Winnipeg`s Investing in Affordable Housing

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2013

GOVERNMENTS OF CANADA, MANITOBA AND WINNIPEG INVEST IN NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN CITY

Winnipeg, Manitoba - A new 92-unit rental housing project in Winnipeg will provide safe, affordable homes for low-income families and seniors. The unique rental housing concept, located at 840 Ravelston Avenue in Transcona, will enable families to support an aging parent or relative in need of care.

Manitoba's Housing and Community Development Minister, the Honourable Peter Bjornson, Lawrence Toet, Member of Parliament for Elmwood-Transcona, on behalf of the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development), and Russ Wyatt, city councillor for Transcona, made the funding announcement today.

"The distinctive design of this new rental housing project not only offers much-needed quality affordable housing, it also allows families to support seniors who need at-home care," said Minister Bjornson. "This builds upon Manitoba's commitment to construct 500 more social housing units and 500 new affordable rental units over the next three years in addition to 1,500 social housing and 1,500 affordable housing units on schedule for 2014."

"Our Government is committed to working with Manitoba to develop and implement local solutions to housing," said MP Toet. "This investment is helping families and seniors of Winnipeg access safe and affordable housing that meets their needs. We remain focused on four priorities, as outlined by the Prime Minister, that Canadians care most about: their families, the safety of our streets and communities, their pride in being a citizen of this country, and of course, their personal financial security."

"Transcona has a vacancy rate near zero per cent in terms of rental housing," said Councillor Wyatt. "This intergenerational housing project will help build a strong and healthy community. As a member of the Winnipeg Housing Rehabilitation Corporation (WHRC) Board of Directors, I applaud them for spearheading this project and ensuring widespread support for its vision of affordable housing for residents of Winnipeg."

The project, sponsored by Winnipeg Housing Rehabilitation Corporation (WHRC) in Transcona, will consist of two wings, a four-storey wing will provide 47 affordable housing units for seniors and a six-storey wing will consist of 45 affordable housing units for families. The two wings will be connected by a two-storey common space and the project will also have separate amenity space for seniors and families as well as common areas and amenity space for intergenerational activities. WHRC will be managing the property once it is opened.

The new housing development will be named Paul E. Martin Estates, in honour of Paul Martin of Transcona, who has given his life to public service as a veteran of the Second World War, school trustee, town and city councillor, mayor of the former city of Transcona, founder of the Transcona Historical Museum and winner of the Greatest Transconian contest in 2005.

WHRC will co-ordinate programming and resources for tenants to foster strong and positive lifestyles. WHRC was founded in 1978 by the City of Winnipeg and is a private non-profit charitable corporation. With the assistance of all levels of government, WHRC develops, owns and manages affordable housing in Winnipeg and provides community support to the inner city. WHRC currently manages more than 1,100 affordable housing units and works closely with communities and residents to assist in accomplishing affordable housing goals. This project represents the first WHRC project in the Transcona community

Project costs are estimated to be over $25.9 million. The governments of Canada and Manitoba will provide joint funding of $14.3 million to help develop 92 units of affordable housing for families and adults in Winnipeg. The funding comes as a result of the $62-million Investment in Affordable Housing 2011-2014 Agreement between the governments of Canada and Manitoba. The Province of Manitoba will use the funds under the new agreement to build more affordable housing and upgrade existing housing to ensure low-income Manitobans will have safe, stable homes. Additional funding for the project was provided by the WHRC.

Annually, the Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), will invest approximately $2 billion in housing. Of this amount, $1.7 billion will be spent in support of close to 594,000 households living in existing social housing. In Manitoba, this represents an estimated 39,700 households. The remaining funding supports housing-related activities and affordable housing programs including the Investment in Affordable Housing. These investments are improving the quality of life for low-income Canadians and households living in existing social housing, including individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, seniors, persons with disabilities, recent immigrants and Aboriginal people. Economic Action Plan 2013 continues this commitment with a federal investment of more than $1.25 billion over five years to renew the Investment in Affordable Housing to 2019. The Government of Canada will ensure that funds provided to provinces and territories support the use of apprentices, which will support training of skilled labour. More than 146,769 households across Canada are no longer in housing need as a result of funding provided under the IAH from April 1, 2011, to June 30, 2013.

Over the next three years, the Manitoba government will invest $100 million annually to restore and redevelop housing units in its portfolio. An additional $34 million will be dedicated annually to repair existing stock and provide quality home environments for tenants. These investments to build more affordable housing are in addition to increased benefits for employment income assistance recipients and other low-income Manitobans announced in Budget 2013 through an annual increase of $6.3 million in RentAid shelter benefits. More information about HOMEWorks! is available at www.gov.mb.ca/housing.

The City of Winnipeg has supported WHRC throughout the development process and has invested in affordable housing in the city by providing land, including this two-acre parcel of land, worth over a million dollars, for only $1. This positive investment not only provides affordable housing to the residents of Winnipeg, but also transitions vacant land to a tax-paying asset.

To find out more about how the Government of Canada and CMHC are working to build stronger homes and communities for all Canadians, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 or visit www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca.

Kim McConnell

Kim McConnell

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CENTURY 21 Advanced Realty
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