CALGARY, Nov. 25, 2015 /CNW/ - Mainstreet Equity Corp. (TSX: MEQ), Canada's leading real estate corporation on the TSX, specializing in mid- market apartment building in Western Canada, today responded to the Trudeau government's detailed announcement of the national Syrian refugee project with an offer to allocate at least 200 apartment units to house refugees. The apartments are in Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Surrey, Abbotsford and New Westminster.
The offer was made this week by Bob Dhillon, founding Chief Executive Officer of Mainstreet, to the office of the Hon. John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. This is one of the largest offers of housing yet to be made by a private sector company to assist the Federal government in welcoming 25,000 refugees by March. Depending on the size of the families who are assigned to Mainstreet units, the 200 units offered may ultimately house hundreds of refugees.
At this point the size of the discount has not yet been finalized. But it will be made clear once the full details of Ottawa's involvement are made known including the type of program applying to each refugee. The rental discount could come in the form of an upfront rent-free period or discounted rent for a period of time.
Mr. Dhillon said: "As an immigrant to Canada, and an apartment owner, I felt compelled to do this for the refugees as they embark on the road to better lives in our beloved country. I firmly believe gestures like this ultimately help not only the people in need but, as Prime Minister Trudeau has said, we also contribute to the economic growth of Canada by supporting these families who, as workers, will help to build the economy. Immigrants are absolutely essential to build the fabric of the new Canada and to keep Canada globally competitive as a nation."
Mr. Dhillon added that Mainstreet has a successful record of accommodating refugees in its buildings, including people from Bhutan and Burma. Mainstreet has employees who are proficient in Arabic and other languages. He also said Mainstreet will help with transferring refugees from the government centres within the various cities mentioned to their new Mainstreet homes.
"We have been talking about this at Mainstreet for a while now and trying to figure out how best to help our nation. When we heard Minister McCallum's remarks, we knew the answer. Accommodations in the mid-market is our wheel house," said Mr. Dhillon. "I want to thank Minister McCallum for his department's guidance, counsel and prompt response to our offer. I have no doubt that, with help from provincial governments, the private sector and charities across the country, they will meet the deadline and make 2016 a very happy new year for many new Canadians."
Mr. Dhillon's family immigrated to Canada, from war-torn Liberia, when he was a small boy in the 1970s.
About Mainstreet Equity Corp.
Mainstreet Equity Corp. is a Calgary-based, growth-oriented real estate corporation focused on the acquisition, redevelopment, repositioning, and asset and property management of mid-market apartment buildings. The Corporation currently owns and operates residential rental units, including apartments and townhouses, in the B.C. Lower Mainland, Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge and Saskatoon. Mainstreet trades on the TSX as MEQ Twitter: @MEQ_IR Website: mainst.biz
SOURCE Mainstreet Equity Corporation