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News Releases

Additional $20 million to support full range of downtown housing

April 17th, 2011

Manitoba News Release
April 15, 2011

ADDITIONAL $20 MILLION TO SUPPORTĀ FULL RANGE OF DOWNTOWN HOUSING

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More Residential Units Would Draw People Downtown, Boost Economy, Improve Safety: Irvin-Ross

Additional funding of up to $20 million to support more downtown residential development and provide the option of an affordable urban lifestyle to more Winnipeggers was announced today by Housing and Community Development Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross and Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz.

“Downtown Winnipeg has a lot to offer residents and we want to continue to support successful initiatives like the Downtown Residential Development Grant program that help to revitalize the downtown,” said Irvin-Ross. “We will continue to partner with the City of Winnipeg on this innovative program, which offers developers a flexible incentive to create a variety of housing options for people of different income levels.”

“The city is committed to building on this success and ensuring downtown is a location of choice for people excited about the opportunities of an urban lifestyle,” said Katz. “By continuing to provide an attractive strong residential incentive, we will keep feet on the street long after the storefronts close.”

The Downtown Winnipeg Residential Development Grant Program was launched in April 2010 as a three-year program under the province’s Winnipeg Regeneration Strategy with a funding level of $20 million, cost-shared by the City of Winnipeg and the Province of Manitoba.

Most of the funding is on the verge of being committed to support more than 700 new units of housing in downtown Winnipeg. A further $20 million will be made available to housing developers during the next three years to address the significant demand for the program.

The Downtown Residential Development Grant Program is supported by the Community Revitalization Tax Increment Financing Act. Under this program, developers are provided a grant that is funded by the incremental property taxes on improved properties for up to 15 years.

This program calculates a maximum project grant using up to $40,000 per unit to developers for each new rental or condominium unit in Winnipeg’s downtown. Incorporating more affordable units in an eligible project results in a higher potential project maximum grant.

A minimum of 10 per cent of the new housing units supported under this program will be for low-income individuals and families as well as people with disabilities.

“We are pleased with the positive response from the development community towards the Downtown Residential Development Grant program,” said Ross McGowan, president and CEO of CentreVenture Development Corporation. “The DRDG program along with the commitment from the Province of Manitoba, the City of Winnipeg and private sector developers will allow the Exchange District and surrounding areas to achieve the critical mass necessary to emerge as a full service, self-sufficient, urban neighborhood.”

“The Downtown Winnipeg Residential Development Grant program is the most significant tool created to stimulate the sustained development of more affordable downtown housing that the downtown business community has seen in decades,” said Stefano Grande, executive director of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ. “By the city and province collaboratively working together to address the financial gap developers face in developing downtown housing, the downtown housing market will not only be strengthened, but affordable housing will be provided to many wanting to live downtown. This strategic investment is critical for the continued revitalization of our downtown.”

The additional funding for the Downtown Residential Development Grant Program must first be approved by the City of Winnipeg’s Executive Policy Committee and Council before being made available to developers.

Click here to download background information in pdf format.

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