Human Resources, Labour and Employment
March 16, 2007

The following is being distributed at the request of Newfoundland Labrador Housing:

Newfoundland Labrador Housing Looks at Revitalization of
Dunfield Park, Corner Brook

Dunfield Park, Corner Brook, can now look forward to turning 40 this year � a revitalized community plan will soon be in the works for this busy family neighbourhood. On Saturday, March 17, Newfoundland Labrador Housing (Housing) will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) to obtain professional consulting services for a revitalization study on Dunfield Park. The Honourable Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador and MHA for Humber West, and the Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment and Responsible for Housing, made the announcement today.

Senior Housing officials recently met with tenants, City of Corner Brook officials and other public service agencies such as the local Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and fire department to brief them on Housing�s plans. The final project will eventually result in a significant renewal of the neighbourhood.

Originally constructed in 1967, Dunfield Park is among the earliest public housing property built in Newfoundland and Labrador. In its time, the sprawling 200-unit neighbourhood was the perfect solution for many large low-income families. Approximately 67 per cent of the development consists of three, four and five-bedroom accommodations. By today�s standards, it is no longer suitable for the elderly or smaller families, as the majority of people seeking affordable housing these days require one or two-bedroom units.

"The provincial Poverty Reduction Strategy clearly identifies access to adequate housing as a factor in breaking the cycle of poverty," said Premier Williams. "I am so pleased that Newfoundland Labrador Housing is assessing the housing needs for Dunfield Park, and I look forward to the positive changes and improvements that will benefit the residents and the community as a whole."

The goal is to convert the units into a modern-day development, on a phased-in schedule, taking into consideration the needs of all stakeholders. Present and future demographic and social needs will be reviewed, as well as items such as accessibility and suitability for seniors and small families. Some other items which will be considered are unit layout and configuration, population density of the area, best land use, sustainability, and availability of local services such as transportation.

"One of the most important aspects of the revitalization process will be the consultation with the affected stakeholders," said Minister Skinner. "In addition to tenants, the consultants will seek input from local businesses, private homeowners, the City of Corner Brook, environmental and recreational groups, and enforcement agencies such as the local fire and police department. We are very open to new ideas with this revitalization project and are eagerly anticipating the concept plans."

The RFP will close on April 10, 2007, with the proposal being awarded shortly thereafter. The successful proponent will be expected to provide a finalized concept plan to Housing by the end of August. It is anticipated that the actual planning work will begin in the fall.

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Media contacts:

Elizabeth Matthews
Director of Communications
Office of the Premier
709-729-3960, 351-1227

Ed Moriarity
Director of Communications
Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment
709-729-4062, 728-9623
Jenny Bowring
Communications Manager
Newfoundland Labrador Housing

2007 03 16                                                   10:30 a.m.


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