News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

January 13, 2017

PROVINCE ANNOUNCES AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR FAMILIES OPENS IN NORTH POINT DOUGLAS



A new, $7.5-million affordable housing project has opened its doors to families in Winnipeg’s North Point Douglas neighbourhood, Families Minister Scott Fielding announced today.

“Austin Family Commons will become part of the fabric of this community while ensuring more families have access to affordable and welcoming homes,” said Fielding.  “During construction, social enterprise and community partnerships delivered on-the-job training and skills development opportunities which provided benefits for members of the community that extend beyond this project alone.  Our government is proud to join with the community to celebrate this grand opening with the many people who have helped make it possible.”
 
Austin Family Commons, located at 150 Austin St. North, is a three-storey, 19-unit family apartment building designed with input from the community.  It features mostly three- and four-bedroom units to meet the needs of larger families.  It also includes a small elder suite, which allows an older family member to live independently while still remaining close to family members for support and companionship.  All units meet visitable standards and two are fully accessible. 

The official grand opening was held today with project partners and stakeholders including social enterprise representatives whose efforts contributed towards the construction of the building.  About 10 per cent of all labour hours on the project were provided by social enterprise employees, who gained on-site experience and training in a variety of skilled trades.

The Winnipeg Housing Rehabilitation Corporation (WHRC) was chosen as the non-profit manager of the property following a competitive request for proposal process, Fielding said.  WHRC is a charitable corporation that provides safe, affordable housing to individuals and families throughout Winnipeg, managing about 1,200 rental units and providing essential social and affordable housing to thousands of low-income individuals.  It will be responsible for selecting tenants, based on referrals from community service agencies.

“Austin Family Commons is a great addition to the North Point Douglas neighbourhood,” said Menno Peters, executive director, WHRC.  “This project features larger single- and multi-bedroom units, which lends itself well to welcoming more families to live and participate in the community.  We look forward to working with the community and are pleased to play a part in making sure Austin Family Commons becomes a positive focal point in North Point Douglas.”

All rents will be set at affordable housing levels for Winnipeg, with the intent to have half of the units available on a rent geared-to-income basis to accommodate lower-income households, the minister noted.

For more information about affordable housing in Manitoba, visit www.gov.mb.ca/housing/.  For more information about WHRC and its properties, visit www.whrc.ca/.

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