients ready to leave the organization/s shelter property. According to a press release, the units will give shelter residents more time to gain stability and independence, while staying close to NEOSS personal violence counsellors. The project is expected to increase turnover, improving the availability of emergency beds at the shelter.
The project is being constructed on the same property as the shelter at 128 Mckendry Avenue West. Two of the units will be 842-square feet two-bedroom units, while the other two units will have four bedrooms and will be 1,300 square feet.
“This investment is going to make a huge difference for survivors of domestic violence in Melfort,” Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale said in a press release.
“Safe and secure housing is the foundation for rebuilding a better life. Our Government is committed to working with partners like from North East Outreach and Support Services to help survivor’s access stable and supportive environments from which the healing process can begin. With women representing 80 per cent of victims of police-reported intimate partner violence across Canada, projects like this one are important toward dealing with gender violence more effectively.”
“North East Outreach and Support Services is excited to provide another opportunity for families who are struggling to have a safe, affordable, adequate space to make their home, while they heal and grow together,” NEOSS executive director Louise Schweitzer said in a press release.
“This is an opportunity for families to take time to heal and learn to live nonviolently with supports close by. This new four-plex allows some of our more vulnerable families to be close to the personal violence counsellors as well as having affordable furnished housing, giving them a boost to get back on their feet and be successful in whatever endeavour they so choose.”