Manitoba

$12.7M in funding coming for 3 affordable housing projects in Winnipeg

Three new affordable housing projects in Winnipeg — aimed at helping Indigenous people, women and children fleeing domestic violence and 2SLGBTQ people — are getting $12.7 million under the federal government's rapid housing initiative.

Projects will benefit Indigenous people, women and children escaping domestic violence, LGBTQ2

This building on Main Street, next to the Bell Hotel, will be converted into 22 residential units for Indigenous people. (Google Street View)

Three new affordable housing projects in Winnipeg — aimed at helping Indigenous people, women and children fleeing domestic violence, and 2SLGBTQ people — are getting $12.7 million under the federal government's rapid housing initiative.

One of the projects, located at 670 Main St., will be operated by the Manitoba Métis Federation and will convert an existing building into 22 residential units for Indigenous people.

Another, at 590 Victor St., will be operated by West Central Women's Resource Centre. The apartment building will be rehabilitated and repaired to create 16 homes for women and children fleeing domestic violence.

The third, operated by Westminster Housing Society, will create 21 new homes for two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning residents. It will be built at 545 Broadway, at Good Street, beside the historic Wilson House, which was once the Klinic Community Health centre.

The apartment building at 590 Victor St. will be rehabilitated to create 16 homes for women and children fleeing domestic violence. (Google Street View)

"These housing units will support Canadians in uncertain housing situations, experiencing or at risk of homelessness, or living in temporary shelters because of the pandemic," said Ahmed Hussen, Canada's minister of housing and diversity and inclusion.

He made the announcement on Tuesday during a virtual news conference that included Dan Vandal, minister of northern affairs and MP for St. Boniface-St. Vital, Jim Carr, MP for Winnipeg South Centre, Rochelle Squires, Manitoba's minister of families, and Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman.

"Manitoba has some of the highest rates of gender-based violence in the country. Often people return to a violent partner because there are insufficient supports available to them after they exit the shelter system," said Lorie English of the West Central Women's Resource Centre.

"This new building will provide wrap-around supports for tenants and will offer them a place where they can safely begin to heal and rebuild their lives."

Launched last October, the rapid housing initiative is part of the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, under the national housing strategy. The national housing strategy is a 10-year plan to invest $72 billion across Canada to improve housing conditions for Canadians. 

"This funding will be life-changing for 21 very low-income Winnipeg families, particularly folks who are LGBTQ2S+ and who struggle to find safe, high-quality housing that also comes with a sense of community," said Mary Agnes Welch, chair of the Westminster Housing Society.

The Westminster Housing Society is planning to build an affordable housing development for 2SLGBTQ tenants beside the historic Wilson House at the corner of Broadway and Colony Street. (Google Street View)

"Poverty and homelessness are Winnipeg's most pressing problem, and this funding allows Westminster Housing to continue to help solve it."

A $12.5-million announcement was previously made for five projects in December 2020. That was followed by another $12.8-million funding announcement in July 2021 to create 51 affordable homes.

"Today's funding through the Rapid Housing Initiative will go a long way by quickly providing transitional homes for vulnerable individuals and families in Winnipeg to keep them safe," said Will Goodon, minister of housing and property management for the Manitoba Métis Federation.

"Our Métis government aims to provide that safety net for all citizens who are facing complex challenges in these uncertain times, and we understand that action is needed now more than ever to stop chronic homelessness from spreading."

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