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Affordable Housing for Seniors Being Built in St. James

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, November 12, 2004 – Low to moderate income seniors living in St. James will soon have access to more affordable housing with the development of 24 apartment units in a new four storey building. The funding to the St. James Kiwanis Courts & Lodge is from the Canada-Manitoba Affordable Housing Initiative (AHI). Total project costs for the project are estimated at $5.5 million. The announcement was made today by the Government of Canada and the Province of Manitoba.

The apartments are part of the new St. James Kiwanis Manor redevelopment project currently underway in the Silver Heights area, at 135 Sinawik Bay. Funding of $960,000 is being provided by the Government of Canada, the Province of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness Initiative (WHHI).

The Honourable Christine Melnick, Manitoba Minister of Family Services and Housing and Jae Eadie, Councillor for the St. James - Brooklands Ward of the City of Winnipeg, participated in today's event at the project site.

"St. James Kiwanis Manor will enable 24 seniors to remain in the neighbourhood and continue to enjoy their independent lifestyle," said the Honourable Reg Alcock, MP Winnipeg South, on behalf of the Honourable Joseph Fontana, Minister of Labour and Housing. "The Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, is working closely with the Manitoba government and the City of Winnipeg to ensure seniors on limited incomes are provided with safe, affordable housing."

"This is an important step to make adequate and affordable housing available to more seniors who are on low or moderate incomes," said Minister Melnick. "This not only supports locally-planned housing initiatives but is also a demonstration of successful partnerships between governments, the community and the non-profit sector."

"This development will provide much-needed affordable housing options for low-income seniors in St. James, and is a very positive initiative for area residents," said Councillor Eadie, "Through the Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness Initiative, government and community partners are taking great strides to address homelessness and housing needs in our city."

The first of a multi-phase redevelopment initiative, the St. James Kiwanis Manor will consist of 51 units located at 135 Sinawik Bay. The building will replace 22 cottage-style units from the 1950s that were recently demolished. Of the 51 units, 24 one-bedroom units will be leased to low-income seniors. All units will be wheel-chair accessible, including patio doors leading onto the balconies. Residents are expected to move in next March.

The WHHI funding includes $960,000 provided to the St. James Kiwanis Courts & Lodge through the Canada-Manitoba Affordable Housing Initiative's Rental Supply Program. The St. James Kiwanis Courts & Lodge is also contributing $828,741 towards the project. The group, with over 45 years experience in non-profit management, will manage the new project.

"The assistance provided through the Affordable Housing Initiative has allowed us to meet one of our original objectives of producing new rental units for low income seniors," said Tom Lambert, Chair for the St. James Kiwanis Courts & Lodge.

The Canada -Manitoba Affordable Housing Initiative (AHI) 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. The AHI is cost-shared equally by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and the Province of Manitoba. In addition, the City of Winnipeg has allocated $17.5 million over five years under its Housing Policy to fund housing initiatives in targeted inner-city neighbourhoods. It is anticipated the AHI will create up to 2,500 units, in Manitoba, for low-to moderate income households.

The funding is being coordinated through the WHHI, a 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. 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.

For more information:

Brian Williamson
Winnipeg Housing and
Homelessness Initiative (WHHI)
(204) 984-0592
cell: 771-6438