New $3 million dollar affordable housing project opens in Winkler

    WINKLER, MB, Sept. 13 /CNW/ - Manitobans in the Winkler area now have
access to a new affordable housing complex, as a result of close to $2 million
in federal and provincial funding under the Canada-Manitoba Affordable Housing
Initiative (AHI).
    Brian Pallister, Member of Parliament for Portage-Lisgar, on behalf of
the Honorable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social
Development, Doug Martindale, MLA for Burrows, on behalf of the Honorable Gord
Mackintosh, Manitoba Minister of Family Services and Housing, and Martin
Harder, Mayor of the City of Winkler, presided over the grand opening
    "Canada's New Government is committed to making affordable housing
available in Manitoba and across Canada for those who need it most," said MP
Pallister. "The creation of these new units will allow lower income families
and persons with disabilities in Winkler to live in safe, quality housing at
an affordable cost and start a new page in their lives."
    "By working together we can develop affordable, safe and accessible
housing for Manitobans," said Martindale. "We are committed to continuing a
comprehensive housing plan through HomeWorks! one of the four pillars in our
housing strategy."
    Winkler Affordable Housing Inc. initiated the project, located at
Southgate Drive. The City of Winkler supported the project by contributing
land valued at over $200,000, and the balance of funding will come from
Winkler Affordable Housing Inc. The total cost of this project is estimated at
more than $3.1 million.
    The new, bi-level style, row-housing complex features 24 units of
affordable housing for low- to moderate-income families. Twelve units will
receive rent supplements and two units will be fully accessible for persons
with mobility disabilities. Rents for the new apartments are considered
affordable as they will be at median market rent levels for rural Manitoba.
    "The City of Winkler is proud to be able to partner with Federal and
Provincial funding to provide the much needed affordable housing in the City
of Winkler", says Winkler City Mayor Martin Harder, "We are confident that the
community of homes established will provide the tenants with long term
comfortable accommodations. We believe that giving people a start and housing
they can be proud of will enhance their lifestyle and encourage involvement in
other areas of need in our community. Together we can build a better future
for all."
    "We know these three bedroom units have provided a very good start to
affordable housing for the City of Winkler," says Ken J. Wiebe, Chairman of
the Winkler Affordable Housing Inc. "These 24 units have hardly placed a dent
in our community for accommodations. There is a significant need for
additional small units of 1 and 2 bedroom accommodations. This will truly
provide a future for our community."
    The governments of Canada and Manitoba have each contributed $36.9
million to the Affordable Housing Initiative in Manitoba, demonstrating a
commitment to increasing the supply of affordable housing in Manitoba.
Contributions from municipalities, the private and voluntary sectors,
co-operatives and charities have significantly increased the size of this
initiative in Manitoba.



    First Phase:

    The governments of Canada and Manitoba signed the Affordable Housing
Initiative in 2002. The first phase provided federal funding of $25.39 million
with matching contributions of $25.39 million from the Province of Manitoba
and community-based housing partners. This agreement provided funding for a
new rental housing-supply program, a rehabilitation/conversion program, a new
homebuyer down-payment program and a home ownership-supply program.

    Second Phase:

    The second phase increased the total current investment commitments by
$23.08 million by 2010. This is equally shared by Canada and Manitoba for:

    -   a new rental housing-supply program to increase the amount of new
        rental affordable housing for low-income renters;

    -   a rehabilitation/conversion housing program to rehabilitate severely
        deteriorated properties into rental or ownership affordable housing
        for low-income households;

    -   a homebuyer down-payment assistance program to help low-income
        renters become first-time homebuyers of new or recently renovated
        affordable housing developed under Affordable Housing programs and;

    -   a new homeownership supply program to increase homeownership by
        encouraging construction of new housing in targeted urban
        revitalization and remote areas.

    As well, federal assistance is increased to 50 per cent of capital costs
to a maximum of $75,000 per unit. The units are expected to remain affordable
and be occupied by low-income households for a minimum of 10 years. Phase II
is targeted to people on or eligible to be on a social-housing waiting list.

    Other Government of Canada Housing Support in Manitoba:

    In 2005/2006, the Government of Canada spent approximately $123 million
in Manitoba primarily in support of some 41,350 lower-income households across
the province as part of the federal contribution to social housing programs.
    Recently, it announced $256 million for the two-year extension of CMHC's
renovation programs. For renovation programs, in Manitoba, about $5.8 million
has been allocated for off-reserve delivery in 2007/08.
    This will improve the quality of housing for some 38,000 low-income
Canadians. These investments will provide concrete, meaningful and lasting
results for Canadians who need safe and adequate housing.
    This includes funds for renovations under the Residential Rehabilitation
Assistance Program (RRAP), Home Adaptations for Seniors' Independence (HASI),
Emergency Repair Program (ERP) and the Shelter Enhancement Program (SEP).
    The 2006 Federal Budget contains a one-time investment of $1.4 billion
towards helping Canadians find safe, adequate and affordable housing in all
provinces and territories.

    The funding will be made available through a flexible approach involving
third party trusts:

    -   An Affordable Housing Trust, in the amount of $800 million over three
        years, to help address short-term pressures with regard to the supply
        of affordable housing;
    -   An Off-Reserve Aboriginal Housing Trust, in the amount of
        $300 million over three years, to help provinces address housing
        needs for Aboriginal Canadians living off-reserve; and,
    -   A Northern Housing Trust, in the amount of $300 million over three
        years, to help territories address short-term pressures with regard
        to affordable housing to the North.

    Manitoba's share of the funding is $61.50 million from the first two

    Other Government of Manitoba Housing Support Programs:

    The Government of Manitoba offers programs to help lower-income
households maintain, buy or rent safe, adequate and affordable housing. The
province provides annual grants and subsidies through the Manitoba Housing and
Renewal Corporation for non-profit and co-operative housing organizations to
help develop project proposals for affordable housing for seniors, persons
with disabilities and persons with low incomes. It supports the provision of
private-sector financing for affordable housing projects developed and
delivered by non-profit organizations and also provides grants and loans for
home repairs.
    The Affordable Housing Initiative complements existing renovation and
repair programs including the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program
(RRAP). Manitoba cost-shares RRAP, the Home Adaptations for Seniors'
Independence Program, the Emergency Repair Program and the Shelter Enhancement
Program with the federal government. The Manitoba government delivers the
federal/provincial cost-shared programs as well as the provincially funded
Homeowner Emergency Loan Program.

For further information:

For further information: Kimberlee Jones, Canada Mortgage and Housing
Corporation, Communications and Marketing, (403) 515-3048; L. Nadine Delisle,
Communications Services Manitoba, Public Affairs, (204) 945-3810

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