News Releases

News Release - Canada and Manitoba

January 11, 2023


Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, along with the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs and Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and CanNor, Manitoba Minister of Families Rochelle Squires and Chief Sidney Ballantyne of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation, announced a combined investment of over $17.4 million to build 69 new and affordable apartment units in Winnipeg, with a strong focus on serving Indigenous students, young families and elders.

The Opaskwayak Cree Nation will own and operate a seven-storey apartment building with heated underground parking, located at 380 Young St. The new building will be just a minute’s walk to the University of Winnipeg and is a mix of affordable living with over 40 percent of the rental units being offered at highly discounted rates.

This construction project is aimed to help address the significant shortage of affordable rental units in the city of Winnipeg. The 69-unit building will replace four vacant single-family homes that were dilapidated and have been demolished. Construction is expected to take 18 months and should be complete in the summer of 2024.

Opaskwayak Cree Nation intends to lease a number of units to First Nations students who have moved off the reserve for post-secondary education, as the central location is not only next to the University of Winnipeg but all major bus routes are also nearby.

To maximize its energy efficiency, the building is participating in Efficiency Manitoba’s New Buildings Program. Efficiency Manitoba will provide the Opaskwayak Cree Nation with approximately $105,000 in incentives to reduce the costs of incorporating multiple energy-saving measures throughout the construction process. Primary energy-efficient features proposed for the building include a high-performance building envelope, heat pumps for space heating, and a central heat recovery unit to ventilate the suites. Undertaking these measures will result in anticipated annual electricity savings of nearly 190,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) and estimated annual bill savings of $9,500.

Funding provided for this project is as follows:

  • $15.6 million from the federal government, through the National Housing Strategy’s National Housing Co-Investment Fund;
  • $105,000 through Efficiency Manitoba; and
  • $1.8 million from Opaskwayak Cree Nation.


“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. By investing in affordable housing here in Winnipeg and across Canada, our government is providing more Canadians with access to affordable and quality homes in vibrant and welcoming communities. Thanks to today’s announcement, members of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation will have access to affordable housing while pursuing their educational goals. This is our government’s National Housing Strategy in action.” — The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion

“Through important investments in affordable housing, our government is assisting those who need it most here in Winnipeg and in all corners of the country. These investments help create new jobs and stimulate the local economy, while providing access to safe, affordable homes for Winnipeggers.” — The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs and Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and CanNor

“We are pleased to see the addition of this affordable, green housing initiative, giving members of Opaskwayak Cree Nation the opportunity to live, study and work in the heart of downtown Winnipeg. Our government supports continued investment in affordable housing so that all Manitoba families can have a safe place to call home. Through Efficiency Manitoba’s New Buildings Program, the Opaskwayak Cree Nation will receive support for technical guidance and financial incentives for this project. Energy models show this new build’s energy performance will be approximately 16 per cent better than what is required by the Manitoba Energy Code for Buildings - a noteworthy achievement. We are also eager to see the building receive Efficiency Manitoba’s Energy Efficient certification when it’s finished.” — Manitoba Minister of Families Rochelle Squires

“This building not only allows our Cree Nation to start capitalizing within the real estate market, it will allow us a place in the city to house some of our own citizens who are leaving the north to begin their higher education journeys in the south. The lower rent would ease the financial stresses so that our sponsored students can focus on their school work and their career paths, which in turn, will allow them to continue to make successful contributions to not only Opaskwayak but to the entire country.” —  Chief Sidney Ballantyne, Opaskwayak Cree Nation                           

“It has been a pleasure working with Opaskwayak Cree Nation to deliver high quality, affordable housing in difficult times of rising interest and inflation rates. We're proud to contribute to the solution to the nation-wide affordable housing crisis that is being felt by so many Canadians. We recognize the strength of facilitating partnerships that make affordable housing a reality, especially for Indigenous communities.” — Nigel Furgus, CEO, Paragon Design Build

Quick facts:

  • The National Housing Co-Investment Fund (NHCF) is a program under the National Housing Strategy (NHS) that prioritizes projects that help people who need it most, including women and children fleeing family violence, seniors, Indigenous communities and people, people living with disabilities, those with mental health or addiction issues, veterans, and young adults.
  • The Government of Canada’s National Housing Strategy (NHS) is an ambitious, 10-year plan that will invest over $72 billion to give more Canadians a place to call home.

Related links:

  • As Canada's authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. CMHC’s aim is that by 2030, everyone in Canada has a home they can afford and that meets their needs. For more information, please visit
  • To find out more about the National Housing Strategy, visit:
  • View the National Housing Strategy Housing Funding Initiatives Map at to see affordable housing projects that have been developed across Canada.

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