Everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Today, as an event took place to bless the land on National Housing Day, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion and Manitoba Families Minister Rochelle Squires, announced that construction will begin later this week on an affordable housing project in a three-storey building in Winnipeg’s inner city. This project will support vulnerable persons experiencing or at risk of experiencing homeless, and those who are dealing with mental health and addictions issues.
Manitoba is contributing up to $1.1 million for the project through the Canada – Manitoba Housing Agreement under the National Housing Strategy.
The project, to be called 390 Ross, will operate as a housing first model, meaning individuals are not required to be living an addiction-free sober lifestyle to move in. Supports will be provided to every resident seeking support for their challenges. The property is being developed on 390 Ross Avenue in Winnipeg’s Centennial neighbourhood. The project will be working with support groups in the neighbourhood and provide 24-hour staffing and a full meal program to provide nourishment while they seek to adjust their lives.
Home First Winnipeg Inc., a non-profit registered charity established by the Pollard family will operate the building. The Pollard family will also provide $4.4 million for the project by way of donation and fundraising.
The project is also partly funded by an $800,000 capital investment through the Shared Health Priorities Bilateral Agreement that was signed in 2019 and will meet recommendations made in the VIRGO report. That report, released in 2018, provided evidence-based advice for improving access to and coordination of mental health and addiction services in Manitoba. VIRGO recommendations filled upon completion of the project include making services more accessible to those who need it and making those services relevant to individual client needs.
Further funding for the project is also being provided by the City of Winnipeg, the Federal Homeless Strategy (Reaching Home – End Homelessness) and the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Project construction is expected to be completed by fall 2022.
“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home, and our government will always be there to help those who need it the most. This Home First Winnipeg project will be key to a better life for the vulnerable individuals who will call it home. That is why we are proud to support this project, together with the province of Manitoba and other partners, through our National Housing Strategy.”
“These investments create good middle-class jobs in the housing and construction sector and help build back stronger communities. Even more important, we are facilitating real change for those that need it most and we are getting closer to our goal of eliminating chronic homelessness in Canada once and for all. That’s the National Housing Strategy at work.”
“Everyone deserves a safe place to call home. This project will improve the quality of life for those who are most vulnerable in our community, giving them a better chance at success. When we strengthen our communities, we build hope and a better Canada. This is one of the ways our National Housing Strategy continues to ensure no one is left behind..”
“Repurposing a vacant space into a supportive living apartment building is a positive step in the right direction for Manitoba’s homeless population, and builds on government’s work to implement the recommendations of the VIRGO report. The project underway will create a new option for vulnerable people who are experiencing homelessness and those who are experiencing mental health and addictions issues.”
“Manitobans living with mental health and addictions challenges need access to housing. These new apartments will give our community members living with addictions a chance to access support services right where they live. This will allow them to get on the road to recovery.”
“We are very pleased to be creating a place that will provide residents safe permanent housing and an opportunity to address their challenges that place them at risk of being homeless. We would like to thank all levels of government for their support of this project and we particularly want to thank the Centennial community for their patient support during this long process. It is very important to us that this building becomes a true home for the residents where they can feel part of a community, and so we are most appreciative of the welcoming response from our neighbours here. It is designed to have space for community activities and we hope to welcome many visitors next year.”
- Other recent Manitoba government investments in housing and initiatives to address homelessness in recent months, include:
- providing $1.5 million to End Homelessness Winnipeg to create an additional warming space called N’Dinawekmak – Our Relatives, which will provide with up to 150 new overnight beds and a community care camp in Winnipeg for those most in need;
- investing more than $6 million to address homelessness during the pandemic, including $5.8 million for Siloam Mission, Resource Assistance for Youth and Salvation Army for overnight beds and physical distancing, as well as for daytime drop-in and alternative isolation accommodations operated by Main Street Project; and
- creating the province’s first rent bank program to support stable housing for low-income to moderate-income families by investing $5.6-million to offer interest-free loans to tenants who are behind in their rent or need more suitable housing.
- The National Housing Strategy (NHS) is the Government of Canada’s 10-year, $72+ billion plan that will give more Canadians a place to call home.
- The NHS is built on strong partnerships between federal, provincial and territorial governments, and on continuous engagement with others, including municipalities, Indigenous governments and organizations, and the social and private sectors to make a meaningful difference in the lives of Canadians.
As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. CMHC’s aim is that by 2030, everyone in Canada has a home they can afford, and that meets their needs. For more information, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.
To find out more about the National Housing Strategy, visit www.placetocallhome.ca.
Information on this release:
Office of the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation