SEED Winnipeg and New Journey Housing offer workshops, financial assistance to potential inner-city homeowners

By Sheen Chan

Mwumvaneza Aarias Butariho teaches many of the workshops available at New Journey Housing. /SHEENCHAN

“This is free money,” said Mwumvaneza Azarias Butariho, a housing advisor for New Journey Housing. “When (participants) finish the sessions and they have the budgeted amount, it will be matched by SEED.”

New Journey Housing and SEED Winnipeg have partnered to create the Inner City Homebuyer Program. This program will assist low-income families understand the responsibilities of being a homeowner through a series of workshops, and will match the money saved by participants to help with the down payment of a house.

After attending all the required workshops, families will be given time to save the required amount and SEED Winnipeg will match the amount for a down payment towards a house located in the designated inner-city communities. The communities include the North End, Central Neighbourhoods, Daniel McIntyre/St. Matthews and Spence Street neighbourhoods.

“Homeownership has been proven to improve communities,” said Natalie Wiebe, manager of asset building programs for SEED Winnipeg. “We want to create stable housing. We want people living in these neighbourhoods… who will take care of it.”

In the past, New Journey Housing has offered multiple workshops for newcomers, including learning how to budget and the responsibilities of renting a home.

New Journey Housing provides resources to newcomers. /SHEENCHAN

SEED Winnipeg is a non-profit agency that helps create opportunities for those with lower income, specializing in helping individuals who are new to the country.

“Our main focus is on poverty reduction and we do that through community development and financial literacy and empowerment,” said Wiebe.

SEED Winnipeg has also run programs in the past for assisting individuals with lower incomes, including providing funding for household items. They also host workshops and one-on-one sessions about taxes and getting certificates.

Rhoda Laureano listens intently during the Inner-city Homebuyer Workshop. /SHEENCHAN

This is the first time the two organizations have partnered to help low-income homebuyers, intending to enhance the inner-city neighbourhoods with prospective homeowners.

New Journey Housing will be hosting workshops at their Broadway location and a representative from SEED Winnipeg will be in attendance to accept applications from those who are interested in the Inner City Homebuyer Program.

The program is open to individuals with low-income, permanent residents, international students, temporary foreign workers and naturalized Canadians.