Community groups spark local action on housing


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 11/12/2017 (2001 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Winnipeg has a vibrant network of community organizations that provide support to residents and which are particularly helpful to areas central city.

I interacted with this sector when serving on the Elmwood Community Resource Centre’s board of directors. There, I gained an overview of all the work and issues these organizations address. These include providing services, such as language and computer skills workshops, to community members.

I also acquired insight into all the administrative work that goes with the funding of non-profit community organizations and the accountability measures instituted by funders.

The North End has many community organizations, such as the Dufferin Resident’s Association and the North End Community Renewal Corporation. But the network of groups in the West End seems to stand out.

Within West Central Winnipeg you can find the Spence Neighbourhood Association, the West Broadway Community Organization, the Daniel McIntyre/St. Matthews Community Association, and the West Central Women’s Resource Centre.

These groups do advocacy work based around local interests. In 2015, the WBCO held a forum on preserving rooming houses, for example. The West Broadway neighbourhood has a considerable stock of such houses. However, financial, social and regulatory pressures have resulted in a loss of rooming houses in recent years.

Across Winnipeg, even among well-intentioned people, there is a stigma attached to rooming houses. While recognizing the faults in some and the need for measures such as inspections to ensure consistent quality, these units provide essential affordable housing. Given this background, it is very good to see that the West Broadway Community Organization can advocate for the needs all residents, including low-income renters, in the neighbourhood.

Housing is an important issue, especially in light of rising property values across west central Winnipeg. The Daniel McIntyre/St. Matthews Community Association is in the midst of devising a new, five-year housing plan. The federal government’s national housing strategy may also lead to community organizations providing local input into policy making.

Outside of policy, several small-scale holiday events are being organized by area community groups this December. The WBCO, for example, will hold its community dinner on Dec. 14 at 185 Young St. from 5:30 to 8 p.m. It will also be delivering food hampers throughout the next two weeks.

Dylon Martin is a community correspondent for West Broadway.

Dylon Martin

Dylon Martin
West Broadway community correspondent

Dylon Martin is a community correspondent for West Broadway.

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