Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper Archives Jun 26 2015, Page 25

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Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) - June 26, 2015, Winnipeg, Manitoba C M Y K PAGE B3 winnipegfreepress. com CITY WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2015 B 3 HARVEST HONDA ............ Hwy N, Steinbach .. ...... ...... ........ CROWN HONDA ........ McPhillips Street ...... ...... ........ WINNIPEG HONDA ................ Waverly Street ...... ...... ........ BIRCHWOOD HONDA WEST .............. Portage Avenue ...... ...... ........ BIRCHWOOD HONDA ........ Regent Avenue West ...... ...... ........ #/£ Limited time lease offers from Honda Canada Finance Inc. ( HCFI), On Approved Credit. The weekly lease offer applies to a new 2015 Civic DX 5MT only, model FB2E2FEX, for a 60- month period, for a total of 260 payments of $ 39 leased at 0.99%% APR. 120,000 kilometre allowance ( 12 cents/ km excess charge applies). Consumers may pre- purchase up to a maximum of 16,000 extra km/ year at $ 0.08/ km at the time of entering into the lease agreement. Total lease obligation is $ 10,140. 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GET A CIVIC BONUS UNTIL JUNE .... ‡ 6 TH ANNUAL IHEART. UWINNIPEG. CA More Than $ 250,000 Raised to Help Students in Need. Thank you to all who supported the 6th annual I Heart UWinnipeg Dinner, which took place on May 21, 2015. More than 300 people attended this year’s event, which was highlighted by a tribute to the late Lindor Reynolds and a surprise gift of $ 200,000 by The University of Winnipeg Students’ Association ( UWSA). In total, more than $ 250,000 was raised for the Opportunity Fund, which enables youth who face barriers to post- secondary education to attend school and follow their dreams. UWinnipeg thanks everyone who bought tickets to the dinner and donated auction prizes, and offers a special thank you to the following sponsors for their generous support: .. ...... .............. .............. .. ...... .......... ................ ...................... .. .......... ........ .. .................. ............ .. ...... .......................... .. KPMG .. .... .......................... .......... .. ............ .... .................... .. ................ .... .................. .................... ...... ................ ............ .. ........ ........ .......... ............ .. ...... .............. .......... ...... ............ ................ .............. .................. .. ...... .................... ........ .................. .............. .. ................ .............. ................ ...... .. ...... ...... .......... .. ................ ........ .............. .. ................ ........ .......... Above: UWSA 2015- 16 Executive ( L to R): Kevin Settee, Emily Epp, Jesse Blackman, Peyton Veitch. C ITY officials are trying to come to grips with problems posed by private homes illegally converted to accommodate post- secondary student housing. Prompted by concern from residents of Fort Richmond, near the University of Manitoba, the city’s planning department prepared a detailed analysis of how other municipalities deal with problems associated with student housing. The Fort Richmond residents had complained about a proliferation of illegal rooming houses sprouting up around the U of M campus, poorly maintained yards, parking issues, noise complaints and overcrowding conditions that breach fire codes and pose a safety threat. “ It’s only a matter of time before someone, or maybe five or six people, die in a fire in one these homes,” said St. Norbert Coun. Janice Lukes, whose ward encompasses the area surrounding the U of M campus. Lukes said out- of- town landlords are buying single- family homes and illegally renting them to students. She said the problem has spread beyond the immediate neighbourhoods of Fort Richmond and University Heights into neighbouring Waverley Heights, Fairfield Park and Bridgwater Forest. “ Almost every street ( in those neighbourhoods) has an illegal rooming house on it,” Lukes said. By law, only two unrelated people can live together in a home, but Lukes said landlords are illegally renting out homes to as many as eight students. Neighbours are annoyed because the rental properties are unkempt and there are problems with noisy parties. But Lukes said there are real safety concerns: lack of smoke and fire alarms, no fire extinguishers, inadequate number of exits and illegally converted space into bedrooms. Lukes said the city’s bylaw enforcement officers act on complaints, but it’s difficult to gain access to properties. She said officials evicted students from two illegal rooming houses last spring. The administrative report to today’s property and development committee doesn’t propose any solution, and there is no recommendation for a next step beyond assessing the current situation. Committee chairman Coun. John Orlikow said he hopes the committee can develop a plan on how to take the next steps to deal with the issue. Lukes said as a first step, she will ask the committee to see how fire officials and bylaw officers can work more closely together. Other communities have tackled the problem, Lukes said, adding Winnipeg may have to devise special zoning regulations that recognize student housing but place