Manitoba’s government is providing $12 million to 10 different communities for affordable housing - and Flin Flon is getting a piece of the pie.
The province announced the funding March 29, with money spread out to Brandon, Dauphin, Flin Flon, Morden, Portage la Prairie, Selkirk, Steinbach, The Pas, Thompson and Winkler on a per-capita basis.
The City of Flin Flon is expected to receive about $421,000 from the program, which will be earmarked for affordable housing in Flin Flon. Mayor Cal Huntley confirmed the amount and the receiving of the funding to The Reminder, adding that the City of Flin Flon will be working to use the cash to fund a housing project.
“It’s not insignificant, but it is a small portion of that,” said Huntley.
Huntley says he’s hoping to use the funding to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak - to not only use the money to support affordable housing, but to provide affordable housing for seniors. Increasing the level of seniors’ housing in Flin Flon has been a priority for Huntley and city council since the current group of councillors were elected in 2018, but plans are still tentative. How the money will be used and what specific projects it may be used to push forward have not been decided as of as of press time.
“What we're going to try and do is gear it to affordable seniors housing. That's sort of the intent right now. We're just looking,” said Huntley.
“We just found out last week and we'll probably have a short discussion at [the April 6] meeting. We haven't got our heads around exactly what we're going to do with it yet, but that's kind of where we're leaning.”
Huntley said he personally was leaning toward building another row of seniors’ housing around the former site of the Flin Flon Aqua Centre, near the existing Evergreen Block seniors’ residence, but no official discussions have been held with council or any other groups toward that.
“Ideally, I'd like to use it towards some affordable housing, another row of affordable housing down where the pool used to be, we could put another row in there. There’s such a high demand for it right now - I think the waiting list is about 50 people,” Huntley said.
“We don’t really have good seniors’ housing. If we can swing something like that before this term is over, that would be wonderful.”