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Rob Altemeyer, MLA Wolseley
March 15, 2006

Kikinaw Housing Inc.

Mr. Speaker, I rise to share with members of the Legislature news of a successful low-income housing development that was recently completed in the Wolseley constituency. This winter, Kikinaw Housing Inc. completed the renovation of 27 safe, comfortable and affordable low-income housing units in West Broadway.

Kikinaw which means "home" in the Cree language is the result of a co-operative effort on the part of West Broadway Development Corporation and the West Broadway Land Trust Inc., A.S.H. Management Group Ltd. and Young United Church.

Kikinaw made several significant renovations to two apartment buildings in West Broadway, and I was pleased to visit these buildings and some of the new tenants in the Kikinaw buildings just last week. The roofs of the buildings were renovated and R40 insulation and high-efficiency water heaters were installed.

The partners also set out to provide low-income persons with as many additional supports as possible. These include the fact that individual suites are now equipped with ceiling fans, frost-free fridges and new stoves. In addition, the suites all have their own computers courtesy of the Thomas Sill Foundation, and all Kikinaw tenants will have access to free dental care through a program provided by the University of Manitoba Faculty of Dentistry and the Winnipeg Foundation. One of these suites is dedicated to short-term stays for persons seeking permanent shelter elsewhere.

Mr. Speaker, low-income citizens are often forced to live in cramped, run-down rooming houses with shared bathrooms, ungracious neighbours and landlords. Thanks to the hard work and creativity of Young United Church, which has provided community support in West Broadway for 114 years, and its partners, including the provincial government, low-income persons now benefit from practical and innovative housing assistance. A measure of the success of this project is that all 27 of these new units are already occupied, many of them at rents lower than $360 per month.

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate Kikinaw on the successful completion of this innovative housing project. I thank, in particular, Brian Pannell of Young United Church, Brian Grant of West Broadway Development Corporation and Bob Shaer of A.S.H. Management for their hard work and dedication to community. Thank you.