WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwired - June 21, 2013) - The Peace Tower residential apartments celebrated its official opening today. The 48 new units, located at 260 Princess Street, provide better living and improved housing for families in Winnipeg's Chinatown neighbourhood.
The official opening was attended by the Honourable Steven Fletcher, Minister of State (Transport) and Member of Parliament for Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and the Honourable Kerri Irvin-Ross, Minister of Housing and Community Development made the announcement.
"Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, our Government is providing a helping hand for those who need it most here in Winnipeg and in all corners of the country. We are committed to making communities stronger through projects like this one. These investments help create new jobs and stimulate the local economy, while providing more access to safe, affordable homes for low income families," said Minister Fletcher. "We remain focused on four priorities, as outlined by the Prime Minister, that Canadians care most about: their families, the safety of our streets and communities, their pride in being a citizen of this country, and of course, their personal financial security."
"This is an exciting day for the Chinese community in Winnipeg," said Kerri Irvin-Ross, Manitoba's Minister of Housing and Community Development. "This new residence will help to provide more accessible, affordable housing for new Canadians, and will, in turn, contribute to the ongoing revitalization of the neighbourhood. I congratulate the Peace Tower Corporation for having a vision and turning it into reality."
The Peace Tower apartments received an estimated $14.7 million in federal and provincial investment, with an additional $460,000 contributed by the Peace Tower Corporation. The building consists of six one-bedroom units, 30 two-bedroom units and 12 three-bedroom units. The main floor also provides a multi-purpose space with an outdoor courtyard. All apartments and amenity areas are accessible.
The City of Winnipeg's downtown development agency, CentreVenture Development Corporation, granted the land. The Peace Tower project was also eligible for the Downtown Residential Development Grant (DRDG) program.
"The Peace Tower is a wonderful addition to Winnipeg's Chinatown community and is the result of many partners coming together to invest in a very worthwhile project," said Mayor Sam Katz. "The City of Winnipeg is committed to investing in projects like this that bring vitality and much-needed housing to our downtown neighbourhoods."
"This is a major project for Winnipeg's Chinatown. Peace Tower is the newly-built 48-unit affordable apartment building that has changed the landscape of Chinatown. With the low-vacancy rate and the need for housing in our downtown, this is a big step to help revitalize our city's core area," said Dr. Joseph Du, Chair of the Winnipeg Chinatown Development Corporation and Peace Tower Corporation. "We are pleased to finally show the finished product to the public as the building was completed on time and on budget with a great team."
The federal portion of the funding was made available through Canada's Economic Action Plan, the federal government's plan to stimulate the economy and create jobs during the global recession. The federal and provincial governments are contributing equally to this overall investment of $176 million under the amended Canada-Manitoba Affordable Housing Program Agreement.
The Government of Canada, through CMHC, will invest approximately $2 billion in housing this year. 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. 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.
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 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.