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This Province's Housing Initiative Could Help Canada in Its Goal to Cut Homelessness by 50%

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The reasons for homelessness range from affordable housing to job loss to mental illness to extreme poverty. You can join Global Citizen and take action here to put an end to extreme poverty by 2030.

The governments of Canada and Saskatchewan are investing $6.7 million to create affordable housing options in seven communities across the province.

The initiative, announced this week, will help decrease homelessness in the province. It’s part of the Government of Canada’s 10-year National Housing Strategy, which is expected to result in 100,000 housing units and help 530,000 families across the country, reducing homelessness in Canada by 50%.

The agreed funding on the new Saskatchewan initiative will back at least 53 affordable housing units.

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The program has several components. The federal and provincial governments are committing $2.54 million for 10 rental units for seniors in La Ronge. They are also funding nine family rental units with $1.1 million for Pinehouse Housing Corp.

Other beneficiaries include Methy Housing Corp., which is charged with creating six units for single-parent families in La Loche; the Canadian Mental Health Association, which will receive funding for six units for people with complex needs and mental illness in Prince Albert; and Gabriel Housing Corp., which is tasked with creating six units for families with complex needs in Regina, according to a press release.

The Battleford Indian and Métis Friendship Centre will also receive $500,000 for a co-housing project of eight units for people experiencing homelessness.

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The governments will also allocate $765,000 to Stewart Properties by Sanctum Care Group, an organization that works with populations affected by HIV/AIDS, mental illness, addictions, homelessness, and poverty.

The funding will be used for a 10-unit co-housing project for pre- and post-natal women living with or at risk of HIV in Saskatoon.

"As an affordable housing provider, we are extremely honoured to be a part of Sanctum 1.5. This 10-bed boarding house for pregnant mothers with HIV is the first of its kind in Canada,” Tyler Stewart, President of Stewart Properties, told CTV.

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The reasons for homelessness in Canada range from job loss to mental illness to extreme poverty. Affordable housing can also play an important role.

A report by Homeless Hub in 2013 indicated that 30,000 people in Canada were homeless on any given night, with at least 200,000 Canadians experiencing homelessness in a year.

“We’re making investments in affordable housing because we believe everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home,” Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women, said in a press release. “With $40 billion over the next 10 years, our government’s first ever National Housing Strategy will continue to make a difference in communities across Canada.”

Time will tell if the country’s new housing plan will truly work to alleviate poverty and reduce the number of Canadians experiencing homelessness.