Earlier this month, the Government of Canada, the City of Kingston and Kingston Interval House celebrated the grand opening of Robin’s Hope Transitional Housing/ Maison l’Espoir de Robin, a new second stage housing project for women and children fleeing violence in Kingston and Frontenac County.
Member of Parliament for Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry Guy Lauzon, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation; Dorothy Hector, City of Kingston Councillor for Lakeside District, on behalf of City of Kingston Mayor Harvey Rosen; and Margot Coulter, Chair, Kingston Interval House Board of Directors; along with other guests attended the event.
“Our Government is committed to making affordable housing available in Ontario and across Canada for those who need it most,” said MP Guy Lauzon. “This new facility will ensure that women and children in the Kingston area continue to have access to safe and suitable housing and professional support in times of need.”
The Government of Canada, through CMHC provided almost $2 million to Kingston Interval House through the Shelter Enhancement Program (SEP) and $10,000 in Seed Funding.
The SEP program assists in repairing, rehabilitating and improving existing shelters for women and their children, youth or men who are victims of family violence. It also provides financial assistance for the acquisition or construction of new shelters and second-stage housing where needed. Seed Funding offers financial assistance to housing proponents who are in the early stages of developing an affordable housing project.
The City of Kingston directed almost $1.5 million to this project from the provincial Developing Opportunities for Renters (DOOR) funding program, made possible through the federal Housing Trust.
Robin’s Hope Transitional Housing, a project of Kingston Interval House, will provide 19 affordable housing units for women and their children. Kingston Interval House staff will occupy offices in the building and provide supportive counselling and advocacy for women and their children. Other communal space will allow women opportunities to develop peer support networks.
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“On behalf of the City of Kingston, I would like to congratulate the Board of Directors and staff of Interval House on the opening of this much needed safe and affordable housing for women and children,” said Councillor Hector. “Their hard work and dedication is to be recognized and commended.”
The project was named in memory of Robin Didemus, who was murdered by her husband in 2007. Robin’s Hope Transitional Housing will help to ensure that women and children in Kingston are able to transition from emergency shelters to safe, longer-term housing.
“It is fitting that this building is named in honour of Robin’s memory,” said Margot Coulter. “We are hopeful that providing a safe, supportive and affordable place for women and their children will contribute greatly to their ability to continue to live violence-free lives.”
Kingston Interval House is committed to supporting women and children experiencing violence and working collaboratively with the community to end violence against women and children.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has been Canada’s national housing agency for over 60 years. CMHC is committed to helping Canadians access a wide choice of quality, affordable homes, while making vibrant, healthy communities and cities a reality across the county.
In 2008, the Government of Canada committed more than $1.9 billion over five years to improve and build new affordable housing and to help the homeless. As a part of this investment, the renovation programs for low-income households, including the Shelter Enhancement Program, were extended for two years. For Ontario this represents $73 million in federal funding for renovation programs off-reserve.
Canada’s Economic Action Plan builds on this with a one-time investment of more than $2 billion over two years to build new and repair existing social housing for low-income Canadians.