Tim Ward feels extremely lucky to be living in Concordia Village IV, a new 45-unit affordable apartment building developed by a faith group in Winnipeg’s East Kildonan area.
Opened in 2014, the new housing serves a broad range of individuals and families, including those who face mental health issues and those at risk of homelessness.
Before moving into Concordia Village IV, Ward had been living in a downtown shelter and before that, a rooming house.
“It’s extremely hard to find anything affordable here. There weren’t a lot of options, and downtown Winnipeg can be a dangerous place. Living here is a huge step up. There’s nothing in the city that’s this affordable or this good. We have a really good community here,” said Tim.
Concordia Village IV is owned and operated by Eden Health Care Services Inc., a Mennonite agency which provides core mental health services primarily in rural Manitoba. This is the group’s sixth housing project, but its first in an urban centre.
“Safe, affordable housing is a key contributor to good mental health,” explained James Friesen, CEO of Eden Health Care Services Inc. “We believe the most effective housing projects have appropriate supports built into the community. Many people have faced struggles, but you feel the joy of living when you walk into the building.”
The new development is located within a 297-unit seniors’ assisted living community owned by Concordia Wellness Projects Inc. The owners had a sufficient supply of seniors’ housing and agreed to lease the last vacant parcel to Eden Health Care for affordable housing as a creative way to cap off their community.
The project received combined funding of $11.9 million from the federal and provincial governments through the Canada – Manitoba Agreement for Investment in Affordable Housing, which covered the entire building construction cost.