Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Low-income housing news also important

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LAST week, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation released its forecast for the rest of 2012 and for 2013. The news was certainly promising for Manitoba as continued growth was definitely in the picture.

However, articles in the Free Press indicate this growth may continue long-term and for all the right reasons.

The original forecast for 2012 was for 6,150 starts. This was then upgraded to 6,400 and now it sits at 6,800 starts for the year. In 2011, there were 6,083 starts, the most in more than 25 years. This year has been an excellent one for the industry as demand continues to run very high. It doesn't appear to be letting up soon as CMHC calls for 6,900 starts in 2013.

What encouraged me even more were a couple of recent articles about housing -- unrelated but equally important. On Saturday, Bruce Owen wrote an excellent article on the plight of non-profits that provide low-income housing.

In particular, he spoke of the newly formed Manitoba Non-Profit Housing Association and its first workshop in November. This large collective is committed to providing more housing in the province with a target market of low-income families.

On Monday, Brent Bellamy contributed to the series of articles regarding the development of the rail yards. This is just the most recent of some excellent in-depth articles on the subject of what might be done with the Canadian Pacific Railway yards northwest of our downtown.

Of course, this project isn't going to happen overnight, nor is it going to be the panacea for all our housing needs. However, once again, people are talking about the need for new housing in Winnipeg. There is continued enthusiasm about what could be done and what should be done. Either way, it spells continued growth for our city.

Although each of these items may be unrelated, they speak of the need for more housing. If we can provide the necessary housing, people will want and be able to live here. It all contributes to making Winnipeg a more complete city.

Mike Moore is president of the Manitoba Home Builders' Association.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 25, 2012 F8

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