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Additional Families Benefit as more Affordable Housing is Created in Brandon

Major Milestone Celebrated: Over 500 Units Constructed or Revitalized in Brandon's Core

BRANDON, Manitoba, January 20, 2004 - Brandon's downtown will soon have 47 new apartments for families with low and moderate-incomes bringing the total revitalized housing units in the city to more than 500, thanks to the support of the governments of Canada and Manitoba.

The Honourable John Harvard, Charleswood St. James-Assiniboia MP, on behalf of the Honourable Andy Scott, Minister of State (Infrastructure) and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC); and Brandon East MLA Drew Caldwell, on behalf of the Honourable Christine Melnick, Minister of Manitoba Family Services and Housing; today announced $310,000 in support from the Canada-Manitoba Affordable Housing Initiative will be combined with a contribution from the project owner for total project costs of over $3.7 million.

"The Government of Canada is pleased to have been and will continue to be part of the revitalization of the City of Brandon," said Harvard. "Finding solutions to housing needs requires the support of the community and of local developers. Together we can find successful community-based solutions to housing needs and build strong healthy communities."

"I am thrilled that, thanks to the fine efforts of community-based groups like the Brandon Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation, we have surpassed 500 new and improved units of housing," said Caldwell. "There is still a long road ahead but we have made excellent progress on our goals of strengthening families and building better communities."

The project is located at 1400 Pacific Ave. where a 47-unit apartment building is being constructed that includes 16 three-bedroom suites, 23 two-bedroom and eight one-bedroom units. The new building will have 31 apartments for rent by low and moderate-income individuals or families. In addition, Manitoba Rent Supplement Program assistance will be available on five units where rents will be based on a family's income. This helps ensure people in need, including Employment and Income Assistance participants, can find adequate and suitable housing.

This latest support marks the investment of over $17 million to construct and renovate 532 units of housing in downtown Brandon since April 2000.

"Today is a significant milestone in the revitalization of Brandon's downtown and it is gratifying to look back on all the progress," said Mike Abbey, Chair of the Brandon Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation. "Working together with the governments of Canada and Manitoba, we are confident we will be able to meet the increasing demand for safe and affordable housing in our community."

The governments of Canada and Manitoba will each contribute $25.4 million to the Affordable Housing Initiative over five years, to increase the supply of affordable housing in Manitoba. It is anticipated that contributions from municipalities, the private and voluntary sectors, co-operatives and charities will significantly increase the scope of this initiative in Manitoba.

Funding under the Canada-Manitoba Affordable Housing Initiative flows through provincially designed programs that support new rental housing and homeownership opportunities and the rehabilitation or conversion of existing housing. As well, $6 million will be dedicated to housing in remote areas.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and Manitoba Family Services and Housing are working co-operatively with the Brandon Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation to revitalize housing in the Brandon core area.

Background Information

Assistance for Revitalized and Renovated Housing in Brandon Surpasses 500 Units

  • The revitalization of housing in Brandon's downtown, since April 2000, has been supported by the governments of Canada and Manitoba, with the construction or renovation of 532 rental and homeowner housing units.

  • Projects totalling over $17 million have been funded through the Canada-Manitoba Affordable Housing Initiative (AHI); the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP); and Manitoba's Neighbourhood Housing Assistance program. This support has helped ensure safe, improved and affordable rental housing options for low and moderate-income families, including the following:

    • between April 2000 and September 2003 - $1.4 million for single-family homeowner and single rental unit renovation upgrades for a total of 158 units;

    • April 2001 - $126,000 to convert an existing building and create seven new housing units;

    • July 2001 - $472,000 to renovate two adjoining buildings for 32 rental housing units;

    • December 2001 - $200,000 to renovate five houses and create 17 rental units;

    • February 2002 - $900,000 to create 65 units;

    • June 2002 - $757,000 to renovate 65 units;

    • November 2002 - $280,000 to build 28 new apartment units;

    • March 2003 - $958,401 to construct or renovate 77 units;

    • October 2003 - $533,000 to build 36 new apartment units;

    • January 2004 - $310,000 to construct 47 new apartment units.

Government of Canada

  • The Canada-Manitoba Affordable Housing Initiative was signed in September 2002 and provides $50.8 million, over five years, to help increase the supply of affordable rental units and new housing available in the province. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), on behalf of the Government of Canada, has contributed $25.4 million, which is matched by the Province of Manitoba. It is anticipated the AHI will create 2,500 units over five years.

  • Federal renovation programs such as the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program help low-income households and landlords make necessary repairs to bring their properties up to acceptable health and safety standards. Renovation programs off-reserve are cost-shared 75/25 per cent respectively by the federal government, through CMHC, and by the provincial government, through the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation. The federal share is $5.4 million. Manitoba administers the program.

Government of Manitoba

  • Through the Canada-Manitoba Affordable Housing Initiative, Manitoba has committed $25.4 million to further increase support for the development of safe and affordable housing. Funding support under the New Rental Supply, New Homeownership Supply, Repair/Conversion and Homebuyer Down Payment Assistance programs is available to support housing proposals.

  • The Manitoba government has also committed close to $2 million annually to its share of federal renovation programs, including the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program and the Shelter Enhancement Program.

  • Neighbourhoods Alive! is a long-term development strategy that provides 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, safety, and crime prevention. The Manitoba government has committed $3.7 million to Neighbourhoods Alive! in the 2003 budget to develop local capacity, innovative training and provide a fund through which local neighbourhoods can implement their revitalization plans.

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)


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