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Governments Invest Over $958,000 for New Affordable Housing

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, November 22, 2006 — Four local community groups will share over $958,000 to build seven units of affordable housing for low- to moderate-income residents and persons with disabilities, as well as purchase and renovate existing buildings to provide transitional housing for people with special needs. The projects are being made possible with funding support from the Government of Canada, the Province of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg, through the Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness Initiative (WHHI)

Today’s announcement, which also marks the 7th anniversary of National Housing Day, was made jointly by the Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Justice, 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 Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz. This announcement highlights the ongoing efforts of the three levels of government to provide affordable housing solutions for Canadians who need shelter and the necessary support services.

“National Housing Day is an opportunity to recognize the progress being made to address housing and homelessness issues in Canada, and right here in Winnipeg,” said Minister Toews. “Canada’s new government is proud to work with our partners, through the WHHI, towards the redevelopment of our inner city neighbourhoods and the creation of safe, affordable, and quality housing for those residents of Winnipeg who need it most.”

“These innovative housing projects provide viable options for clients with various needs,” said Mackintosh. “It’s vitally important to the well-being of our neighbourhoods, our communities and our province that we assist those in need through projects supported by the WHHI.”

“This is a very positive project that creates real housing opportunities for our citizens,” said Mayor Katz. “By working with all of our partners, we can continue to build affordable housing and create a true City of Opportunity for all Winnipeggers.”

Funding for the four projects includes $492,067 under the National Homelessness Initiative (NHI) for the North End Women’s Centre and United Church Half way Homes. In addition North End Housing Project Inc. and the Spence Neighbourhood Association will receive more than $352,000 through the New Homeownership Supply Program from the governments of Canada and Manitoba under the cost-shared Canada – Manitoba Affordable Housing Initiative, and $114,000 from the City of Winnipeg Housing Initiative that includes cash and assessed value of the property.

The North End Women’s Centre (NEWC) will purchase and renovate a property at 1979 Ross Ave W to provide seven beds of transitional housing for chronically homeless single women struggling with mental illness or co-occurring substance abuse diagnoses. United Church Half way Homes (UCCH) will undertake extensive renovations to its three transitional homes that were built in the early 1900’s and which provide housing and valuable support services to homeless ex-offenders. (Please see attached backgrounder for details).

North End Housing Project Inc. will construct three accessible single-family infill housing units in William Whyte. Spence Neighbourhood Association will build four infill housing units, including one accessible unit and three two-storey, three-bedroom infill housing units in the Spence neighbourhood. The units will be sold to low- to moderate-income households and individuals with disabilities. The accessible units will incorporate low/no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) products to reduce chemical sensitivities within the home. (Please see the attached backgrounder for details).

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. Since 2000, the WHHI partnership has committed over $91 million to repair, rehabilitate or construct over 3,600 units and 144 rooms or beds, as well as assist the homeless or those at risk of being homeless. For information, organizations or citizens can call 204-940-3070.

For further information, please contact:

Brian Williamson
Service Canada/WHHI

Inonge Aliaga
Spence Neighbourhood Association

Chris Tetlock
North End Women’s Centre

Caroline Sorge
North End Housing Project

Ron Cole
United Church Halfway Homes

WHHI Project Backgrounder

North End Women’s Centre (NEWC) — $400,000 NHI

United Church Halfway Homes Inc (UCHH) — $92,067 NHI

North End Housing Project Inc. (NEHP) — $221,000 AHI/City

Spence Neighbourhood Association (SNA) — $200,000 AHI/City