The details of a new rapid housing initiative for the City of Winnipeg were announced by all three levels of government on a Zoom call Friday morning.
Federal Families Minister Ahmed Hussen, Provincial Families Minister Heather Stefanson, and Mayor Brian Bowman discussed a $12.5-million Rapid Housing Initiative for Winnipeg that will bring 88 new affordable housing units to the community.
The projects will include a focus on people who are experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness, people dealing with mental health and addictions issues, women and children fleeing domestic violence, persons with disabilities and Indigenous people.
Bowman welcomed the federal funding.
“The entire spectrum of affordable housing in Winnipeg is facing immense pressure on all fronts,” Bowman said.
Hussen said the coronavirus pandemic has worsened housing challenges that already existed.
“We know that our cities find themselves on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 and Winnipeg is in the middle of that,” Hussen said.
“The reality is that the populations in our communities that are most at risk for COVID-19 are also more likely to find themselves in precarious housing situations.”
People are expected to be moving into the new units within 12 months and no later.
The funding is part of $500 million in federal money going towards municipalities across the country in highest need.
Winnipeg’s share will go towards five projects:
- $1.5 million will go to Siloam Mission for a conversion that will create 20 units of supportive recovery housing for people who are experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness.
- $2.3 million will be going to the Salvation Army for the conversion of a building to create 20 affordable transitional housing units for women who are experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness.
- $4.3 million will go to the Winnipeg Housing Rehabilitation Corporation to build 18 affordable modular apartments for women and their children, including Indigenous women, who are experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness.
- $1.5 million will go to New Directions for the conversion of a building that will create 9 new supported housing units for people with developmental disabilities.
- $2.8 million will go to Shawenim Abinoojii Inc. for the conversion of buildings that will create 21 supportive housing units for Indigenous youths who’ve been involved in the Child and Family Services system.