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$1.6 Million will Create Much-Needed Affordable Housing in Spence Neighbourhood

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, May 27, 2005 — Residents in the Spence neighbourhood will soon benefit from the construction and rehabilitation of 49 affordable housing units and small grants to homeowners and landlords, with the help of up to $1.6 million from 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; Anita Neville, MP for Winnipeg South Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Joe Fontana, Minister of Labour and Housing; and Mike Pagtakhan, Deputy Mayor of Winnipeg and Councillor for Point Douglas, on behalf of Winnipeg mayor Sam Katz, took part in today’s event at 508 Spence, the site of one of the new homes.

“This support for eight new, energy efficient R2000 compliant homes and major repairs to numerous structures builds upon our balanced approach of working cooperatively with local groups on projects that are community-based, to create more safe and affordable housing that will further revitalize the inner-city,” said Minister Melnick. “We are pleased as the new home construction and rehabilitation projects address the need for more affordable housing and the renovation grants directly help to improve property values and the appearance of the neighbourhood.”

“These projects are an important part of increasing and maintaining the housing stock in the Spence neighbourhood and will contribute to building a lasting and sustainable community,” said MP Neville. “By working in partnership with local groups like the Spence Neighbourhood Association, the federal government is helping ensure lower-income individuals and families in Winnipeg get the quality, affordable housing they need.”

“This is an exciting announcement for the Spence neighbourhood,” said Deputy Mayor Pagtakhan. “Constructing new energy efficient homes and rehabilitating existing buildings will help to provide more safe and affordable housing options for lower income residents. In addition, the grants that will be available to property owners for renovations will go a long way to revitalizing this inner-city neighbourhood. The City has contributed over $200,000 to this project, and I am very pleased to be a part of it. I applaud the efforts of our partners; this is yet another great example of what we can do when government and the community come together to address housing concerns and homelessness in Winnipeg.”

The funding is being provided to the Spence Neighbourhood Association, Winnipeg Housing Rehabilitation Corporation and Lazarus Housing. Total project costs are estimated at $2.9 million with the groups contributing the balance of the costs.

Funding support facilitated through WHHI includes:

“The building of new homes in our neighbourhood has allowed us to diversify the types of housing available to community members," said Inonge Aliaga, Executive Director for the Spence Neighbourhood Association. "What's more, they will provide the opportunity for families in our community to become home owners for the first time.”

The funding is coordinated by the Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness Initiative, 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. The WHHI recently celebrated its fifth anniversary and since 2000, the partnership has facilitated approximately $57 million toward the repair, rehabilitation or construction of over 2,200 units of housing and 137 rooms or beds, as well as assisted the homeless or those at risk of being homeless. 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. For information, organizations or citizens can call 940-3070.

For further information, please contact:

Brian Williamson
Communications
Winnipeg Housing and Homeless Initiative
(204) 984-0592
brian.williamson@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

Inonge Aliaga
Spence Neighbourhood Association
(204) 783-5000

Backgrounder

Spence Neighbourhood Project Details

Spence Neighbourhood Association

Winnipeg Housing Rehabilitation Corporation (WHRC)

Lazarus Housing Inc. (LHI)

573 Sherbrook Street