January 24, 2011
THREE LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCE FUNDING FOR NEW AFFORDABLE AND SUPPORTIVE HOUSING
Winnipeg, Manitoba – The Government of Canada, the Province of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg today announced $2.27 million in funding for the WestEnd Commons, a 24-unit affordable housing project being developed by St. Matthews Non Profit Housing Inc. and the Grain of Wheat Church Community.
The announcement was made today by the Honourable Steven Fletcher, Minister of State (Democratic Reform), on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the Honourable Kerri Irvin-Ross, Minister of Housing and Community Development, and Mike Pagtakhan, Winnipeg City Councillor for Point Douglas, on behalf of Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz.
“The Government of Canada is committed to making affordable and supportive housing available in Manitoba and across Canada for those who need it most,” said Minister Fletcher. “The WestEnd Commons will provide low-income families and those at-risk of homelessness with safe and suitable housing that will enable them to build stronger futures for themselves here in Winnipeg.”
“Housing is a key factor in the health and well-being of all of us,” said Minister Irvin-Ross. “This unique project will involve converting an almost 100 year old church into safe, quality housing. We are proud to be able to work with organizers of the St. Matthews project to provide affordable housing options for people living in Winnipeg.”
“The creation of these new units offers hope and opportunity to those in our community who need additional support and a place to call home,” said Councillor Pagtakhan. “I am pleased to see that another wonderful project has become a reality under the WHHI, an initiative that is making a difference in Winnipeg.”
When complete, the WestEnd Commons will include 20 affordable rental units and four supportive housing units for individuals with mental health issues. St. Matthews Non Profit Housing Inc. and the Grain of Wheat Church Community are overseeing the development.
The projectinvolvesthe conversion of the 12,500 square foot church, originally built in 1912, into 24 one- to four-bedroom apartments over the next twelve months. St. Matthews Non Profit Housing Inc. and the Grain of Wheat Church Community are exploring alternative heat sources in an effort to reduce operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The project received $1.8 million in funding through the amended Canada-Manitoba Affordable Housing Agreement. Under the Agreement, the federal and provincial governments are contributing equally to an overall investment of $176 million for affordable housing throughout Manitoba. An additional federal investment of $387,000 was provided by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy. The City of Winnipeg is also contributing $90,000 as part of a multiple family/mixed-use building grant.
In 2008, the Government of Canada committed more than $1.9 billion over five years to improve and build new affordable housing and to help the homeless. Canada’s Economic Action Plan builds on this with an additional one-time investment of more than $2 billion over two years for the construction of new and the renovation of existing social housing, plus up to $2 billion in low-cost loans to municipalities for housing-related infrastructure.
Through Manitoba’s Long-Term Housing Strategy, HOMEWorks!, the Province of Manitoba and Government of Canada are contributing $378 million over two years for housing initiatives in Winnipeg and across the Province. HOMEWorks! supports ALLAboard, Manitoba’s Poverty Reduction strategy by increasing the supply of quality, affordable housing for low-income Manitobans. More information about HOMEWorks!is available at www.gov.mb.ca/housing.
The amendment to the Canada-Manitoba Affordable Housing Agreement, which included funding under Canada's Economic Action Plan, signed in May2009, brought federal housing support of $88 million to the province. The Government of Manitoba is matching that commitment for a total of $176 million to assist those in housing need and, in collaboration with other levels of government and community partners, to make various types of affordable housing programs possible. In Manitoba, federal-provincial housing programs are delivered through the province’s department of Housing and Community Development.
More information on Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the federal government’s plan to stimulate the economy and protect those hit hardest by the global recession, can be found at: www.actionplan.gc.ca. 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.ca/housingactionplan.
The WHHI housing programs are funded by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Manitoba Housing, and the City of Winnipeg, and homelessness programs are funded through the Government of Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy.
Since 2000, the Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness Initiative – a partnership between Canada, Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg – has committed almost $185 million to repair, rehabilitate, or construct over 8400 housing units as well as assist those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The WHHI is a single-window office for community organizations to access information on government-funded housing and homelessness programs. For more information, visit www.whhi.ca.
- 30 -