December 10, 2004

Charlottetown Kiwanis Open Abe Zakem House

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI -- Shawn Murphy, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown, on behalf of the Honourable Joe Fontana, Minister of Labour and Housing and the Honourable Chester Gillan, Prince Edward Island Minister of Health and Social Services, today officially opened the Abe Zakem House, a new 22-unit affordable housing complex in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Abe Zakem House, which provides 16 one-bedroom and 6 two-bedroom units of affordable housing for low to moderate income Islanders, was developed by the Kiwanis Club of Charlottetown and is the first multi-unit residential rental project to be developed under the Canada-Prince Edward Island Affordable Housing Agreement signed in May 2003.

The Canada-PEI Affordable Housing Agreement provided $566,000 to the project. The Kiwanis Club of Charlottetown contributed $250,000. The land for this development, at the corner of Water Street and Weymouth Street, valued at $200,000 was donated by the City of Charlottetown. The balance of funding is provided through a CMHC insured mortgage loan with the Royal Bank of Canada.

"This project shows how governments and community groups can work together to bring about amazing results," said Shawn Murphy, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown, on behalf of the Honourable Joe Fontana, Minister of Labour and Housing. "The Government of Canada is committed to working with its partners to create more affordable housing in PEI while helping communities offer improved services and contribute to positive growth and development."

"These types of partnerships are the way of the future," Minister Gillan noted. "I congratulate the Kiwanis members for their vision and
commitment. The flexibility of the Canada-PEI Affordable Housing Agreement means that we can develop more partnerships, and work together with members of the community to develop similar projects in both urban and rural areas of the province."

"The development of the Abe Zakem House is a practical way for us to reach out and serve our community, which is an important and integral part of the Kiwanis mandate," said Mark Belfry, President of Abe Zakem House Inc.

Mayor of Charlottetown, his worship Clifford Lee said, "Developments such as this have a social and economic benefit to residents of the City of Charlottetown, and we are proud to be partners with Kiwanis and government in this development for affordable housing."

The Canada-PEI Affordable Housing Agreement, which was signed in 2003, stated that it would provide $5.5 million to create approximately an additional 120 housing units by the end of 2007 across PEI. The Government of Canada is contributing $2.75 million to be matched by the Province and other partners.