Released February 19, 2008
Province Contributes $4.2 Million to Cashin-Froude Makeover
Residents in the Cashin-Froude area of St. John’s can look forward to a major transformation in their community over the next six years. The Province will contribute $4.2 million to makeover one of Newfoundland Labrador Housing’s (Housing) oldest residential neighbourhoods. The $4.2 million funding for this project will come from Newfoundland Labrador Housing’s annual budget, and represents 70 per cent of the total $6 million project cost. The Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister Responsible for Housing and Human Resources, Labour and Employment, made the announcement today.
"We are thrilled about this announcement," said Minister Skinner. "This is an extraordinary opportunity to redesign the neighbourhood for today’s urban environment, bring it new life and vitality and celebrate this community’s spirit. The redevelopment plans will be phased in over six years. This is a vibrant neighbourhood with a strong sense of community, and their input has provided us with a wealth of information and ideas to help revitalize the area. Housing has listened to what they’ve said and used their input as the basis for the final redevelopment plans."
Since the project first began, consultation with tenants has been paramount. Housing has held several community meetings, and the consultants also met with residents individually to ensure their needs and interests were heard. One of the more significant community meetings was held last summer. At that time, tenants spent an entire day with Housing staff, and the consultants, reviewing potential plans, discussing design possibilities and expressing their thoughts about what they did or did not want for their neighbourhood.
In the end, four main concepts emerged which tenants felt the final redevelopment plans should address. They were: safety, privacy, outdoor space and a sense of community. Tenants expressed the need to feel safe in their neighbourhood and talked about wanting to open up the space, making everything more visible. This would also make the neighbourhood more attractive and more accessible for emergency vehicles. They expressed the need for private space outside their homes, and as with all neighbourhoods, outdoor space and green space for all ages was viewed as essential. Tenants feel that a positive sense of community already exists, and wanted to ensure the new plans would enhance that feeling.
"The changes this revitalization can bring about goes way beyond the physical facelift," says Bob Dawson, Executive Director, Froude Avenue Community Centre. "Many of these residents have lived here for more than 40 years, and they have an extraordinarily high level of involvement with their community centre, which has contributed enormously to the quality of life in the neighbourhood. This transformation will serve to strengthen that sense of pride and respect for their community."
The new plans will entail complete interior and exterior modernization to all the homes in the neighbourhood, new construction, as well as landscaping. The interior changes include the installation of new laundry facilities, complete interior painting, refinished floors, completely refurbished kitchens (new cabinets, countertops, sinks, new flooring) and bathrooms (new tubs, showers, sinks and toilets), new ventilation systems and heating systems upgrades. Exterior upgrades include complete replacement of windows, doors, siding, and roofs. Landscaping will include additional private parking where practical, backyard fencing or balconies for privacy space, sodding and a community garden.
The Cashin-Froude neighourhood consists of 136 homes covering four streets which include, Cashin, Froude, Vicker and Vimy Avenues. The buildings were built over 50 years ago, and are among the first public housing properties developed in Canada. These residences were constructed to house the larger families of the time and consist of large three- and four-bedroom properties. The redevelopment plans will more adequately address today’s demographics characterized by smaller families and an increased aging population. Tenants will benefit from homes more conducive to their family makeup, and the improved designs will also make these homes more appropriate for tenants with mobility concerns.
"I’m excited -- the whole neighbourhood is excited," said Theresa Dunn, President, Neighbourhood Enhancement Association. "The community is literally abuzz with talk about all the upgrades and changes. We’re particularly pleased that the community was given the opportunity to be part of the planning process right from the beginning. Housing really did listen to so many of our ideas, like moving the laundry rooms up out of the basement and putting them in the main house, and giving everyone their own privacy areas. These may seem like little things to some, yet it can make such a positive difference to everyday living."
Design work is being initiated and construction is anticipated to start in the summer of 2008.