The Centennial community received a welcome addition to its neighbourhood last week with the opening of a new condo building at 422 Ross Ave.
A project of the Winnipeg Housing Rehabilitation Corporation, the building contains 10 condos, each 980 square feet in size with three bedrooms.
Subsidized by the province and the city, the condos were targeted towards and have been sold to low-income families.
"We actually started original discussions with the Centennial Community Improvement Association back in 2008," said Stephanie Haight, director of development and construction at Winnipeg Housing Rehabilitation Corp.
"They came to us and said ‘We have this vacant lot in our neighborhood and it’s the scene of crime and whatnot, can you do something about it?’
"We worked with them and we came up with a housing proposal. They’re very keen on increasing home ownership in their neighbourhood because they have such a high rental population and they wanted homeowners to help stabilize and revitalize their neighbourhood."
Gord Dong, vice-president of the Centennial Community Improvement Association, said he’s excited about the influx of homeowners into the neighbourhood.
"It’s (the area) one of the highest low-income rental populations," Dong said. "The implementation of housing renewal initiatives such as this condo project are needed to encourage neighbourhood revitalization, improve the current economic situation and quality of life for current residents and encourage community stabilization."
Dong said he also sees potential for this project to be copied in other areas.
"It could have been single family housing, it could have been an apartment, but we chose condos as something different, to see what would be good for our community and make it diverse," Dong said.
"This sets a new template for anyone else who wants to build inside the city."
Five of the 10 condos are at ground level and are "visitable units", meaning they’re accessible to the mobility-challenged. The other five are two-storey condos with private balconies.
Mike Pagtakhan, councillor for Point Douglas, said not are only the condos good for the Centennial community, the design is good for the community within the building.
"It creates a small knit community right there," Pagtakhan said. "Everyone is concentrated, sharing a common courtyard."
"I live (in the Centennial neighbourhood) and the Centennial community welcomes it with open arms."