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More Than $3.6 Million Provided to Transform Temporary War-Time Houses into Modern, Affordable Housing

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, November 17, 2006 — Flora Place, once the temporary home for returning war veterans in Winnipeg's north end, will soon undergo a major redevelopment in order to provide affordable accommodations for low-income households and persons with disabilities, including seniors. The project is being supported with funding of over $3.6 million to the Winnipeg Housing Rehabilitation Corporation (WHRC) from the Government of Canada, the Province of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness Initiative (WHHI).

The project was officially announced today by Steven Fletcher, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Charleswood-St.James-Assiniboia, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development; the Honourable Gord Mackintosh, Manitoba Minister of Family Services and Housing; and Councillor Mike Pagtakhan, Point Douglas Ward and Winnipeg Housing Steering Committee, on behalf of Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz.

"Canada's new government recognizes the importance of affordable housing," said Parliamentary Secretary Fletcher. "Every Canadian deserves a safe, affordable place to call home and we are pleased to be working with our partners to extend a helping hand to those who need it most in Winnipeg, including seniors and persons with disabilities."

"As one of the largest public housing investment in Winnipeg's North End in the past decade, this development is a real boost to community revitalization efforts," said Minister Mackintosh. "Replacing what was intended as only temporary war-time houses with modern homes signals a new era for the neighbourhood."

"When complete, Flora Place will offer new and affordable housing choices for citizens on limited incomes," said Councillor Pagtakhan. "It benefits the city overall, and strengthens individual neighbourhoods, when we can provide housing options which meet the needs of all of our citizens."

The total estimated project cost is $4.4 million. Financial support includes close to $3 million, including $2.94 million from the New Rental Supply Program from the governments of Canada and Manitoba and the cost-shared Canada – Manitoba Affordable Housing Initiative. In addition, the City of Winnipeg is providing $605,000 from its housing initiative that includes the assessed value of the property and associated demolition costs. The balance of the funds are from private financing.

The project involves the construction of 28 new one-story townhouse units and the complete redevelopment of a 2.05 acre residential site at 1 Flora Place in the Dufferin neighbourhood. The new units, which will replace the existing single-family dwellings, will include 16 one-bedroom, eight two-bedroom and four three-bedroom designs. To ensure the smooth relocation of current Flora Place tenants, WHRC is providing temporary housing in vacant apartment units located in some of its nearby buildings. The project is expected to be completed by the end of May, 2007.

The foundation will be concrete slab, so that all units will have grade level entrances. All units will be "visitable" by people with mobility-related disabilities, and at least four of the units will be fully accessible for people with disabilities. The project will also include a laundry facility and meeting area for the tenants.

"The redevelopment of Flora Place has been in the planning stages for many years and is a key component of our long term plan to help revitalize our aging neighbourhoods," said Mike Pagtakhan, Chair of the Winnipeg Housing Rehabilitation Corporation (WHRC). "We are grateful to the WHHI for this funding assistance and to the efforts of our staff and board for allowing us to provide affordable housing in the Dufferin neighbourhood."

To keep the rents affordable for low-income households, the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation (MHRC) will provide rent supplement assistance for 24 of the 28 units that subsidizes the difference between the approved market-rental rate charged by the landlord and the rent-geared-to-income paid by the tenant.

The funding is co-ordinated by the Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness Initiative (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.

Since 2000, the WHHI partnership has committed over $91 million to repair, rehabilitate or construct over 3,600 units of housing as well as assist the homeless or those at risk of being homeless. The WHHI is a single-window office for community organizations to access information on government-funded housing and homelessness programs. For information, organizations or citizens can call 204-940-3070.

For more information, please contact:

Brian Williamson
Service Canada/WHHI Corporation
Menno Peters
Winnipeg Housing Rehabilitation

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News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)


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