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Affordable housing opens for those with mental health challenges

Grand opening Tuesday for eight-unit affordable housing unit project in North Battleford backed by CMHA and provincial and federal governments.
CMHA Housing grand opening
The ribbon is cut at the grand opening of the new CMHA affordable housing residence in North Battleford.

NORTH BATTLEFORD — The ribbon has been cut for the grand opening of eight new affordable housing units in North Battleford for residents with mental health challenges or complex needs.

The grand opening was attended Tuesday by MLA for Cut Knife-Turtleford Ryan Domotor, on behalf of Social Services Minister and Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation (SHC) Gene Makowsky, along with representatives from Canadian Mental Health Association - Battlefords Branch (CMHA-B). 

SHC had provided $830,000 to the project, through a partnership with Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation under the National Housing Strategy.

According to the news release the project, called Independence Commons, is located at 1941- Kramer Place. It includes two single-level fourplexes, green space and a support service and transitional shelter. The units are each 561 square feet or 52.11 square metres. Three of the units, as well as the support service and transitional shelter, are accessible.

"Our government is very proud to be a part of this important housing project that is making a difference in the lives of people living with mental illness or complex needs,” Domotor said in a news release. "I thank CMHA-B for the key role they had in the development of these eight affordable housing units that support residents' well-being, participation and success in the community."

"Independence Commons has established safe, affordable, independent housing to persons living with enduring mental illness and complex needs," said CMHA-B Executive Director Jane Zielke de Montbrun in a statement. 

"It is, in some ways, a community of eight, who are supported to live successfully and well on their own. Our housing program addresses a gap in housing for persons with lived experience that are transitioning back to community and the first of its kind in the Battlefords." 

The City of North Battleford had donated the land for the project. Mayor David Gillan was in attendance at the grand opening and he issued this statement: “We commend Battlefords CMHA for their dedication to continually improving mental health support services in the Battlefords. Their efforts truly make a difference in the vibrancy and quality of life in our community, and we, as a City are happy we could be a small part of the project.”