Archived News Releases

News Release - Canada, Manitoba and Winnipeg

July 19, 2002


WHHI Helps Fund Inner City Affordable Housing Renovation Project

WINNIPEG – – Renovations to a boarded-up apartment block in the Spence neighbourhood will soon provide 23 units of improved and affordable housing for low-income families wanting to live in the inner city. The project is being undertaken by Kinkora Developments Limited and is being made possible with the help of up to $413,360 in funding from the Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness Initiative (WHHI).

Today's funding announcement was made by the Honourable Rey D. Pagtakhan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Science, Research and Development), on behalf of the Honourable John Manley, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of finance and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations; the Honourable Jean Friesen, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs on behalf of the Honourable Tim Sale, Manitoba Minister of Family Services and Housing; and Winnipeg Mayor Glen Murray.

"This innovative project will not only make housing more affordable, but it will also enable families to remain together," said Minister Pagtakhan. "The Government of Canada, through the WHHI, is committed to working with our provincial and city partners to help improve the inner-city neighbourhoods by providing quality, affordable housing for the residents."

"We are pleased to support this latest major step in the University of Winnipeg's multi-phase housing initiative, which is directly contributing to the revitalization of inner-city neighbourhoods," said Minister Friesen. "This project demonstrates that partnerships between governments, the University and the private sector work in supporting students, strengthening families and re-building communities. The revitalization of this boarded-up building will have a major impact by enhancing the Spence neighbourhood."

"The University of Winnipeg has shown strong commitment to strengthening the community they serve," said Mayor Murray. "Giving families the option of yet another affordable, renovated apartment block is allowing us to fulfill our goal of renewing the inner city one block at a time."

Total estimated project cost is $740,000. The WHHI is providing up to $413,360 to Kinkora Developments Ltd to purchase an abandoned apartment block at 457 Young Street and convert it into 23 units of affordable housing for low-income families. The University of Winnipeg Educational Housing Corporation will select the tenants and provide the units at affordable monthly rental rates.

The WHHI funding is being provided under the Manitoba government's Neighbourhood Housing Assistance (NHA) program, the federal-provincial Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) and the City of Winnipeg's Multiple Family Dwelling Grant By-Law. Kinkora, which will also manage the building, is contributing an additional $340,000 towards the project.

The project involves extensive renovations to the existing building that will reopen 11, two-bedroom and 12, one-bedroom safe, high quality suites. Upgrades include re-surfacing the roof, replacement of windows, kitchens, bathrooms, flooring and ventilation fans in each suite, interior and exterior painting, a new security system with special attention to streetscaping. The rehabilitation of this once vacant apartment complex will significantly add to the many redevelopment projects currently underway in the neighbourhood and help improve the quality of life for the residents. The renovations are expected to be completed by September of this year.

"Without the help of the WHHI, this building would still be a boarded up eyesore, ripe for arson," said Maureen Pendergast, President of Kinkora Developments Limited. "But with their help, we're building a community on several levels. We're helping people who otherwise might not be able to afford safe, clean housing. And most importantly, we're building on the strengths and hard work of the people in one of Winnipeg's original neighbourhoods, as they try to make that kind of housing an option for everyone in the Spence area."

"Creative partnerships like these help build stronger communities," said Constance Rooke, President of the University of Winnipeg. "Through the ingenuity and generosity of the public and private sectors, students at the University of Winnipeg and the residents of our community now have another affordable and safe housing option."

The Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness Initiative is a three-year, multi-million dollar tripartite partnership established by the Government of Canada, Province of Manitoba and City of Winnipeg to address homelessness, declining housing stock and the revitalisation of Winnipeg's older neighbourhoods. With this announcement, the WHHI has committed close to $23 million to support the repair, rehabilitation and construction of over 700 units of housing and 100 rooms or beds, as well as provide assistance to homeless individuals and families, or those at risk of becoming homeless.

