Vacant Massey Warehouse to be Converted to Affordable Housing

Jun 22, 2009 | Government News

Brandon Benefits From Provincial, Federal and Local Commitment To Help Low-income Manitobans: Mackintosh

The governments of Canada and Manitoba along with the City of Brandon and other partners are committing $6.8 million to convert a vacant Brandon warehouse into 58 units of affordable housing, Family Services and Housing Minister Gord Mackintosh and Merv Tweed, member of parliament for Brandon-Souris, on behalf of Diane Finley, minister of human resources and skills development, announced today.

“This is an innovative way to create affordable housing and reach out to low-income Manitobans, those with a disability or other special needs,” Mackintosh said. “Through this historic partnership, we have an ideal opportunity to expand housing options in Brandon.”

Working with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Habitat for Humanity and the Brandon Friendship Centre, and with the support of the three levels of government and other partners, the Massey building will be converted into 39 rental units, 14 condominium units and five emergency shelter units.

The province’s HOMEWorks! initiative will contribute $2.14 million to this novel and important project called the Massey Integrated Housing Complex, Mackintosh said.

The Government of Canada is contributing more than $800,000 through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) through its partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association Westman Region and the Brandon Friendship Centre. The project also received contributions under the federal Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

“Our government is supporting many Canadians with housing needs and is fulfilling our commitment to help those seeking to break free of the cycle of homelessness and poverty,” said Tweed.

The City of Brandon is contributing $420,000 to the project.

“We’re proud to be able to assist this exciting project providing much-needed affordable housing and also in bringing more families to downtown Brandon,” said Mayor Dave Burgess.

CMHA Westman Region will contribute $406,440 in federal HPS funding to purchase and develop five emergency and eight supportive units on the first and second floors of the Massey Building. The Brandon Friendship Centre will contribute $413,726 in federal HPS funding to purchase and develop eight transition units on the Massey Building’s third floor.

“We believe in integrated housing and this building will provide housing for homeless individuals, homeowners and everyone in between,” said Glen Kruck, manager of the Canadian Mental Health Association Brandon. “Working with partners like Habitat for Humanity and the Brandon Friendship Centre will allow us to make a real and positive impact here.”

“Habitat believes in home ownership and this project helps us reach our goal of helping as many people as possible with the resources available,” said Arnold Grambo, president of Habitat for Humanity Brandon. “We also like the idea of adapting to infill housing, rather than urban sprawl and sending this old building out to the landfill.”

“By broadening our housing stock, this project will allow us to help more Aboriginal families, regardless of family size,” said Brandon Friendship Centre past president, John Mayer. “That’s good for our families and we think it will be good for Brandon.”

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