March 26, 2009
Media Release

The Regional Municipality of York helps housing providers create safer playgrounds and more accessible facilities

Council approves $337,000 disbursement from Social Housing Innovation Fund
NEWMARKET – York Regional Council today endorsed a proposal to help social housing providers to create safer and more accessible social housing communities across The Regional Municipality of York.
 
“Children need somewhere safe to play in their own neighbourhoods,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  “Safer playgrounds and more accessible facilities contribute to a higher quality of life for
residents across York Region.”
 
York Region will provide $211,115 from the Social Housing Innovation Fund to help housing providers create three new playgrounds and help cover the costs for required repairs to two others to bring them up to Canadian Standards Association (CSA) safety standards.  An accessible parkette will also be created at a social housing community in the Town of Richmond Hill.
 
The Region will contribute $125,937 from the same fund to support various accessibility projects and upgrades.  These projects include retrofitting existing facilities with automatic door openers, elevator door sensors, bathtub modifications for ease of entry and washroom grab bars.
 
“Identifying and breaking down barriers is important,” said Town of Richmond Hill Regional Councillor Brenda Hogg, Chair of the Region’s Community Services and Housing Committee.  “Making communities more accessible is vital to helping people with disabilities live healthier and more independent lives.”
 
York Regional Council established a $500,000 Social Housing Innovation Fund in 2007 to help housing providers meet new standards for playground and accessibility modifications.  Additional projects may be considered with any remaining funds.
 
York Region provides affordable rental housing for people whose income prevents them from finding adequate housing in the private rental market.  Many people who live in social housing pay a rent that is based on their income.  Rent-geared-to-income (RGI) is typically about 30 per cent of a household's total gross income.
 
In York Region, there are more than 7,000 affordable rental and subsidized rental housing units operated by non-profit, co-operative and municipal organizations.
 
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca
 
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Media Contact: Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, Community and Health Services, York Region
Phone: 905 830-4444 Ext. 4016 / After-hours Cell: 905 251-5553
Email: jennifer.mitchellemmerson@york.ca

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