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$1.2 Million Invested in Spence Neighbourhood Affordable Housing Projects

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, October 26, 2007 — Comfort and affordability go hand-in-hand with the opening of Spence Cozy Rooms, a 12-unit affordable housing project that received $320,000 from the Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness Initiative (WHHI).

Kildonan – St. Paul MP Joy Smith on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development; Minto MLA Andrew Swan, on behalf of Family Services and Housing Minister Gord Mackintosh; and Councillor Russ Wyatt, Transcona Ward, attended today’s grand opening and also took the opportunity to announce a further $857,460 in investments in the Spence neighbourhood bringing the total contribution under WHHI to nearly $1.2 million.

“Our government is committed to helping create new affordable housing across Manitoba for those who need it most.” said MP Smith “We are pleased to be working with our partners to help those individuals and families in Winnipeg who are working towards building a better and stronger future.”

“Investing in housing, investing in neighbourhoods, and investing in people are investments in our future,” said MLA Swan. “Projects such as these demonstrate what we can accomplish when there is a vision, a will and the cooperation of partnerships to put Housing First.”

"The City of Winnipeg is committed to working with the other levels of government to provide funding for social housing programs that assist our citizens," said Councillor Wyatt. "Every new unit that is opened gives individuals a window of hope for a brighter future."

The Spence Cozy Rooms project included the renovation of 485 Spence Street to create five self-contained apartments, as well as the renovation of 483 Spence Street to create a rooming house for up to seven occupants. Both buildings will be available for low-income households. Tenants are expected to move in on November 1, 2007.

“Renovating old buildings to create decent accommodations takes an incredible amount of vision, flexibility and hard work, but the reward of knowing twelve more low-income people will have a great place to live makes it well worth it,” said Travis Unger of Cozy Rooms. “The Cozy Room Project is needed and well supported in the Spence Neighbourhood. This support is seen in over 3,500 hours of volunteer labour; however, without the financial support from WHHI, this project would not have happened. It’s a wonderful demonstration of how public funds can support local initiatives for long lasting benefits in a community.”

Total estimated cost of the project is $444,200. WHHI funding includes $320,000 from the Affordable Housing Initiative New Rental Supply Program (AHI-NRS). Remaining costs are covered through private equity.

WHHI funding is co-ordinated 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 $99 million to repair, rehabilitate, or construct over 4,000 housing units as well as assist those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

For more information, please call:

Travis Unger
Spence Cozy Rooms

Jacquie Sippola
Service Canada/WHHI

See related speech


The Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness Initiative at Work in the Spence Neighbourhood

The Governments of Canada, Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg announced $320,000 in funding towards the Spence Cozy Rooms affordable housing project. Other projects announced today include:

Spence Neighbourhood Association $731,610
Funding provided for the construction of eight infill homes and costs associated with demolition and pre-development. Other activities include improved housing coordination and support, housing development, as well as Community Housing Improvement Initiatives which are small grants provided to homeowners for exterior improvements. (11 projects)
Winnipeg Housing Rehabilitation Corporation $41,390
Funding to cover municipal and other costs associated with rehabilitation of homes in Spence neighbourhood. (2 projects)
Payuk Inter-Tribal Co-Operative $5,960
Funding for improvements to one building for rental to Aboriginal people. (1 project)
Lazarus Housing $53,500
Funding to cover administrative costs as well as to hire a Project Manager. (2 projects)
Habitat for Humanity $25,000
Funding for pre-development costs. (2 projects)

Since 2000, the Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness Initiative (WHHI) has invested a total of $8.9 million to repair, rehabilitate or construct 635 housing units and beds in the Spence neighbourhood.

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)


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