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WHHI Funds Spence Neighbourhood Housing Improvement Projects

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, October 18, 2002 — Residents and homeowners will soon benefit from the repair and revitalization of about 70 homes and housing units in the Spence neighbourhood with up to $536,000 from the Government of Canada, Province of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness Initiative (WHHI). Funding is being provided to the Spence Neighbourhood Association, the Winnipeg Housing and Rehabilitation Corporation and Lazarus Housing.

The funding responds to the priorities identified in the neighbourhood housing plan developed by the Spence Neighbourhood Association in conjunction with the local residents. The Association will coordinate the implementation of the plan with local housing stakeholders.

Today's announcement was made by Winnipeg Mayor Glen Murray; Marianne Cerilli, MLA for Radisson, on behalf of the Honourable Drew Caldwell, Manitoba Minister of Family Services and Housing; and Anita Neville, MP for Winnipeg - South Centre, on behalf of the Honourable David Collenette, Minister of Transport and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

"No other city in Canada is putting as much effort into housing renewal as Winnipeg", said Mayor Murray. "All three orders of government are committed to providing the financial resources to invest in affordable housing for our citizens. Though governments may be providing the money, it's the community itself that is providing the neighbourhood plans, the energy and sweat, and most importantly, the imagination and spirit."

"The community is working together to benefit Spence neighbourhood and we are pleased to further support the partners to build on past successes", said Cerilli. "Locally planned and delivered housing initiatives are key to tackling the redevelopment of derelict, boarded up housing and help strengthen families and build communities."

"The groups involved in these projects are demonstrating an ongoing commitment to improving their neighbourhood in a way that is both pleasing and practical", said Anita Neville. "The Government of Canada through the WHHI partnership fully supports community redevelopment at the grass roots level. Through careful strategic planning and resident involvement, the Spence community will ensure that all of these initiatives are carried out in a manner that compliments the surroundings."

The WHHI funding for Spence neighbourhood of up to $536,000 includes $250,000 from the City of Winnipeg Housing Policy initiative, $160,000 from the Government of Manitoba's Neighbourhood Housing Assistance program and $126,000 from the federal-provincial Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program. Last December, the Spence Neighbourhood Association received $30,000 from the Manitoba government's Neighbourhoods Alive! Initiative and $30,000 from the City of Winnipeg to develop its neighbourhood housing plan.

This funding will support implementation of the housing plan that focuses on the rehabilitation of substandard homes for low- and moderate-income families in the area, community revitalization initiatives such as creating green space and providing grants to homeowners and landlords for fix-up projects (Please see the backgrounder for project details).

"Many of the goals the residents set out in the Spence Neighbourhood Housing Plan (2001) for 2002 have been met", said Inonge Aliaga, Housing Coordinator for the Spence Neighbourhood Association. "Four of the most derelict boarded homes have been demolished, seven more vacant lots have been leveled and greened, eight homeowners have received emergency repair grants and at least 10 completely renovated houses have new owners or rent-to-own tenants. These things have been done with the help of funding and support from our WHHI partners."

The Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness Initiative is a three-year, multi-million dollar partnership established by the Government of Canada, the Province of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg to address homelessness, declining housing stock and the revitalization of Winnipeg's older neighbourhoods. With this announcement, the WHHI has committed $26.3 million to support the repair, rehabilitation and construction of more than 920 units of housing and 120 rooms or beds, as well as to help homeless individuals and families and 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 window also helps improve co-operation and information sharing among the three levels of government and community groups. Community groups wanting more information on programs can call the WHHI at (204) 940-3070.

Brian Williamson
Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness Initiative (WHHI)
Phone: (204) 984-0592

Inonge Aliaga
Spence Neighbourhood Association
Phone: 783-0290


Project Backgrounder

The Spence neighbourhood housing plan includes:

  • The Winnipeg Housing and Rehabilitation Corporation will rehabilitate eight houses between Sargent and Ellice Avenues. The renovated homes will be offered for sale directly to low-income families and on a rent-to-own basis. Total project cost is estimated at $640,000 and total WHHI funding is $286,000.

  • Lazarus Housing will rehabilitate five houses this year for resale to low-income families. Total project cost is estimated at up to $400,000. Total WHHI funding
    is $100,000.

  • Spence Neighbourhood Association is providing 44 grants of between $1,000 to $1,500 to local homeowners and landlords for residential fix-up projects, totalling $60,000.

  • An additional eight homeowners will receive grants of up to $3,000 for emergency home repairs.

  • Funding of $56,000 is being provided to the Spence Neighbourhood Association for a housing development coordinator to ensure all projects meet the objectives of the neighbourhood housing plan and available resources are distributed to local housing development groups. The WHHI is providing $26,000 and the Manitoba government's Neighbourhoods Alive! Initiative is contributing the remaining $30,000 toward this part of the plan.

  • The Spence Neighbourhood Association is directing $40,000 toward developing new housing partnerships.

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 the Urban Aboriginal Strategy-Homelessness.

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

  • 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 the 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 RRAP, visit the CMHC Web site at, or Family Services and Housing, visit:

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.

WHHI Backgrounder

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:

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:

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)


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