Province and City of Brandon partner on development of affordable housing

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The Manitoba government and City of Brandon are looking for unique ideas, concepts or specific proposals to create new affordable housing at 705 Lorne Ave., Families Minister Scott Fielding and Mayor Rick Chrest, City of Brandon, announced today.  Together, they issued a request for expression of interest (REOI).

The REOI is directed at non-profit housing organizations interested in constructing affordable rental or co-operative rental housing at the Lorne Avenue site, a parcel of land currently owned by the City of Brandon.  Results from the REOI process will then inform a future request for proposals for the land’s development and, ultimately, the selection of a successful proponent.

Once that process is complete, the city has committed to transfer property ownership to the successful proponent at a cost of one dollar, as well as provide a tax-offsetting grant.  The Manitoba government has also committed to contribute capital funding of up to 35 per cent of total eligible project costs, or up to $65,000 per unit, to the project through the Investment in Affordable Housing program.

“We are looking to partner with non-profit organizations and the City of Brandon to find innovative ways to increase housing capacity and improve access to affordable housing for Manitobans,” said Fielding.  “We strongly encourage proponents to consider a mix of units that best serves and address the community’s needs.”

The current REOI process for the land at 705 Lorne Ave. is the latest of a number of strategic affordable housing partnerships that have come to fruition in the City of Brandon in recent months. This week, the Western Manitoba Non-Profit Seniors Housing Co-operative Ltd.  handed over keys to tenants of its new multi-unit residential build at 2105 Brandon Ave., a project that saw 48 affordable housing units constructed as a partnership with Manitoba Housing and the City of Brandon, along with a further 15 market-value units.

Affordable housing builds have been completed on city-donated land at 230 Rosser Ave. East (duplex) and 255 Frederick St. (single-family home), projects that were partnerships of the City of Brandon and the Canadian Mental Health Association and Habitat For Humanity, respectively.

“The City of Brandon’s Affordable Housing strategy is one that leverages partnerships to create a blend of housing options for a wide range of demographics in our community, and we are proud of the strides made thus far,” said Chrest.  “With the expression of interest process now underway for the land at 705 Lorne Ave., it is yet another example of how partnerships have been an integral part of the City of Brandon’s work to create affordable housing in our community.  With this type of partnership, we provide the land and incentives, the Manitoba government provides capital assistance and the not-for-profit community will provide the vision, leadership and operational resources to build and operate new affordable housing units.”

The REOI is posted on www.merx.com and the City of Brandon website https://purchasing.brandon.ca/.   The submission deadline is July 23.