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Federal funding announced for affordable apartments near Winnipeg Art Gallery

Jean-Yves Duclos, federal minister of families, shows off the rendering of the building at 290 Colony. It will be filled with affordable apartment units. Diana Foxall

Students and people living downtown in the near future will have one more option for affordable housing.

The federal government announced a $26 million low-interest loan to the Winnipeg Community Renewal Corporation to complete a 119-unit building near the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

The building, which will contain only affordable apartments, means that rent will be set at no more than 30 per cent of the average income in the area.

The building at 290 Colony Street is being dubbed the Arts District, and it’s the result of a partnership between the University of Winnipeg Community Renewal Corporation and the feds.

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The building is slated for completion mid-2020, with Liberal MP for Winnipeg Centre Robert Falcon-Ouellette saying it’s a race to the finish between the Arts District and the new art gallery building next to it.

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The apartments are also being built with 31 per cent more energy efficiency compared to the 2015 building code standards, meaning energy costs for residents will also be reduced.

Late last fall, the federal government announced $18 million for affordable housing units in Transcona, slated to open in October of this year.

The announcements are part of the CMHC’s Rental Construction Financing initiative, which aims to encourage the construction of more than 14,000 units across Canada by 2021. The initiative will provide $3.75 billion in loans to help build these projects.

The federal government announced a 10-year, $40 billion dollar housing strategy in November 2017, aimed at helping 530,000 families who are in “core housing need,” and also aiming to help 385,000 people avoid losing their homes and lifting 50,000 Canadians out of homelessness.

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