June 23, 2018

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City okays discounted prices for affordable housing lots

A new affordable housing pilot project got the green light from city council Thursday.

Construction will happen in the William Whyte neighbourhood with help from the North End Community Renewal Corporation. Up to 25 vacant lots will be sold to non-profits, at no less than 50 per cent of market value, to groups that would like to build affordable housing units.

Coun. John Orlikow (River Heights-Fort Garry) called the project "noble."

"I believe if this pilot project is successful it should be looked at an option city-wide as an opportunity to look for affordable housing throughout Winnipeg," Orlikow said.

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A new affordable housing pilot project got the green light from city council Thursday.

Construction will happen in the William Whyte neighbourhood with help from the North End Community Renewal Corporation. Up to 25 vacant lots will be sold to non-profits, at no less than 50 per cent of market value, to groups that would like to build affordable housing units.

Coun. John Orlikow (River Heights-Fort Garry) called the project "noble."

"I believe if this pilot project is successful it should be looked at an option city-wide as an opportunity to look for affordable housing throughout Winnipeg," Orlikow said.

"You may want to say that housing is a provincial responsibility," he said to fellow councillors. "But we need to be working together."

"We're deciding to discount land for the public good," he added, noting this was a good discussion to have before the sale of the Vimy Arena.

Coun. Cindy Gilroy (Daniel McIntyre) spoke in favour of the pilot project.

"This is really a great example of what the city can do to break down the barriers of poverty... I'll be anxious to see some of the results," Gilroy said.

Development must occur on the vacant lots within two years of notifying the city of intentions to build or administration will re-evaluate builders' proposed plans.

Jessica Botelho-Urbanski
Legislature reporter

Jessica Botelho-Urbanski covers the Manitoba Legislature for the Winnipeg Free Press.

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