May Housing and Urban Issues News

Call for Feedback on the Airport Area Plan: YIMBY Winnipeg is calling for feedback from property owners and residents west of Polo Park. We’re interested in thoughts on the prospect of reviewing the Airport Vicinity Protection Area (AVPA) secondary plan. The plan currently bans new multifamily in an area including Polo Park and running west to the airport. YIMBY Winnipeg is particularly interested if anyone knows any property owners interested in improving their properties and residents who would like to age in place. If you know anyone, tell them to send an email with their thoughts to  yesinwpg@gmail.com

In our view, a comprehensive review that creates a level playing field for all property owners in the area and acknowledges our need for housing is the best path forward.

The owners of Polo Park are seeking a spot amendment to allow new multifamily at Polo Park, which the Airport Authority opposes. The Airport Authority told the Winnipeg Public Service that they would support a review of the AVPA secondary plan “in its entirety” and are also trying to get the matter referred to the Manitoba Municipal Board “in the name of” the Government of Canada. Transport Canada, the relevant federal department, says that the Winnipeg Airport Authority “”cannot speak on the government of Canada’s behalf”.

Slashed funding for environmental groups: The Government of Manitoba has cut funding, to the tune of $360,000, for the Manitoba Eco-Network, Climate Change Connection and the Green Action Centre. The Green Action Centre faces a $200,000 cut. The Green Action Centre helps schools and other institutions set up composting programs, educates people about lower carbon transportation options, and does advocacy. Last summer they had a major event  where they invited Dr. Donald Shoup to talk about the negative impacts (high cost) of free parking. The Green Action Centre has been very supportive of YIMBY Winnipeg, including promoting our Secondary Suite Workshop on their website. Seniors for Sustainability is encouraging seniors who can afford it to donate all or part of their $200 Seniors Economic Recovery Credit cheque to environmental groups facing provincial cuts.

Temporary pedestrian & cycling streets set to end July 6th:
 The City of Winnipeg  extended the temporary pedestrian & cycling streets to July 6th, but is set to discontinue them July 6th. To facilitate use by pedestrians and cyclists, motor vehicle traffic is limited to one block on these streets. The City’s emergency operations centre manager, Jason Shaw, told CBC that with phase two of the Province’s plan to reopen looming, the City feels it’s “time to wind these temporary measures”. This is misguided. Six foot (two metre) physical distancing is still necessary and Winnipeg’s narrow sidewalks/limited bikeways are insufficient to provide this. With workers heading back to their job sites, many without a car need alternate means of transportation to ensure buses are not overcrowded.The Winnipeg Trails Association has a petition to keep and expand the temporary network.

Eviction freeze extended & rent freeze expires:
 The freeze on non-urgent evictions have been extended from the end of May to June 30th.Tenants are still responsible for rental payments and Manitoba is one of a few provinces which has not provided rent relief for residential tenants, despite the slated roll out of the federal commercial rent relief program.The rent increase freeze expires after May 31st, which means slated rent increases will go through thereafter. The Residential Tenancies Branch’s current rent increase guideline is 2.4%. For a two bedroom apartment of the average rent, as measured for October 2019 by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Rental Market Survey, this represents an increase of $29 per month or $352 a year.

Housing Solutions Winnipeg continues work:
 Housing Solutions for Indigenous Youth aging of care is a project funded by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. It has many partners, including Aboriginal Youth Opportunities, HTFC and the University of Manitoba. The project is currently underway looking at housing solutions for Indigenous youth aging out of the child welfare system.

Call for a Rent Bank
: The Manitoba Non-Profit Housing Association supports the call for the province to create a rent bank.Rent banks, which exist in other provinces, provide emergency support to renters facing income loss until they can access other resources.

Make sure to sign up for YIMBY Winnipeg updates to stay in the loop!