Matawa Non-Profit Housing Celebrates Grand Opening of Social Housing Units in Thunder Bay
October 23, 2020
MATAWA NON-PROFIT HOUSINGTO CELEBRATE GRAND OPENING OF SOCIAL HOUSING UNITS IN THUNDER BAY
THUNDER BAY, ON: Matawa Non-Profit Housing Corporation (MNPHC) today celebrated the opening of 8 new rent-geared-to-income (RGI) housing units in Thunder Bay. The one-bedroom units will all be occupied at the end of the month. The opening of the units—constructed as two four-plex apartments—are a result of a continuing collaboration with the District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board (TBDSSAB) and, other non-profit housing funders.
In total, MNPHC, has accumulated a total of 44 units throughout the city and has always held full occupancy. They are scattered throughout the city and are available for low, or modest income families. In collaboration with the TBDSSAB and other funders, MNPHC has been successfully operating all RGI housing units since 1996. The expansion of today’s RGI units is in alignment with the 32 recommended actions in the TBDSSAB’s ‘Under One Roof Housing and Homelessness Plan’ that is in effect from 2014-2024 in the District of Thunder Bay.
From 2001-2012, MNPHC added 24 additional units throughout the city in collaboration with additional funders like Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services (OAHS) who assist in providing RGI housing for First Nations, status and non-status, Inuit and Métis people. In partnership with approximately 21 other non-profit housing providers in Thunder Bay, the TBDSSAB provides operational funding for the 12 Matawa-owned units built in 1996, and will support the tenants moving into the new Coady Avenue units through rent supplements. MNPHC is in the process of applying to the OAHS for additional units and are hoping for a positive review moving into its 25th year in service as a non-profit housing provider.
MNPHC utilizes the substantial major capital project and financial/administration experience of its voluntary Board and Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce member—Matawa First Nations Management (MFNM). Expertise sourced from MFNM includes a Professional Engineer, housing inspector, energy and environmental advisors, and Master of Finance and Accounting—amongst others.
To apply for housing, not only with MNPHC, but also a number of other non-profit housing providers in Thunder Bay, people must apply to TBDSSAB to be placed on a wait-list for RGI housing. Currently, the TBDSSAB operates a Central Housing Registry that oversees the wait-list for access to most subsidized housing units in the city and surrounding district. According to a 2018 ‘District of Thunder Bay Point-In-Time Count of People Experiencing Homelessness Report,’ the average wait time from application to an offer of a unit is only 9.5 months. This is amongst the lowest wait times in Ontario.
The celebration event today adhered to province-wide COVID-19 restrictions and included a minimum number of participants.
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For more information, please contact Carol Audet, Matawa Communications Manager at (807) 632-9663 or by email at: [email protected]
“We are pleased and grateful to be able to work with the District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board on the establishment of 8 more rent-geared-to-income housing units. For the past 24 years, we have been proud to be one of a few non-profit housing providers in Thunder Bay. With the opening of the units today, we now operate a total of 44 units scattered throughout the city. We recognize that social housing isn’t perfect, that there still are problems which need to be solved. Despite this—and amongst many other reasons—we need to support people that cannot compete in the city’s housing market and we need to support low wage workers to continue living close to the jobs that need their skills.” —Robinson Meshake, Board President – Matawa Non-Profit Housing Corporation
“TBDSSAB is pleased to continue our partnership with Matawa Non-Profit Housing Corporation. Currently, we provide operational funding towards the 12 units built in 1996, and will support tenants in the Coady Avenue units through rent supplements that allow people to access quality housing at an affordable cost. TBDSSAB provides quality services in our District within the context of a commitment to social justice and recognition of people’s potential to achieve self-sufficiency. To attain this vision, we must continue working together to develop homes that are affordable and accessible to people of all ages and income levels. On behalf of TBDSSAB Leadership and Board of Directors, thank you to Matawa for all the important work that went into bringing this vision to life. We look forward to continuing to work together toward affordable housing in our community.” — William (Bill) Bradica, CAO – TBDSSAB