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The Adanac Apartments in Winnipeg are back on the market for $2.6 million after being evacuated in August due to safety issues and fire code violations. The commercial real estate company handling the sale has already received interest from private and non-profit organizations. Marion Willis, executive director of St. Boniface Street Links, hopes the building can be used to provide housing for individuals struggling with homelessness, mental health, and addiction issues. She envisions the building being a place where recovery supports are integrated into the living environment, with care teams available 24/7 to assist residents in transitioning from living on the streets to having a stable home.

Willis emphasizes the importance of involving various branches of the government, emergency services, and city planning to ensure the success of the project. She envisions a collaborative effort to create a plan for the Adanac that prioritizes housing for vulnerable individuals in need of support services. Willis is concerned that if the building is simply renovated and rented at market rates, it will not address the needs of the most vulnerable residents. She acknowledges the risks involved in owning the Adanac, as there is potential for damage and challenges in collecting rent to sustain the building.

The City of Winnipeg has noted that while some work has been done to bring the property into compliance, there are still outstanding orders that need to be addressed by any future owner. Willis believes a new approach is needed, with a focus on innovation and collaboration to not only address the issues at the Adanac but also potentially replicate successful housing models in other buildings. She has been engaging with stakeholders to explore options for providing affordable housing for Winnipeg’s most vulnerable populations, emphasizing the importance of understanding the needs of the residents and working with them over time to develop a comprehensive plan.

Willis’s vision for the Adanac Apartments involves creating a supportive living environment for those struggling with addiction and other challenges. She believes that by integrating recovery supports and care services into the building, residents can receive the assistance they need to successfully transition from homelessness to stable housing. Willis advocates for a community-based approach that involves government agencies, emergency services, and city planning to ensure the success of the project. She hopes that the Adanac can serve as a model for innovative housing solutions that prioritize the needs of the most vulnerable individuals in Winnipeg.

In conclusion, the Adanac Apartments present both challenges and opportunities for potential buyers. While there are existing flaws and outstanding issues that need to be addressed, there is also potential to create a transformative housing model that prioritizes care and support for vulnerable populations. Marion Willis’s vision for the Adanac reflects a commitment to holistic and community-driven solutions that aim to address the root causes of homelessness and provide long-term stability for residents. With the right approach and collaboration, the Adanac could become a beacon of innovation in affordable housing for Winnipeg’s most vulnerable populations.

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