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WHHI Funds More Affordable Housing for West End Residents

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, November 27, 2003 — Low- and moderate-income families will soon have increased access to affordable housing with the renovation and sale of 18 homes in the Daniel McIntyre and St. Matthews neighbourhoods. The project is being made possible with the help of up to $540,000 in funding assistance provided to the Housing Opportunity Partnership (HOP) from the Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness Initiative (WHHI).

Today's funding announcement was made during the official opening of 354 Victor, one of the newly renovated homes. The Honourable Steven Mahoney, Secretary of State responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC); the Honourable Christine Melnick, Minister of Manitoba Family Services and Housing; and Glen Murray, Mayor of Winnipeg participated in today's ceremony.

"With this latest project, HOP is increasing its presence in Winnipeg's west end neighbourhood and playing a key role in providing quality, safe and affordable homes for low- to moderate-income residents living there," said Secretary of State Mahoney. "The Government of Canada, through CMHC, is pleased to be a partner with the Province of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg to combine resources and create new housing opportunities for Canadians and help enhance neighborhood revitalization efforts."

"We are pleased to support Housing Opportunity Partnership, through the Canada-Manitoba Affordable Housing Initiative, in their major rehabilitation of older homes in the inner-city, for the benefit of low- and moderate-income people," said Minister Melnick. "The past success of HOP has brought new people - homeowners - into these areas, which is critical to strengthening families and creating stability in neighbourhoods."

"This announcement today demonstrates the power of partnership to revitalize housing in inner-city neighbourhoods," said Mayor Murray. "Through the City's Housing Initiative, we're able to provide groups such as HOP with the support they need to renovate older homes in order to provide safe and affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families. House by house, block by block, this partnership is rebuilding Winnipeg's inner-city neighbourhoods."

The renovated homes will be sold to low- and moderate-income buyers. Total project costs are estimated at $1.8 million. Funding support through the WHHI includes $270,000 from the governments of Canada and Manitoba under the Affordable Housing Initiative's New Homeownership Supply Program and $180,000 through Manitoba's Neighbourhood Housing Assistance program, and up to $90,000 from, the City of Winnipeg for municipal cost-offsets.

The Housing Opportunity Partnership is Winnipeg's first and only pure homeownership not-for-profit housing revitalization initiative. It was created by the Winnipeg Real Estate Board in 1997 and was funded initially by accessing money collected by the provincial government from interest earned through real estate broker trust accounts, and from a home equity contribution from Human Resources Development Canada under the former Winnipeg Development Agreement. HOP's mandate is to develop increased homeownership in designated revitalization neighbourhoods through the acquisition and renovation of substandard or derelict single family housing.

To date, HOP has acquired 41 homes in Winnipeg's inner-city west end, of which 34 have been sold, one conditionally sold (354 Victor) and six are under renovation. HOP's focus is on the Daniel MacIntyre and St. Mathews neighbourhoods . These neighbourhoods, along with 12 others, have been identified by the City of Winnipeg as major improvement areas. Most HOP homes are located on Home, Toronto and Simcoe Streets in order to maximize the impact of the group's renovation efforts.

"What started out very modestly in 1998 with HOP's first acquisition has grown significantly to the point five years later where we now have acquired 41 homes in the West End and invested approximately $2.5 million in housing renewal," said HOP President Tom Yauk. "HOP appreciates WHHI's support over the past two years and welcomes this additional funding which will allow it to renovate at least 18 more homes and stabilize and revitalize a neighbourhood that is already showing positive signs of renewal."

The funding is being coordinated by the Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness Initiative, a partnership established by Canada, Manitoba and Winnipeg to address homelessness, declining housing stock and the revitalization of Winnipeg's older neighbourhoods. Located at 361 Hargrave Street, the WHHI serves as a single-window office for community organizations to access information on government funded housing and homelessness programs. Community groups wanting more information on programs can call the WHHI at (204) 940-3070.

Media inquiries:

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

Peter Squire, Vice-President
Housing Opportunity Partnership
(204) 786-8854

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)


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