Located at 233 Portage Avenue in the Curry Building, the WHHI serves as a Single Window office for community organizations to access information on government funded housing and homelessness programs. This also helps improve co-operation and information sharing between the three levels of government and community groups. Community groups wanting more information on programs can call the WHHI at (204) 940-3070.

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Media inquiries:

Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness Initiative (WHHI) Funding

Government of Canada

Under the National Homelessness Initiative (NHI), communities in Manitoba will receive approximately $24 million:

  • $12.8 million through the Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative (SCPI), which includes $10.9 million for homelessness projects in Winnipeg, and $1.9 million for projects outside the city.

The SCPI is based on a community plan developed by the various partners to design and implement local solutions to their particular homelessness issues. The SCPI funds up to 50 per cent of the costs of implementing the community plan. The other 50 per cent is comprised of direct or in-kind contributions from a variety of partners, including other levels of government, community organizations, and the private and voluntary sectors.

Additional federal funding assistance is provided through the following programs:

  • $1.7 million for youth projects under Youth-at-Risk-Homelessness (Youth Employment Strategy); and
  • $9.9 million for Aboriginal-specific projects under Urban Aboriginal Strategy-Homelessness.
  • Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP), to help low-income households and landlords make necessary repairs to bring their properties up to acceptable health and safety standards. RRAP is cost-shared 75/25 per cent respectively by the federal government through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and by the provincial government through Manitoba Family Services and Housing. Manitoba is administering the program while the City of Winnipeg acts as the delivery agent.

For more information on the Government of Canada's National Homelessness Initiative, visit the NHI Web site at:

Government of Manitoba

Neighbourhoods Alive! is a long-term development strategy aimed at providing community groups in designated areas of Winnipeg, Brandon and Thompson with the support they need for programs in the areas of housing and physical improvements, employment and training, education and recreation, and safety and crime prevention. The Manitoba government has committed $3.7 million to Neighbourhoods Alive! in the 2002 budget to develop local capacity, innovative training and provide a fund through which local neighbourhoods can implement their revitalization plans.


In addition, under Neighbourhoods Alive! and through the Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness Initiative (WHHI), the Government of Manitoba has committed:

  • $8 million over four years for housing in Winnipeg neighbourhoods through the Neighbourhood Housing Assistance (NHA) program, plus an additional $1 million each year for housing in Brandon and Thompson.

The NHA will contribute to the revitalization of housing in designated neighbourhoods by providing assistance of up to $10,000 per dwelling unit to neighbourhood based development/renewal corporations and non-profit and co-operative housing corporations for locally planned and developed housing initiatives. Funding can also be provided directly to homeowners or owners of rental housing projects where there is demonstrated community support.

  • The Manitoba government has also committed close to $2 million annually to its share of federal renovation programs, including the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) and the Shelter Enhancement Program (SEP).

For more information on Manitoba Family Services and Housing, visit:

For more information on Manitoba Intergovernmental Affairs and the Neighbourhoods Alive! initiative, visit:


City of Winnipeg

The City of Winnipeg has allocated $7 million over five years under the Winnipeg Housing Policy to fund housing initiatives in targeted inner-city neighbourhoods. Funding is available through several programs:

  • Winnipeg Municipal Cost Offsets Program provides financial assistance up to $5,000 per housing unit through reimbursement of City fees and other eligible costs.
  • Winnipeg Housing Revitalization Program provides financial assistance up to $5,000 per housing unit for housing project pre-development costs.
  • Winnipeg Neighbourhood Housing Plans and Advocacy Program provides financial assistance and other support to neighbourhood stakeholders to develop a Neighbourhood Housing Plan.
  • Winnipeg Housing Demonstration Program provides financial assistance to proponents to encourage unique and innovative approaches to addressing inner-city housing issues that result in quality, affordable housing.
  • Winnipeg Minimum Home Repair Program provides financial assistance to owner-occupants to undertake minor necessary repairs required for continued healthy and safe occupancy of homes.

For more information on the City of Winnipeg, visit:

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