Blaikie hosts Elmwood housing forum
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This article was published 16/03/2017 (2199 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The limited availability and affordability of housing in Elmwood and elsewhere was the topic of a town hall held on March 13 by Member of Parliament Daniel Blaikie by (Elmwood-Transcona) and the Chalmers Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation at the Elmwood East Kildonan Active Living Centre.
Blaikie began the evening by noting that shortly after he was elected, money became available from the province for affordable housing. He also noticed that no group in northeast Winnipeg seemed ready with a proposal to acquire affordable housing grants at the time.
The MP described brainstorming how to connect people who were interested in housing. Blaikie’s office began having meetings with experts. Getting public input at forums was the next step, he said.
The MP then turned the floor over to a five-person panel, starting with Social Planning Council community animator Josh Brandon.
Brandon noted that Chalmers is a “very hardworking neighbourhood,” that its share of people in the labour market is higher than the city average, yet its average income is lower.
He said many people are challenged by low-wage jobs and said that, to afford a one-bedroom apartment, a person would have to work 1.4 minimum wage jobs in Winnipeg.
Nina Condo, executive director of the Elmwood Community Resource Centre, said that a lack of housing challenges families.
She told the story of a mother who had her children apprehended by the child welfare system because the only affordable housing for them was a place with mould.
Riverwood Church pastor Jon Courtney noted many poor renters have “under the table” arrangements with landlords. Because informal arrangements like these are the only housing options available to some renters, they are reluctant to report even the worst conditions for fear of losing the only homes they have.
Mario Lopes, president of M.R. Lopes Investments Inc., said that the increase in home prices across Winnipeg has increased costs for developers and thus rents.
A woman in the audience described the precarious nature of her housing and having difficulties resolving housing unit issues with a landlord.
Blaikie closed event by inviting people to get in touch with Nina Condo or his office if they want to be part of a group of people interested in Elmwood housing issues.
Condo can be reached at email@example.com or by calling 204-982-1720, ext. 203.
Dylon Martin is a community correspondent for Elmwood.
West Broadway community correspondent
Dylon Martin is a community correspondent for West Broadway.