Westminster Housing Society (WHS) is a registered charity. Our mission is to provide good quality housing to lower income tenants at rental rates they can afford. To achieve this, the WHS rehabilitates and constructs housing stock in Winnipeg’s West Broadway and surrounding neighbourhoods.
The Westminster Housing Society is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and is managed by S.A.M. (Management Inc.).
In 1995 we completed our first housing project – a 12-unit townhouse on Maryland Street. Since then, we’ve acquired and rehabilitated 23 houses and completed 3 ‘new build’ projects providing over 100 housing units. All of our rehabilitation projects undergo substantial upgrades, including new plumbing and electrical systems, new windows and doors, increased insulation and modern décor.
The Westminster Housing Society works in partnership with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and New Directions for Children, Youth, Adults & Families to make our housing units available to individuals who need supportive housing.
Westminster Housing relies upon a variety of government grants or forgivable loans to pay for most of the capital costs of acquiring and upgrading properties. These arrangements change from year to year, but in all cases the funding support involves all three levels of government. The coordination of government programs is mainly through Manitoba Housing and Rehabilitation Corporation, with which Westminster Housing has a working relationship.
A rehab project generally takes six months to a year to complete, from acquisition to occupation by tenants. During this period bridge financing is provided by the Cambrian Credit Union, with whom Westminster Housing has a line of credit. Most capital costs are ultimately met by a combination of government grants and forgivable loans, but the shortfall is met through a mortgage or line of credit. The indebtedness to Cambrian Credit Union is secured by a mortgage on our properties, but the overall indebtedness is only a small proportion of the value of the properties. Westminster Housing Society has a healthy balance sheet.
Since most of our projects are located in or near West Broadway, we seek and obtain approval from the West Broadway Development Corporation, a not-for-profit organization working to coordinate and support neighbourhood renewal, which assists in the allocation of funds for housing projects in its sector.
Westminster Housing also receives funding from the Winnipeg Foundation to assist in providing amenities in our units, including new appliances. From time to time Westminster Housing is assisted by other foundations including the Thomas Sill Foundation and the Westminster United Church Foundation.