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WHRC expanding into Transcona

Non-profit housing organization excited for growth

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An artist's rendering of the Paul E. Martin Estates complex is shown. The architectural firm is Raymond SC Wan Architect Inc.

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An artist's rendering of the Paul E. Martin Estates complex is shown. The architectural firm is Raymond SC Wan Architect Inc. Photo Store

The Winnipeg Housing Rehabilitation Corporation is bullish about its opportunity to expand outside the inner city.

After receiving $10.1 million in joint funding from the federal and provincial governments, an additional $14.3 million from the provincial government, and a two-acre tract of land from the City of Winnipeg for $1, the non-profit group announced plans to build Paul E. Martin Estates in Transcona.

The project, which will be located at 840 Ravelston Ave., will have 92 total affordable housing units — 47 for seniors and 45 for families — making it the largest project out of the over 40 the WHRC has undertaken,  and the first outside Winnipeg’s core area. The total cost of the project is expected to be $25.9 million.

WHRC project manager Stephanie Haight explained the organization is excited for the opportunity to expand its operations into Transcona.

"We weren’t limited to the inner city," Haight said. "It was natural. We could help revitalize those neighbourhoods."

She added the WHRC started with inner city neighbourhoods, as that is where it could affect the greatest change, but with a low vacancy rate in Transcona, it was time to look beyond its present scope.

Haight explained the pricing for the units will follow provincial guidelines. The current guidelines mandate $748 monthly for a one-bedroom unit, $949 for a two-bedroom unit, and $1,123 for a three-bedroom unit. Haight added she expects approximately half the units to be further subsidized by Manitoba Housing.

Haight added the complex will offer more than just housing, as WHRC strives to help its tenants with a variety of issues they may face.

"We take a more holistic approach," she said, noting WHRC will help guide tenants through difficult financial situations.

She noted Paul E. Martin Estates will have a common area where the seniors and families can get together, and even imagines an "Adopt A Grandparent" program where a family in one wing teams up with a senior in the other wing in an effort to create community. Additionally, there will be activities designed to appeal to those in both the senior and family wings.

For those on the family side, Haight said there will be sports programming planned for children to help them embrace healthy lifestyles.

As well, Haight noted there will be smaller common areas on the upper floors of the seniors wing, where residents can enjoy quiet activities like reading books.

Haight said the organization has received numerous phone calls from those interested in living in the complex, but isn’t accepting applications until next year. She noted those interested in the project’s milestones can keep updated online at http://whrc.ca.

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