Good roads and schools are important assets for communities wanting to attract new development, but affordable housing is an asset sometimes overlooked.
Dr. Tom Carter, a professor at the University of Winnipeg, has studied housing issues in rural Manitoba. He will share his knowledge in a presentation at the Portage la Prairie and Central Plains Area Housing Forum will be held on March 13 at the PCU Centre in Portage la Prairie.
He said the main issues facing many rural communities are a lack of rental accommodations combined with high-priced housing. This makes it difficult for companies to help new employees relocate and could even slow business growth.
"Some municipalities have left housing to the private sector," Carter said, adding that they need to assess the housing situation within their area to see if it’s presenting a barrier for future economic development.
Following Dr. Carter, Portage la Prairie Real Estate Board president Rhonda Lodwick and local developers will present a general assessment of housing in the area and the shortages of affordable housing.
An afternoon session will feature panel members presenting information on successful housing projects in their communities.
The day will conclude with a presentation on a practical project manual designed for community groups and organizations to use to increase community housing options.
The registration fee is $25 per person and the deadline is March 8. To register, contact Paul at Central Plains Inc at 204-856-5000.
For more information about the forum, please contact Elicia Funk, Portage la Prairie Community Revitalization Corp. at 204-240-7272 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Ken Keith, Central Plains Inc at 204-856-5000 or email@example.com.