Community forum on Wpg rooming houses – all welcome May 27

WINNIPEG, MB – A Community Forum dedicated to Winnipeg rooming houses to be held on Tuesday, May 27 from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm at The University of Winnipeg will include new research findings, a documentary film about rooming houses, and with attending participants, draft an action plan for addressing the disappearance and decline of rooming houses in Winnipeg. The forum is free and open to all. Lunch will be served.  People are asked to register by Monday, May 26, 2014 at ius@uwinnipeg.ca or 204.982.1149.  Journalists are welcome.

Together the Institute of Urban Studies, UWinnipeg, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – Manitoba, Manitoba Research Alliance, Spence Neighbourhood Association, West Broadway Community Organization, Resource Assistance for Youth, and the Neighbourhood Change Research Partnership will bring together more than 80 rooming house tenants, landlords, community members, government representatives, researchers, service agencies and students to discuss the state of rooming houses in Winnipeg.

Research Release 1: The Institute of Urban Studies, University of Winnipeg will release a report titled Winnipeg’s Vanishing Rooming Houses that documents the disappearance of rooming houses from two inner-city neighbourhoods. Andrew Kaufman, Research Associate explains that, “This disappearance is the result of a number of factors coming together – rooming houses disappear with rises in property value, limited profits for owners, residential fires, a complex and unfocused regulatory framework, difficulties in financing new houses, neighbourhood change, and conversions by community organizations.” From the mid 1990s to 2014, between 930 and 1,410 rooming house units have disappeared in the Spence and West Broadway neighbourhoods. Throughout this disappearance, rooming houses remain an important form of housing, providing shelter for 1,360 to 1, 840 people in the West Broadway and Spence Neighbourhoods. Rooming houses have become a focal point in a debate between the public or private market provisions of affordable housing.

Research Release 2: The Manitoba Research Alliance will release a report titled Rooming Houses to Rooming Homes, which finds that rooming houses are an important type of housing and maintaining them ought to be a priority. This requires a focused approach involving outreach with tenants and improving the complex regulatory and policy framework. The cost of inaction on rooming houses will be an increase in tenant displacement, homelessness and an increased reliance on the shelter system and emergency services.

Documentary Film Release: Many people in the inner-city call rooming houses home. This documentary talks with tenants and landlords about rooming houses and finds that when well-maintained with built-in supports, this is a viable type of housing. The video is by Freelance Video Producer, Brad Langendoen.

 

COMMUNITY FORUM:

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

8:30 am to 1:30 pm

Convocation Hall, 2ND floor, Wesley Hall

University of Winnipeg

515 Portage Avenue

Free admission

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Molly McCracken, Director, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – Manitoba

molly@policyalternatives.ca

204-803-0047

Andrew Kaufman,Research Associate, Institute of Urban Studies, UWinnipeg, an.kaufman@uwinnipeg.ca

204-982-1149

 

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