Housing and homelessness

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This winter, a 53 year-old woman died overnight in minus 32-degree temperatures, frozen to death on the streets of downtown Winnipeg. This tragic and preventable loss serves as a reminder of how Winnipeg is failing to support people who need it the most and that the homelessness crisis affects women. A new study released today renews calls to action to deal with this tremendously unjust situation.
This winter, a 53 year-old woman died overnight in minus 32-degree temperatures, frozen to death on the streets of downtown Winnipeg. This tragic and preventable loss serves as a reminder of how Winnipeg is failing to support people who need it the most and that the homelessness crisis affects women. This study renews calls to action to deal with this tremendously unjust situation—so that we need not have even another year of women’s homelessness in Winnipeg and Manitoba.
In this work we demonstrate the specific constellation of events, initiatives, and supports that contributed to housing refugees from Syria who arrived in Manitoba beginning in November 2015.  Relative to those of other recent refugee arrivals to Canada, the 'Syrian Case' has been unique, insofar as a considerable amount of national attention was devoted to the matter.  The arrival of Syrians has been politically polarizing--indeed it became a decisive issue duing the 2015 federal election in Canada and served as a touchstone for arguments for and against immigration to Canada, in general,
Cities and towns across the province are learning to work within their unique economic climates and available policy tools to deal with housing needs. That was evident following a panel discussion with Manitoba mayors as part of Building Partnerships 2016, the Manitoba Non-Profit Housing Association’s fourth annual conference in November.
First published in the Winnipeg Free Press Dec 12, 2016 The provincial government has halted funding for Neighbourhoods Alive! This is a serious mistake.
While it is widely recognized that Aboriginal people are over-represented in the urban homeless population, most research has focused on Aboriginal homelessness in metropolitan areas. Very little attention has been paid to the issue in small northern towns. The small amount of research that has been done on the topic suggests that there are also challenges associated with Aboriginal homelessness in more remote urban areas, and that there are unique aspects to homeless populations in these areas.
The successful settlement and integration of im­migrants and refugees is a multifaceted, complex, and long-term process that requires the dedica­tion and involvement of both newcomers and the community in which they settle. Arriving to a new home is overwhelming for newcomers, es­pecially if they lack strong social connections in the new place and have few financial resources. Having access to well-rounded and holistic sup­ports can help to ease the stresses for newly ar­rived immigrants and refugees.
As housing advocates across the country recognize National Housing Day on November 22nd, we must continue to acknowledge the central role of housing in building inclusive communities and seek ways to ensure  that all low-income families have access to affordable, safe, and good quality housing.  Vulnerable and marginalized populations such as newly arrived immigrant and refugee families all too often suffer the indignity of scouring the private rental market for suitable housing only to face discrimination, unaffordable rental rates, poorly cared for buildings, and undesirable neighbourhood
Winnipeg City Council is currently considering a development fee to ensure that suburban growth in our city pays its fair share of city-wide infrastructure needs. Such fees are nothing new: municipalities surrounding Winnipeg levy them as do most major Canadian cities. Winnipeg developers are up in arms and do not want to pay the proposed development fee. In this stance they are being consistent with the historic position of the industry in our city, an industry that has had significant influence over Winnipeg City Hall, especially in promoting costly suburban sprawl.

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