Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Canada and Manitoba to Provide More Housing for Newcomers in Winnipeg With $9 Million Investment

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WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Dec. 21, 2010) - The governments of Canada and Manitoba are providing more affordable housing for people in need, with the announcement of $9 million in funding to renovate and reconfigure existing Manitoba Housing properties into family accommodation for newcomers to Canada. The buildings will be managed by the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba Inc. (IRCOM).
The Honourable Greg Selinger, Premier of Manitoba and the Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) made the announcement today in Winnipeg.
"Housing is a fundamental requirement for immigrants beginning a new and successful life in Manitoba," said Premier Selinger. "The Manitoba government is pleased to work closely with IRCOM to increase access to affordable housing for newcomers to our province."
"Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, our government is helping to support people with their specific housing needs," said Minister Toews. "When completed, these new apartments will ensure that newcomers to Canada can access safe affordable housing as they begin a new chapter in their lives."
"Safe and affordable housing is the cornerstone for successful integration of all new Canadians. We are pleased to receive the trust and support of the provincial and federal governments and look forward to growing IRCOM's relationships with new and existing partners and friends," said Dorota Blumczynska, Executive Director, Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba. "In the spirit of rejuvenation and new beginnings we extend a warm invitation to all of IRCOM's supporters to take this journey with us as we work to transform this vibrant community."
The funding for IRCOM Phase 2 includes a provincial investment of $6.3 million and an additional $2.7 million, shared equally by the governments of Canada and Manitoba through Canada's Economic Action Plan.
The funding will be used to convert existing units at 470 Pacific Avenue and 477 Ross Avenue into a new configuration of flexible suites that allow IRCOM to house family sizes from two (single parent and child) up to 10 members. The key in the design is the flexibility of connecting adjacent suites to form larger and safer homes that meet the needs of many newcomers.
IRCOM is a non-profit organization that offers secure, affordable transitional apartments to newcomers for up to three years after their arrival. In addition, IRCOM provides on-site supports and services, including an After-School Program that runs five nights a week and a Community Resource Program that connects residents with employment, education, and various health resources throughout Winnipeg.
IRCOM is home to families from diverse cultural, educational, linguistic and professional backgrounds. Current residents of IRCOM House come from Afghanistan, Burma, Burundi, Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Haiti, Iraq, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Rwanda, Bhutan, Somalia and Sudan.
The federal and provincial governments are contributing equally to an overall investment of $158 million under the amended Canada-Manitoba Affordable Housing Initiative. The federal 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. Overall, the Economic Action Plan includes $2 billion for the construction of new and the renovation of existing social housing, plus up to $2 billion in low-cost loans to municipalities for housing-related infrastructure.
The Government of Canada wants to improve the quality of existing social housing for low-income seniors, single parent families, recent immigrants and Aboriginal households. Canada's Economic Action Plan provides $850 million under the Affordable Housing Initiative to provinces and territories for the renovation and retrofit of existing social housing over two years.
Through Manitoba's Long-Term Housing Strategy, HOMEWorks!, the Province of Manitoba with the financial support of the Government of Canada is contributing $378 million over two years for housing initiatives in Winnipeg and across the province. HOMEWorks! supports ALLAboard, Manitoba's Poverty Reduction strategy by increasing the supply of quality, affordable housing for low-income Manitobans. More information about HOMEWorks! is available at www.gov.mb.ca/housing.
Under HOMEWorks! the province is working to sustain and improve existing social and affordable housing and increase the supply of affordable housing. Creating safe and affordable housing for new Canadians is a priority of the province's long-term investment plan.
Canada's Economic Action Plan builds on the Government of Canada's commitment in 2008 of more than $1.9 billion, over five years, to improve and build new affordable housing and help the homeless.
More information on this and other measures in Canada's Economic Action Plan, the federal government's plan to stimulate the economy and protect those hit hardest by the global recession, can be found at: www.actionplan.gc.ca.
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 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              1-800-668-2642      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or visit www.cmhc.ca/housingactionplan.
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