Spence neighbourhood revitalization funding: families have chance to become homeowners

The federal, provincial and Winnipeg governments are providing $1.6 million for the rehabilitation and construction of 49 housing units in the Spence neighbourhood.

The funding, through the cost-shared Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness  Initiative, will also provide small grants to homeowners and landlords in the neighbourhood.

“The building of new homes in our neighbourhood has allowed us to diversify the types of housing available to community members,” said Inonge Aliaga, executive director for the Spence Neighbourhood Association.

“What’s more, they will provide the opportunity for families in our community to become homeowners for the first time.”

The Spence Neighbourhood Association, the Winnipeg Housing Rehabilitation Corporation and Lazarus Housing Inc. are overseeing the projects. The total cost is estimated at $2.9 million with each organization contributing the balance of the costs not provided by the three levels of government.

The Spence Neighbourhood Association is building the eight new infill homes which will be made available to low- to moderate-income home buyers. Construction of the first four homes is underway with completion of all eight expected by October 31 this year.

The association will also provide small grants for owners to improve their property values, enhance curb appeal and help prevent owners from being forced to leave their properties vacant and tenants homeless. The total value of the grants is estimated at $60,000.

Grants range from $700 per property for small exterior improvements to $2,500 for larger renovation projects. With the exception of the $700 grants to low-income homeowners, property owners must contribute matching funds.

The Winnipeg Housing Rehabilitation Corporation will acquire and rehabilitate five boarded-up, dilapidated homes in the Spence neighbourhood for sale to low- and modest-income households. The total value of the projects is estimated to be $580,290, The proposed completion date is March 31, 2006.

Lazarus Housing is purchasing and rehabilitating five boarded-up, derelict homes which will also be available for sale to low- and modest-income households. The total cost of rehabilitating the five homes is $525,000.

Funding is also going to the $732,612 rehabilitation of an 85-year-old, 31-unit apartment building at 573 Sherbrook St. The building has 23 one-bedroom and eight studio units. 

The work involves repairs to the heating system, window and door replacement, plumbing and electrical upgrades, repairs to the roof and installation of fire detection and control devices.