The Canadian Housing and Renewal Association presented the North End Community Renewal Corporation with the Community Builder Award at a luncheon held during the 50th National Congress on Housing and Homelessness in Ottawa on April 26.
The award recognized the community impact that the Lord Selkirk Park Housing Project continues to have in the promotion of affordable housing and the prevention of homelessness within the North End of Winnipeg.
Lord Selkirk Park is Winnipeg’s largest public housing complex, which at one time had a very high level of crime and poverty due to a lack of resources and unaddressed inter-generational traumas.
"The residents said they needed education and that they needed childcare," Aja Oliver, Community Support Worker at Kaakiyow li moond likol Adult Learning Centre and past Lord Selkirk Park resident, said. "Many of my family members are now going on to complete their education also. There is a ripple effect, both in families and within the community".
In 2005, NECRC began a comprehensive community development initiative in Lord Selkirk Park, funded initially by the federal government. The project’s objective was the revitalization of the neighbourhood and improved community safety. The work took eight years to completion and it involved the introduction of a resource centre, Kaakiyow li moond likol, an adult learning centre, an adult literacy centre, and Manidoo Gi-Miini Gonaan childcare centre.
"The Lord Selkirk Park housing development demonstrates that while safe and affordable housing is important, it must also be rooted in a community that provides access to resources such as childcare, education and opportunities for residents to build relationships," Dawn Sands, executive director at NECRC, said. "This holistic approach towards social infrastructure development is integral for residents’ overall quality of life and their capacity to succeed."