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CHRA Welcomes Affordable Housing “Down Payment” in Federal Budget

March 22, 2016 | CHRA

The Canadian Housing and Renewal Association (CHRA) today welcomed the announcements contained in Budget 2016 of a $2.3 billion investment in affordable housing and homelessness over the next two years, and a commitment to consult with stakeholders on the development of a National Housing Strategy to be implemented over the subsequent 8 years. This approach, and the specific investments, are aligned with many of the recommendations raised by CHRA and its members over the past year in CHRA’s Housing For All campaign.

Specifically, over the next 2 years, the Budget contains $504 million to double the Affordable Housing Initiative; $200 million targeted to affordable housing for seniors; $574 million to support energy and water efficiency retrofits to existing social housing; almost $90 million to support victims of violence shelters, $739 million to address housing in First Nations, Inuit and northern communities; $111 million to bolster the Homelessness Partnering Strategy; $208 million to a new Affordable Rental Housing Innovation Fund (over 5 years); and $30 million to help providers maintain rent geared to income units. Read more >


Affordable housing must be designed with accessibility in mind

March 18, 2016 | Globe and Mail

“We no longer look at housing as a problem. It is the solution.” That was the message that Member of Parliament Adam Vaughan brought to a recent public forum on affordable housing. And that change of perspective is welcome.

After decades of more or less ignoring this pressing social need, the federal government is poised to enact a new strategy on housing and it will line up with a new law in Ontario, announced this week, that will allow municipalities to demand affordable housing from developers. This represents an opportunity to transform the lives of many citizens and, broadly, our cities. Vaughan signalled that the Liberal campaign promise of nearly $20-billion over 10 years for “social infrastructure” will help fund housing. Read more >


Winnipeg 'CEO Sleepout' funds to employ homeless distributed

March 18, 2016 | Metro

Winnipeggers camping out in the cold have yielded big bucks for social agencies during annual “CEO Sleepout” events, and some of those funds were distributed Friday.

Last year’s iteration of the sleepout raised $170,000, which will be going to support Artbeat Studio, Graffiti Art programming, Macdonald Youth Service, Red Road Lodge, Siloam mission and Union Gospel Mission this year. Read more >


Housing the No. 1 need for unprecedented number of Syrian refugees

March 16, 2016 | CBC

Finding a place to live is the number 1 issue when it comes to addressing the basic needs of Syrian refugees arriving in Manitoba, says Hani Al-Ubeady of Welcome Place.

More than 900 refugees have come to Manitoba since November 2015. Most are government-assisted refugees and many spend their first days living in temporary housing at Welcome Place. "Read more >


Welcome Place opens 2 overflow locations to help settle refugees

March 15, 2016 | CBC

For Jean Pierre Venegas, helping refugees resettle in Manitoba is more than just a job it's personal.

Originally from Chile, Venegas remembers the day he arrived at the Emerson border as a refugee 14 years ago.

He crossed paths with a man from the Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council (Welcome Place) and realized the settlement agency could help him get a fresh start.

"We speak Spanish, both of us, and he was from Guatemala," said Venegas. "He said, 'Come to Welcome Place. We can help you. You can have at least an apartment that you can live [in].' Good. Music to my ears."Read more >


UN critical of Canada's record on housing, homelessness

March 8, 2016 | CBC

The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has criticized Canada for its "persistent housing crisis" in a report that points to the lack of a national housing strategy.

It expressed concern about increasing levels of homelessness in Canadian cities and the existence of anti-camping and other bylaws to penalize homeless people. Read more >


Homeless youth spur call to action

March 3, 2016 | Winnipeg Free Press

More than a quarter (26.5 per cent) of Winnipeg’s homeless people are younger than 30 years old, a revelation that has social agencies calling for quick action to concentrate services and funding on youth.

The age statistic came from the Winnipeg Street Census carried out last October. The survey questioned 800 of the city’s 1,400 homeless people. Read more >


Homes not 'silver bullet' for homelessness

February 11, 2016 | Winnipeg Sun

A local group tasked with reducing homelessness in Winnipeg is supportive of a report that takes aim at suggestions a popular initiative credited with ending homelessness elsewhere is a “silver bullet.”

A report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives said the respected Housing First initiative, which gained favour in many cities and was credited with “ending” homelessness in Medicine Hat, Alta., is not the cure-all that it has at times been touted to be. Read more >


Pizza Treat for the Street founder knows homelessness too well

February 8, 2016 | CBC

Crystal Anderson's response to three people with a sign saying they were hungry was different from most stay-at-home moms driving through Osborne Village.

"I can afford to buy five Big Macs," she thought, and acted even though as a single mom who relies on social assistance, there isn't a lot extra in her budget. Read more >


Housing Resources


Old Grace Co-op is filling up

March 21, 2016 | The Metro

Wolseley neighbours and Winnipeggers from around the city attended an information session about the Old Grace Housing Co-operative at the Robert A Steen Community Club (980 Palmerston Ave.) on March 10. Currently over 60 per cent of the 60 housing units have been applied for and that they are expecting all of the units to be claimed in April.  Read more >

For a brochure of Old Grace Co-op, click here.


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