Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Government of Manitoba

Government of Manitoba
Government of Canada

Government of Canada

August 09, 2013 12:00 ET

Governments of Canada and Manitoba Announce Funding for a New Seniors' Housing Project in Winkler

WINKLER, MANITOBA--(Marketwired - Aug. 9, 2013) - A new seniors' housing project, led by H.F. Wiebe Active Living Centre Inc. in Winkler, will receive $2.88 million in federal and provincial funding.

The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development) and Member of Parliament for for Portage-Lisgar, and the Honourable Kerri Irvin-Ross, Manitoba Minister of Housing and Community Development, made the announcement today.

"Our Government recognizes the important role that seniors have played in building our great country. This investment is another example of our commitment to improve housing for low-income seniors with the construction of new housing units." said Minister Bergen. "We are proud to help fund the H.F. Wiebe Active Living Centre project as it will help seniors in Winkler access safe and affordable housing."

"We value our new partnership with H.F. Wiebe Active Living Centre and are pleased to invest in a project that will provide safe, affordable homes for seniors living in the Winkler area," said Minister Irvin-Ross. "Good quality housing helps seniors continue to live independent lives in their own communities where they have the support of family and friends."

"This project is a huge accomplishment for Winkler," said Martin Harder, Mayor of Winkler and Active Living Centre board member. "In cooperation with the federal and provincial governments, as well as hundreds of volunteers and many donors we will see the opportunity for Winkler and district residents to enjoy a facility that promotes an active lifestyle, while at the same time providing services that allow our citizens to age in place".

"This is a great day for our organization," said Walter Siemens, President of H.F. Wiebe Active Living Centre Inc. "We are so pleased to receive the support of both governments. When this project is complete it will improve the quality of life for seniors living in and near our community."

H.F. Wiebe Active Living Centre Inc. is a non-profit organization formed by Winkler and District Multi-Purpose Senior Centre Inc. to oversee the design, development and the future construction and operation of the complex.

The eight-storey, 96-units building will consist of 48 affordable housing units, 24 market life-lease units, and 24 supportive housing units. The affordable housing units will consist of 18 one-bedroom units and 30 two-bedroom units. All units will be designed to meet Manitoba Housing's accessible design criteria. The main floor will include a seniors' activity centre.

The federal and provincial funding comes as a result of the $62 million Investment in Affordable Housing 2011-2014 Agreement between the Governments of Canada and Manitoba.

Total capital costs for the project are currently estimated at more than $27 million. In addition to the $2.88 million from the federal and provincial governments, H.F. Wiebe Active Living Centre Inc will finance the project with a mortgage of approximately $14 million. The remaining funds toward capital costs include tenant equity of more than $5.8 million, fundraising and grants of nearly $3.9 million, Rental Housing Construction Tax Credit of $864,000 and land in the value of $367,000 provided by Winkler and District Multi-Purpose Senior Centre Inc. Construction is expected to begin in September.

Annually, the Government of Canada, through CMHC, invests approximately $2 billion in housing. Of this amount, $1.7 billion will be spent in support of close to 594,000 households living in existing social housing. In Manitoba, this represents an estimated 39,700 households. The remaining funding supports housing-related activities and affordable housing programs, including the Investment in Affordable Housing. These investments are improving the quality of life for low-income Canadians and households living in existing social housing, including individuals who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness, seniors, persons with disabilities, recent immigrants and Aboriginal people. Economic Action Plan 2013 continues this commitment with a federal investment of more than $1.25 billion over five years to renew the Investment in Affordable Housing to 2019. The Government of Canada will ensure that funds provided to provinces and territories support the use of apprentices, which will support training of skilled labour. More than 142,000 households across Canada are no longer in housing need as a result of funding provided under the IAH from April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2013.

Over the next three years, the Manitoba government will invest $100 million annually to restore and redevelop housing units in its portfolio. An additional $34 million will be dedicated annually to repair existing stock and provide quality home environments for tenants. Manitoba will also build 500 more social housing units and 500 more affordable rental units over the next three years. This is in addition to the 1,500 social housing and 1,500 affordable housing units that are on schedule for 2014. These investments, to build more affordable housing, are in addition to increased benefits for employment income assistance recipients and other low-income Manitobans announced in Budget 2013 through an annual increase of $6.3 million in RentAid shelter benefits. Better housing is a part of the Manitoba Building and Renewal Plan, which will also help build the province's critical infrastructure priorities including flood protection, roads, schools and health centres. Information about Manitoba's three-year plan is available at www.gov.mb.ca/housing/three_yr__plan.

To find out more about how the Government of Canada and CMHC are working to build stronger homes and communities for all Canadians, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 or visit www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca.

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