Thursday, November 24, 2011

This is good news for immigrants and low-income families for whom finding affordable decent housing is a huge challenge. 

November 22, 2011


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National Housing Day a Time to Recognize Need for Long-term Solutions to Meet Needs of Low- and Moderate-income Manitobans: Irvin-Ross
The province is renewing its commitment to create more affordable housing and more choices for renters, Housing and Community Development Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross announced today to mark National Housing Day.
“As an increasing number of families choose to build their futures in Manitoba, we are working with community groups and municipalities to create good-quality homes for renters, especially young people, seniors and low-income families,” Irvin-Ross said.  “Our government’s investment in affordable housing will help provide more choices in stronger neighbourhoods.”
During the past two years, the province’s long-term housing strategy, HOMEWorks!, and financial assistance from the Government of Canada have contributed $378 million for housing initiatives in Winnipeg and across the province.  HOMEWorks! supports ALL Aboard, Manitoba’s poverty reduction strategy, by increasing the supply of quality, affordable housing for low-income Manitobans.
Irvin-Ross said the province is on track to develop 1,000 new affordable housing units representing two-thirds of the five-year goal of 1,500 affordable housing units by 2014.  More information about HOMEWorks! is available at
In addition, the strategy has supported a major overhaul of the province’s existing public and non-profit housing, benefiting almost 18,000 Manitoba Housing units, and assisting 853 households in the private market including homeowners, seniors, people living with disabilities and renters with renovations to their homes, Irvin-Ross said.
This past summer, the province partnered with the Winnipeg Realtors Association to create a Rental Housing Roundtable that brings together advocates, academic, and industry representatives to offer ideas for increasing the supply of affordable housing, Irvin-Ross said.
“We are proud to be participating in this process of facing Manitoba’s housing challenges together,” said Mel Boisvert, vice-chair of the civic and legislative affairs committee of the Winnipeg Realtors Association.
In addition, the province is encouraging the building of rental housing with innovative programs such as tax incentive financing through the Downtown Residential Redevelopment Grant and reinvesting more than $5 million worth of proceeds from the development Bridgwater Forest into housing in the inner city.
“National Housing Day is an opportunity to showcase solutions that address affordable housing needs in Canada,” said Irvin-Ross.  “Government, non-profit, co-operative and private sectors must work together to improve affordable housing options for Manitobans through innovative programs.”
The province has also partnered with groups such as Building Urban Industries through Local Development (BUILD) and the Brandon Energy Efficiency Program (BEEP), which reduce utility costs, improve the condition of the stock and serve as a training opportunity for people with barriers to employment, Irvin-Ross said.  For example:
  • through the BUILD program, more than 100 people were trained and employed to retrofit more than 4,000 Manitoba Housing units; and  
  • through BEEP, 67 workers were trained and employed while renovating 1,000 units in Brandon.
National Housing Day was created to recognize past and present housing initiatives and to recognize the need for long-term affordable housing solutions to meet the needs of low- and moderate-income people.
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