WINNIPEG: The governments of Canada and Manitoba are partnering with the Pollard family of Winnipeg to build new housing for the protection of vulnerable homeless populations with mental health or addiction issues in Winnipeg’s Centennial neighbourhood.
Home First Winnipeg Inc., a non-profit charitable corporation established by the Pollard family to provide safe, quality and affordable housing for Winnipeg’s homeless population, will develop and construct the threestorey, 47 micro-suite apartment building.
The Pollards are donating $3.9 million to Home First Winnipeg to go toward the $8-million cost of the development. .
The new secure housing complex at 390 Ross Ave. will include a commercial kitchen and common dining area on the ground floor, as well as a living room, game room, TV area for social interaction and a round room for Indigenous cultural activities. Staff will be on-site 24/7 to provide support to residents.
The fenced yards will be landscaped, with an outdoor patio and community garden area for tenants. Residents will not be required to live a sober lifestyle; though supports will be provided for those seeking recovery from addictions. 15 of the 47 units will be accessible for people with disabilities.
The governments of Canada and Manitoba are providing more than $1.1 million for the project through the Canada-Manitoba Housing Agreement under the National Housing Strategy, which was signed by both governments in 2019.
The 10-year bilateral agreement will provide almost $450.8 million in joint funding to protect, renew and expand social and community housing, and will support Manitoba’s priorities related to housing repair, construction and affordability. An additional $800,000 is being provided through the Shared Health Priorities bilateral agreement.
The province will continue to fund the project through an annual operating commitment, which includes shelter and meal benefits paid to Employment and Income Assistance, a rent subsidy from the Canada-Manitoba Housing Benefit and funding from the Mental Health and Addictions Bilateral Agreement.
The federal government is also providing a capital grant of $100,000 through Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy and the City of Winnipeg is providing a capital grant of $100,000. Construction on the project is expected to begin this summer.