Molly McCracken, CCPA-MB Director moderating panel at Municipal housing event. Photo credit – Bailey Hildebrand-Russell
By Bailey Hildebrand-Russell
Cities and towns across the province are learning to work within their unique economic climates and available policy tools to deal with housing needs.
That was evident following a panel discussion with Manitoba mayors as part of Building Partnerships 2016, the Manitoba Non-Profit Housing Association’s fourth annual conference in November. Continue reading
Report by Evelyn Peters and Shelly Craig,
While it is widely recognized that Aboriginal people are over-represented in the urban homeless population, most research has focused on Aboriginal homelessness in metropolitan areas. Very little attention has been paid to the issue in small northern towns. The small amount of research that has been done on the topic suggests that there are also challenges associated with Aboriginal homelessness in more remote urban areas, and that there are unique aspects to homeless populations in these areas. This study attempts to contribute to our knowledge about urban Aboriginal homelessness with research on this issues in Flin Flon, Manitoba, a small northern mining community.
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IRCOM staff and participants.
By Jill Bucklaschuk,
As housing advocates across the country recognize National Housing Day on November 22nd, we must continue to acknowledge the central role of housing in building inclusive communities and seek ways to ensure that all low-income families have access to affordable, safe, and good quality housing. Vulnerable and marginalized populations such as newly arrived immigrant and refugee families all too often suffer the indignity of scouring the private rental market for suitable housing only to face discrimination, unaffordable rental rates, poorly cared for buildings, and undesirable neighbourhoods. Upon arrival in Canada, obtaining housing is a top priority for newcomer families, but finding a suitable residence proves to be a profound challenge without social networks, employment prospects, and knowledge about the nature of both rental markets and neighbourhoods. Continue reading
By Paul Moist
A version of this article will also be published in the Wolseley Leaf Community Newspaper
Winnipeg City Council is currently considering a development fee to ensure that suburban growth in our city pays its fair share of city-wide infrastructure needs.
Such fees are nothing new: municipalities surrounding Winnipeg levy them as do most major Canadian cities. Continue reading
By Ellen Smirl
This study evaluated The Madison, an 85 unit congregate housing apartment
located in Winnipeg Manitoba, using qualitative methods and a
cost-comparison to the findings of the At Home/Chez Soi Housing First
Given the persistent challenges of homelessness, it is worthwhile to
evaluate congregate housing models as one option in the continuum ofchoice
to address homelessness.
Findings of this study indicate that the Madison’s congregate model can
contribute to improved capacity building, quality of life, independence,
interdependence and community building for the residents of the Madison.
The report makes several recommendations for improvement.
The Madison is operated to Siloam Mission.
This research was peer reviewed by academic housing and homelessness
By Sadie McInnis
Anywhere between 30,000 and 200,000 people are homeless in Canada, with another 1.7 million unable to afford adequate, suitable shelter. Winnipeg in particular has a history of housing shortages and inner-city poverty. In 2015 it was estimated that on a given night in the city there were at least 1,400 people experiencing homelessness. Winnipeg is also home to the largest urban Indigenous population in Canada and poverty rates among the highest in the country.
By Jess Klassen
Since late 2014, twenty-six families in Winnipeg’s inner city have been living in a new, supportive social and affordable housing complex called WestEnd Commons. The innovative development was retrofitted in the 100-year-old St. Matthew’s Anglican Church building. Church and community leaders worked for years to build the affordable family housing complex in Winnipeg’s low-income West End neighbourhood. In addition to reduced rents, WestEnd Commons has a vision to create community and increase social inclusion in this inner city neighbourhood. Full Report
WestEnd Commons hosts three components: a Neighbourhood Resource Centre, a number of independent faith communities and the twenty-six housing units. The Neighbourhood Resource Centre is a social enterprise that rents space to various community-based organizations providing essential services to people in the West End. Community members have long relied on the services and support provided by this welcoming community space, such as a food bank, drop-in, free computer and phone, sewing programs, artists’ circles, meeting and event space and a commercial kitchen. Seven communities worship within the walls of WestEnd Commons, including St. Matthew’s Anglican Church, Grain of Wheat Church-Community, Shiloh Apostolic, Emmanuel Mission and others. Finally, twenty-six units of social and affordable family housing have been erected within the walls of the church.
The idea for this ambitious project was conceived in a difficult time for the housing sector. Federal investments in housing have decreased by over 46 percent over the last twenty-five years, while the Canadian population has grown by almost 30 percent (Gaetz et al., 2014), meaning fewer affordable housing options remain for a growing number of Canadians. Locally, Manitoba Housing Renewal Corporation (MHRC) spent years acting as property manager of a deteriorating public housing stock with little capacity or intention to increase the supply of social and affordable housing, although that has changed in the past decade. Despite these odds, St. Matthews Non-Profit Housing Inc. was formed by a driven group of church and community leaders in 2009, with WestEnd Commons as its first build.
This report explores the interplay between low-cost housing with supports, and social and economic inclusion in society, through interviews with twenty-one residents. It is evident that living in WestEnd Commons has increased residents’ economic inclusion through the provision of subsidized rents, and has increased their social inclusion through supportive policies and programming.