Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Government of Manitoba

Government of Manitoba
City of Winnipeg

City of Winnipeg

March 06, 2015 12:00 ET

Three Levels of Government Open New Affordable and Supportive Housing in Winnipeg

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwired - March 6, 2015) - The Government of Canada, the Province of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg today celebrated the official opening of WestEnd Commons, a 26-unit affordable housing community developed by St. Matthews Non Profit Housing Inc.

The project includes four, one-bedroom, 15 two-bedroom, five, three-bedroom, and two, four-bedroom homes, over four levels with a central mezzanine space. Six apartments are fully accessible. At a total estimated cost of $7.3 million, this unique project saw space in St. Matthew's Anglican Church re-designed into 26 homes for single parent families, newcomers to Canada, First Nations families and those with mental health challenges. The transformation also includes a 1,000 square foot inner atrium and 1,900 square foot worship space on the main level for St. Matthews Anglican Church. The atrium has a repurposed play structure donated by the Winnipeg Airport Authority.

Quick facts:

  • Under the Affordable Housing Initiative Extension Agreement, Manitoba and Canada contributed $1,875,000 towards the project, with an additional provincial contribution of $1,608,645 through the Housing Development and Rehabilitation Fund (HDRF).
  • An additional federal investment of $836,985 was provided by Employment and Social Development Canada through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, which is administered through the City of Winnipeg.
  • The City of Winnipeg contributed $45,000 in capital funding, plus an additional $90,371 through the Neighbourhood Multi-Family Mixed-Use Building Grant Program, providing annual grants which will support operations of West End Commons over the next ten years.
  • St. Matthews Non-Profit Housing Inc. contributed approximately $1,159,108 through donations, private contributions, significant fundraising efforts and cash equity. An additional $1,800,000 is financed by St. Matthews Non-Profit Housing through a mortgage.
  • In July 2014, the Governments of Canada and Manitoba signed an extension of the Investment in Affordable Housing Agreement that will provide for a combined investment of $104 million for the 2014-2019 period to help more individuals and families in need access affordable housing.


"We're committed to making life more affordable for families in Winnipeg and across Canada. I'm so encouraged to hear from the residents of WestEnd Commons who have said that this has provided them with more than quality, affordable housing, it's also provided a sense of community. We'll continue to work closely with our provincial and community partners to ensure more of these success stories in the future." - The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development) and Member of Parliament for Portage-Lisgar

"The Manitoba government is pleased to partner with all levels of government as well as St. Matthews Non-profit Housing Inc. to provide safe, quality, affordable rental family housing through the development of the new WestEnd Commons Housing Project.This project will benefit the Westend by developing needed housing for area families and revitalizing a landmark of this community." The Honourable Kerri Irvin-Ross, Minister of Manitoba Housing and Community Development

"St. Matthews Non-profit Housing Inc. is an example of how the community can come together and create a place that offers affordable housing and space for community use. Congratulations to the grassroots organizers and the different funders for making this great addition to our community happen." - Cindy Gilroy, Daniel McIntyre Councillor, City of Winnipeg

"The opening of the WestEnd Commons fulfills a dream to offer safe, affordable, quality housing in this inner-city Winnipeg neighbourhood and give new life to a landmark building that has served this community for over 100 years. This project is possible because of the talented people who pushed it to completion, the broad support it received from the Winnipeg Community and the support and encouragement of all three levels of government." - John McNairnay, Chair, St Matthews Non-Profit Housing Inc.

Associated Links

Homelessness Partnering Strategy

Manitoba Housing


Homelessness Partnering Strategy

The Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) is a unique, community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness by providing direct support and funding to 61 designated communities in all provinces and territories, as well as to Aboriginal, rural and remote communities across Canada, to help them address homelessness.

Economic Action Plan 2013 renewed the HPS with nearly $600 million in total funding over five years, ending in March 2019, using a Housing First approach.

Until recently, the most common way to deal with homelessness has been a "crisis-based" model-not just in Canada, but in many developed countries. This model involves relying heavily on shelters and other emergency interventions. Typically, individuals must first participate in a series of treatments and demonstrate sobriety before they are offered housing. This approach has been costly and not effective in the long term.

Without stable housing, it is much more difficult to participate in treatment programs and manage mental and physical health issues. This leads to high costs for emergency housing, hospitalization, shelters, prisons and a host of other crisis services.
Housing First, on the other hand, involves ensuring individuals have immediate housing before providing the necessary supports to help them stabilize their lives. Experiences in other countries have demonstrated that this approach shows great promise. ..

Investment in Affordable Housing

  • Annually, the Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), will invest approximately $2 billion in housing. These investments improve 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 continued 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. To find out more about how the Government of Canada and CMHC help Canadians meet their housing needs, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 or visit
  • The Manitoba government recently reached its five-year goal to provide funding commitments to create 1,500 new units of affordable housing throughout the province. The province is now working toward its new commitment to create another 500 affordable and 500 social housing units in the next three years. The 1,500 commitment represents a total provincial housing investment of $291 million that leveraged $156 million from community partners. A total investment of $387 million in new construction resulted in 4,218 person years of employment and $262 million in economic spin-offs. Investment of $61 million in repair and renovation projects lead to 970 person years of employment and $59 million in economic spin-offs. Manitoba Housing and Community Development's overall strategy complements Budget 2014, a plan to create good jobs, grow the economy and protect front-line services for families by focusing on what matters most to Manitoba families. More information is available at

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