New supportive housing site welcomes residents

A new supportive housing facility in south Edmonton is now providing safe, stable housing for Edmontonians who have previously experienced homelessness.

The Mustard Seed Prairie Manor has gradually welcomed residents since late summer and is now nearly two-thirds full. The site is one of eight projects funded by the Government of Canada and the City of Edmonton in the first rounds of the federal Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI), a national housing program aimed at new housing for vulnerable Canadians.

Through the RHI, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) provided $9.2 million and the City provided $1.7 million to renovate a former hotel in Strathcona Junction into 85 self-contained supportive housing units. The RHI is a $2.5 billion program under the National Housing Strategy (NHS) to help address the urgent housing needs of vulnerable Canadians through the rapid construction of over 10,000 units of affordable housing across the country.

“Even as temperatures drop, Prairie Manor continues to welcome Edmontonians who would struggle to keep a roof over their heads this winter,” said Mayor Amarjeet Sohi. “This project builds on The Mustard Seed’s long history of working to eliminate houselessness, reduce poverty and help Edmontonians meet their basic needs.”

“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home,” said Ahmed Hussen, federal Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion. “Through the Rapid Housing Initiative, our government is quickly delivering affordable housing to Canadians most in need. Edmontonians who would otherwise be at risk now have a home at Mustard Seed Prairie Manor. This is one of the many ways the National Housing Strategy continues to ensure no one is left behind.”

“Today’s grand opening, made possible through the Rapid Housing Initiative, will bring much needed relief to many of the city’s most vulnerable residents,” said Randy Boissonnault, federal Minister of Tourism, Associate Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre. “These 85 units are more than just safe and affordable places to live, they are key to a better life for the residents who will call them home.”

Supportive housing residents sign a lease, pay rent and live in an apartment they can furnish and decorate, while also receiving supports tailored to their needs. Staff are on-site 24 hours a day and residents receive a range of services through referrals and visits.

The remaining residents will be welcomed onto a floor reserved for females, and another floor specifically designated for sober living. Prairie Manor includes 49 units for Indigenous peoples and another 10 additional units for Edmontonians who have either experienced or are at imminent risk of homelessness.

“The Mustard Seed is so grateful for the opportunity to create a space where those who have experienced homelessness can find comfort and peace,” said Katie Kitschke, director of housing, The Mustard Seed Edmonton. “We know that there is still so much work to be done, but we are proud to be a part of it.”

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