limits on the number in each neighbourhood. Lukes said she’s planning an open house in September to present a range of options for residents to consider but added she won’t impose a solution on them. aldo. santin@ freepress. mb. ca Rooming houses worry U of M neighbours Chinese student shares home with 10 others IN a medium- sized Fort Richmond home, one Chinese student lives with 10 other people, sharing one kitchen and eight bedrooms. The student, who preferred to remain anonymous, came to Winnipeg from China a little more than a year ago to study fine arts at the University of Manitoba. He has lived in the house ever since, sharing the space with seven other students and the landlord’s family. Each of the students has his or her own bedroom, he said, but the landlord’s family shares one room. Many of the bedrooms are just big enough for a small bed, he said, and only some of them have windows. The student said he found the house listed online. With no friends or family in Canada, he took the opportunity to live close to school — and the price was right. “ For us the rent is cheap,” he said. “ It’s just for sleep, it’s OK.” The student said he came to Canada for school partly because he thought he could get a better education here, and his parents agreed. Parts of the house are often dirty, he said, but he and his student roommates spend up to eight hours a day at school, and he takes classes year- round. With three years left in his degree, he said he would rather live somewhere else. But with thousands of international students at the U of M and a famously low vacancy rate in Winnipeg, he said he hasn’t found another option. — Aidan Geary By Aldo Santin MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Elizabeth Wiebe says unkempt yards and potential safety hazards in area rooming houses worry her. CRAMMED into a conference room in a neighbourhood public library, 100 residents from Fort Richmond and surrounding areas gathered Thursday to discuss ways to solve the community’s student- housing problems — and air a few grievances. The meeting, organized on behalf of a neighbourhood property owner, was held to gauge community opinion on rezoning and developing one Fort Richmond property, 632 Grierson Ave., said Michelle Richard, partner in one of the host organizations, Richard Wintrup and Associates. “ It’s really about exploring the issue at a very comprehensive level,” she said. “ We’re just at the point now where we’re starting to engage in that.” According to Richard and her team, the owner is hoping to develop her property, currently occupied by a single- family home, into student- focused housing. The neighbourhood is home to dozens of student rooming houses, some of which are illegal. Richard said she wouldn’t name the property owner, who did not attend the meeting. Neil Bazan grew up in Fort Richmond, and, after moving away as a young adult, has recently moved back. Like many residents at the meeting, Bazan said he was worried about maintaining the feel of the neighbourhood. “ It’s always been a single- family street, he said. “ My concerns are that it’ll be overdeveloped, and it may be too large or not keep with the existing community.” But, Bazan said, that’s not to say there isn’t a housing problem that needs to be addressed. He said he thinks the issue should be tackled by government or the university, not just individual property owners. “ Something like this might be able to ( help),” he added. “ But that goes to a much bigger question of who needs to be responsible for ensuring student housing, and obviously that’s something that needs to be addressed from a lot of different levels, especially the university itself.” Community members were presented with three ideas for potential developments. Richard noted the possibilities were in the early stages, and the property owner was open to other options. One option, called “ shared housing,” was billed as “ essentially a larger single- family home,” with residents sharing facilities such as the kitchen and bathroom, such as several already in use near the University of Winnipeg. The other options were a small apartment complex and row housing. Elizabeth Wiebe has lived in her Fort Richmond house since 1979, and said until recently, she knew all her neighbours by name. Over the past five years, she said, her community has changed, with many residents downsizing as they get older, or chasing warmer climes. Standing in her yard on Pasadena Avenue, Wiebe can see at least four rooming houses without leaving her garden. Wiebe said she doesn’t blame the students, but the unkempt yards, dubious legality and possible safety concerns frustrate her. “ It really bothers me,” she said. “ It devalues the properties… One drive down the street will tell you what’s a rental and what isn’t.” Coun. Janice Lukes ( St. Norbert) has been advocating for action on the student housing situation in Fort Richmond since entering office, and said it was “ a very positive evening.” “ People are lively and they all want to vent about the issue, and that’s great. But, you heard me, enough of that; let’s go on with being proactive.” aidan. geary@ freepress. mb. ca Student- housing plan draws crowd to community meeting By Aidan Geary B_ 03_ Jun- 26- 15_ FP_ 01. indd B3 6/ 25/ 15 10: 44: 26 PM

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