December 7, 2020
Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service responds to fires on Alfred Avenue and Ellice Avenue
Released: 12:02 p.m.
Winnipeg, MB – At 9:17 p.m. on December 6, 2020, the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service responded to reports of a fire in a one-and-a-half-storey house in the 900 block of Alfred Avenue.
When crews arrived on scene, they encountered smoke coming from the residence. An offensive attack was launched and the fire was declared under control at 10:01 p.m.
Occupants were not home at the time of the fire. No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is believed to be accidental. Damage estimates are not available at this time.
At 2:24 a.m. on December 7, 2020, WFPS crews responded to reports of a fire in a three-storey apartment block in the 500 block of Ellice Avenue.
Upon arrival on scene, smoke was found in the building and crews launched an offensive attack, declaring the fire under control at 2:45 a.m. They then worked to ventilate smoke from the structure.
The building was evacuated as a precaution. No injuries were reported. Once safe, tenants were able to return to their suites.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. No damage estimates are currently available.
Preliminary 2021 Balanced Budget Update puts a focus on affordable housing needs in Winnipeg
Released: 3:26 p.m.
Winnipeg, MB – Affordable housing is an ongoing need in the Winnipeg housing market. While the City of Winnipeg is not the direct provider of housing, all governments must play a role in supporting housing efforts. In addition to the recent Council approval of $12.5 million from the Federal Rapid Housing Initiative, the Preliminary 2021 Balanced Budget Update commits $2 million from the federal Safe Restart Agreement funding to further address the critical housing needs in our city.
“The United Nations has declared that housing is a human right. When I was elected in 2014, one of my top priorities was to have the City of Winnipeg develop a housing plan that provides a way to address the housing needs in our city,” said Cindy Gilroy, Chairperson of the Standing Policy Committee on Property and Development, Heritage, and Downtown Development. “In this year’s budget, we will be implementing the Affordable Housing Strategy that will help meet those needs. Housing is something all Winnipeggers should have regardless of income, race, or gender, and I’m proud to say we are moving forward with a housing strategy that helps us build a city where we all have a place to call our own.”
The recent City of Winnipeg Comprehensive Housing Needs Assessment makes it clear there are gaps in the City’s affordable housing, and as a result, the City recognizes it has a role to play in supporting the development of affordable housing.
Since the year 2000, $1 million has been allocated annually in the Housing Rehabilitation Investment Reserve to support affordable housing in the City’s five Housing Improvement Zones, and Indigenous housing projects. The Preliminary 2021 Balanced Budget Update invests an additional $2 million from the federal Safe Restart Agreement funding to provide capital grants and permit fee rebates to developers of affordable housing.
These funds will complement the Tax Increment Financing plan, currently under development for Council consideration, that will leverage funds from the Canadian Housing and Mortgage Corporation to support construction of affordable housing.
Another way the City can contribute toward more affordable housing is through the sale of City-owned property to non-profit housing providers at less than the assessed value with the intent to revitalize neighbourhoods. The William Whyte Pilot Project is an example of this strategy. The pilot program expired in 2018, and the Public Service will be reporting back to Council on options to renew and expand this successful pilot.