For an affordable and sustainable Winnipeg that grows up, not out
NOTICE: YIMBY Winnipeg VIRTUAL meeting on April 29th
April 20, 2020
It’s been a long time, folks. Our last organizing meeting was in FEBRUARY! Much to talk about since and the public health crisis has put a pause on many of our plans.
What should our direction be?
We had a jam packed first quarter planned for 2020 as we were set to grow and expand as a group and do more thorough community outreach. We already had some successful events at the start of 2020, such as our Infill Valentines Campaign and our well attended Secondary Suite workshop.
We had much more planned, including a Housing Plus community forum at the Ralph Brown Community Centre for early April. The COVID-19 pandemic put a pause on that event and other planned YIMBY Winnipeg events for the first quarter of 2020.
This crisis, including limits on crowd gathering, appears to be for the long haul. How should YIMBY Winnipeg organize and operate during this? Some important discussion points:
What response should YIMBY Winnipeg have to the crisis in rental housing job disruption from COVID-19 is causing?
What should YIMBY Winnipeg’s web presence be during the crisis? What themes should we hit?
Events: In-person events are mothballed until at least fall, probably longer. Can we get good turnout for virtual events? And can we use these to grow the mailing list?
Planning and infill projects: The Residential Infill Strategy is on hold right now, as are public engagements through the planning department. What should our approach be when waiting for public engagement to resume?
YIMBY Winnipeg’s April 29th meeting will be held, virtually, through Google Meet.
CMHC report on rents: In January, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reported that rents rose 3.5% in Winnipeg in 2019. This was well above the year over year inflation rate of 1.9%.
Transportation and Budget Group: On March 12th, YIMBY Winnipeg was part of a meeting with some other urban advocacy groups looking at the Transportation Master Plan and City Budget. This was NOT a City of Winnipeg event, but the relevant organizers provided YIMBY Winnipeg was some very useful information on how the City Budget appears to misalign with our City’s long term transportation and land use plans.
Social Housing and Families: On March 18th, Fearless R2W, a North End community organization that does advocacy around child welfare and other social issues, held a virtual Social Housing and Families meeting. Topics discussed included rising rents, the reduced stock of social housing and disturbing info to tenants in precarious financial situations on their rights during the crisis. They decided to work on an infographic, which was eventually released and widely distributed by community organizations.
Rent Assist Report Launch: On April 15, the Manitoba Nonprofit Housing Association and other community groups hosted a report launch,Assisting Renters: Manitoba’s Rent Assist in the Context of Canada’s National Housing Strategy. The report, written by Sarah Cooper, Jesse Hajer, and Shayna Plaut, examines the role rent assist plays in providing housing security and the implications the COVID-19 pandemic poses for it.
Planning and the Infill Strategy: Upcoming Appeal and Community Committee meetings have been cancelled by the City of Winnipeg. Public engagement for the Residential Infill Strategy is paused. YIMBY Winnipeg will continue to closely monitor these situations.