After six months of construction “The Bridge”, an affordable housing complex being built at the west end of Woodhaven Avenue in Steinbach, is starting to take shape.
Steinbach Community Outreach Office Manager, Charlene Kroeker says, “the day after we had our sod turning, they started putting in the foundations with the piles and stuff like that, and of course, all of that work happens underground. Now we’re finally starting to see the above groundwork, so it’s really exciting to actually see some movement and to see the walls going up. We’re really excited about that."
In November 2021, Steinbach Community Outreach approached City Council with a plan to build a 24-unit affordable housing complex, using the $1.3 million grant the Manitoba government offered Steinbach.
Since then, some minor changes have been made, first to the location of the facility. It was originally intended to be built near Bridgepark Manor, near the Steinbach Community Outreach offices, but it is now located across from the L.A. Barkman Park on Woodhaven Ave. As well, a variance to the number of parking stalls required was approved by City Council in March 2022 which will allow 30 parking stalls instead of the required 40 parking stalls.
Kroeker says in another 6 months they will begin moving tenants into “The Bridge”.
“We are hoping for September provided that everything goes well, and everything goes on schedule. So, that's what we're aiming for right now. Fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly.”
The 24-suite facility will have 12 Bachelor Suites and 12 one-bedroom apartments. As to who will occupy the facility, Kroeker says,
“We're aiming to put low-income individuals in there. Especially single people who have a hard time finding an affordable place to live in Steinbach. So, we're aiming to increase the supply of affordable housing for low-income individuals.”
Kroeker clarifies that “The Bridge” is not an overnight homeless shelter.
“Although there is a big need for an overnight shelter in Steinbach. This is an affordable apartment building for long-term housing. So, people staying there will be staying there hopefully for quite some time, hopefully for a year or more.”
Kroeker does mention that one of the apartments will be set aside. She explains its purpose.
“It will be a Transitional Living Apartment. So, we are helping people find affordable housing, let's say our units are all full. If we're helping people find suitable affordable housing, then we'll place them there temporarily until something more permanent comes up that is best suited to their situation. So, we will have one transitional apartment and the rest will all be long-term apartments in that building.”
Kroeker explain the cost of rent for those living at “The Bridge”.
“A bachelor suite will be going for $583 a month and to get into one of those, you have to have an income of less than $23,000. And a one-bedroom suite will be going for $801 a month and to get into a one-bedroom you have to have an income of less than $32,000.”
For those individuals wanting to rent one of the apartments at “The Bridge", Kroeker encourages those individuals to sign up.
“Interested people can definitely phone or send an e-mail to Steinbach Community Outreach, and we'll put their name on a list. Then once the application process opens up, we'll give you a call and invite you to apply at that time.”
Kroeker also encourages those individuals in the community who so desire, monetary donations are gladly accepted to to towards the daily expenses of Steinbach Community Outreach, and can also be individually allocated to "The Bridge".