Province promises $5.25M for nearly 50 social housing units in Winnipeg

The Manitoba government says it’s putting up $5.25 million to help create nearly 50 new social housing units.The two projects that will create the 46 new units will get the funding in the form of secured, fully forgivable loans from Manitoba Housing, according to a Friday news release from the province.One project is a four-storey, 15-unit building in downtown Winnipeg that will be used as second-stage transitional housing for Indigenous and newcomer women and children who have experienced gender-based violence, Housing Minister Bernadette Smith said at a Friday news conference.The province is committing about $2 million for the construction of that building, a project being led by the University of Winnipeg Community Renewal Corporation 2.0 in partnership with community organizations Ikwe Widdjiitiwin, Family Dynamics and New Journey Housing.The province also set aside $3 million for construction of a new six-storey, 154-unit complex in Transcona, including 31 rent-geared to income units.The remaining units in the Transcona project, led by the not-for-profit Winnipeg Housing Rehabilitation Corporation, will be a mix of market units and units at 80 per cent of median market rent, creating “housing across the spectrum,” Smith said.Construction is expected to begin in the fall, she said.Some of the social housing units will be designed to be fully accessible, and the WHRC will partner with Siloam Mission to offer those spaces to people with disabilities, said Smith.The funding is part of the $116 million earmarked in the NDP government’s 2024-25 budget to build and maintain affordable housing units.Projects ‘provide a home and hope’The province will also contribute $419,000 in additional funding for the U of W renewal corporation and $334,000 to the WHRC to provide rent supplements and ensure the units are rent-geared-to-income, and to offer wraparound services to help residents stay housed, according to the release.The projects “are close to my heart,” Smith said, since they will help prevent homelessness and support those who have experienced it.”My road to becoming minister included living in social housing myself,” she said. “Now, I have the ability to actually support those who are most vulnerable — a spot that I actually was in at some point in my life.”James Heinrichs, the WHRC’s executive director, said he looks forward to working with the government to “provide a home and hope” to vulnerable people.”We believe that, as we move forward, there needs to be more collaboration — working together with government and organizations, non-profit organizations specifically,” he said at the news conference.”We were honoured that the province of Manitoba is committed to supporting our new development in Transcona, as the need for affordable housing extends beyond the confines of the city’s core.”

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