Alice Bissett Place Official Opening and Dedication in Calgary Providing affordable and supported housing for low-income Calgarians

June 25, 2009

Providing affordable and supported housing for low-income Calgarians

Calgary, AlbertaAlice Bissett Place, a 114 unit housing complex providing supported affordable homes for homeless and low-income and at risk Calgarians, opened today. Federal, provincial and municipal officials joined Joint Venture Partners – Calgary Home Builders Foundation, Calgary Homeless Foundation and Horizon Housing Society – to celebrate the official opening and dedication.

 

Starting July 1, Alice Bissett Place will be home to a diverse group of residents – low-income seniors, individuals, couples and families, as well as people with physical disabilities, mental illness and brain-injuries. The housing complex, located in Inglewood, took less than two years to build.

 

Alice Bissett Place is a huge community undertaking. The Joint Venture Partners thank everyone involved in the planning, fundraising and construction process,? said Monte Kendall, President of Calgary Home Builders Foundation, which supervised the construction of the complex. We’re also very thankful to the Home Builders’ volunteers, including trades people, who donated hundreds of hours, materials and expertise in kind to construct Alice Bissett Place.

 

Tim Richter, President and CEO of the Calgary Homeless Foundation added, This would not have been possible without contributions from government, private and public sector organizations, individuals and volunteers. The completion of this project shows how the entire community can work together to make a tangible difference in the lives of our homeless and low income neighbours. Alice Bissett Place is also a significant step in helping us achieve our 10 year plan of ending homelessness in Calgary.

 

A lot of care went into designing Alice Bissett Place so it would foster a sense of community for residents, Kim O’Brien, Executive Director of Horizon Housing Society explained. We look forward to bringing over 32 years of experience to the day-to-day management of the property. Together, with our community service partners, we are able to provide long term housing coupled with specialized support programs for our tenants. Our on-site building managers will also have the opportunity to get to know the residents and be an active part of the Alice Bissett Place Community.

 

The Joint Venture Partners would like to acknowledge and thank the federal, provincial and municipal governments for their support. The Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta provided over $12 Million in funding towards this project, and the City of Calgary contributed a 60-year land lease valued at $2 million. Project Development Funding was provided by CMHC.

 

The project also garnered significant support from the community. Alice Bissett Place was originally called Inglewood Residence; however, the complex was renamed in honour of the late mother of David Bissett, who along with his wife Leslie, donated $2 million for the construction of the building.

 

Many other individuals and organizations, including Willow Park Charity Golf Classic, provided funding for this project. All financial contributions are featured on a special Donor Wall, specifically designed for and displayed at the building.

 

Our Government is moving aggressively to ensure Canada’s Economic Action Plan is implemented rapidly here in Alberta and across Canada, said the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment and Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre-North, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). I’m pleased that more lower-income individuals, families, seniors and persons with disabilities, will benefit from safe, affordable housing in their communities.

 

This new development supports a more equitable way of living and working together and is one that will contribute to a sense of belonging, a family and a community for vulnerable people, said Alberta Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Yvonne Fritz. Many organizations have worked very hard to make this initiative possible, and Alberta is pleased to collaborate with these true community champions.

 

Alice Bissett Place helps to fulfill an important need in Calgary’s affordable housing sector, said Mayor Dave Bronconnier. By bringing together three orders of government, non-profit agencies, the community and the private sector, we’ve developed accessible housing that will have a positive and lasting impact for hundreds of individuals and families.

 

The event also featured the signing of an amendment to the Canada-Alberta Affordable Housing Program Agreement, along with an announcement of $386 million over the next two years. Minister Jim Prentice joined Alberta Minister Yvonne Fritz to make the announcement at today’s official opening and dedication.

 

Alice Bissett Place is the second residence providing supported affordable housing developed by the Calgary Home Builders Foundation, Calgary Homeless Foundation and Horizon Housing Society, with generous support from the federal and provincial governments and The City of Calgary. The first, Bob Ward Residence, opened its doors in fall 2003 to Calgarians coping with mental illness, physical disabilities and brain injuries.

 

The Joint Venture Partners would like to give special thanks to the community of Inglewood for supporting this project and welcoming the residents of Alice Bissett Place.

 

As Canada’s national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable homes — homes that will continue to create vibrant, healthy communities and cities across the country.

To find out more about how the Government of Canada and CMHC are working to build stronger homes and communities for all Canadians, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 or visit www.cmhc.ca/housingactionplan. For more information on Canada’s Economic Action Plan, call 1-800-O Canada or visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.

 

For more information, please contact:

Michelle Bakos

Press Secretary

Office of Minister Finley

819-994-2482

michelle.bakos@hrsdc-rhdsc.gc.ca

Katrina Bluetchen

Communications

Alberta Housing and Urban Affairs

Tel: 780-427-4897

Toll-free within Alberta 310-0000

Kimberlee Jones

Communications

CMHC Prairie & Territories

403-515-3048

kjones@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Paul J. Bowen Affordable Housing - Communications The City of Calgary 403-268-8004

Paul.Bowen@calgary.ca

Kathleen Polyak

Communications

Calgary Homeless Foundation

403-718-8540

kathleen@calgaryhomeless.com

Fact Sheet: Alice Bissett Place Official Opening and Dedication in Calgary:

Alice Bissett Place – By the Numbers

  • There are 114 units available for homeless or low income seniors, families, the working poor, the brain injured and individuals with mental illness and physical disabilities.       
  • In addition to 104 apartment style units, Alice Bissett Place features 10 duplex style townhouse units specifically built for low-income families.  
  • From the sod turning event to the finished complex, Alice Bissett Place took approximately two years to construct.
  • The first tenants will start moving in on July 1, 2009.
  • When fully occupied, a minimum of 130 people will live at Alice Bissett Place.             
  • Alice Bissett Place is a total of 80,116 square feet.             
  • Accommodations at Alice Bissett Place range from 380 square feet for a bachelor apartment to 1,400 for a three bedroom duplex style townhouse.

 

Alice Bissett Place - By the People

  • Individuals, couples and families living at Alice Bissett Place must meet criteria to live in affordable housing.
  • Alice Bissett Place provides private suites for individuals; however there are common areas and a celebration room to enable people to meet and for family gatherings.
  • Individuals residing in Alice Bissett Place receive significant rental subsidies based on their income level.
  • All residents will be referred to Alice Bissett Place by agencies, and each agency will have an allocated number of units.

               

The referral agencies are as follows:

              

  • Kerby Centre and The Society of St. Vincent de Paul – very low-income and at risk seniors
  • Canadian Mental Health Association – Calgary Region – support for residents with a mental disorder who are developing independent living skills
  • Calgary Urban Projects Society (CUPS) – low income families and singles
  • Universal Rehabilitation Service Agency (URSA) – individuals with brain injuries and developmental delays      
  • Accessible Housing Society – individuals with physical disabilities