HOP – An Initiative Whose Time has Come
The Housing Opportunity Partnership (HOP) is a not-for-profit inner city housing revitalization initiative dedicated to reclaiming houses, streets and neighbourhoods by acquiring derelict homes and lots, building new infill houses, and selling them to first-time home buyers.
HOP’s groundbreaking work started in 1995 when as a result of learning about the success of the Columbus Housing Partnership in the United States; Cliff Palmer, the 1995 Winnipeg Real Estate Board President, felt Winnipeg could do something similar given the need for neighbourhood revitalization. This led to the Board forming a broad housing stakeholder task force to plant the seeds for a housing partnership in Winnipeg. From there, it took a number of draft proposals to government and legislative changes but perseverance prevailed and HOP received its first funding of $129,900 in September 1997 from the Manitoba Securities Commission (MSC). It came from the interest earned from money deposited in real estate broker trust accounts that the MSC collects.
Since HOP began in earnest in 1998, it has invested millions of dollars in the West End of Winnipeg. 89 homes have been acquired and all have been sold (as of September 2019). The proceeds from the sale of HOP homes are put back into acquiring and reclaiming more homes.
Up to 2019 HOP’s initial targeted area was on the western edge of the Spence neighbourhood. It includes the neighbourhoods of St. Matthew and Daniel McIntyre with focus on all streets between Arlington and Balmoral, bordered to the north by Notre Dame and to the south by Portage Avenue. Our most recent agreement with the Province of Manitoba focuses exclusively on the William Whyte neighbourhood in Winnipeg’s North End. Every effort is being made to concentrate revitalization efforts within a few blocks to have greater impact on the streets being targeted.
HOP is an acronym for Housing Opportunity Partnership. HOP believes that home ownership brings stability to a neighbourhood. Homeowners are keenly aware of their investment and want to ensure it is maintained and will appreciate over time. The more homeowners in an area, the greater likelihood of neighbourhood rejuvenation, as all homeowners have a monetary incentive in protecting the equity in their home. HOP intentionally chooses streets that already have a homeownership base so that new homeowners have existing homeowners with similar aspirations.
Currently HOP is funded through the support of the Province of Manitoba, the City of Winnipeg, and the Manitoba Securities Commission. HOP also acknowledges in-kind support from Winnipeg Regional Real Estate Board and the Manitoba Real Estate Association.
HOP can proudly state that it has positively impacted the West End area that it has targeted over the past years. The results speak for themselves. Since 1999, HOP has initiated and contributed to the positive renewal of the neighbourhoods.
In carrying out HOP’s mission, we are setting an example for other housing initiatives in Winnipeg and elsewhere to bring back neighbourhoods that are losing their housing stock. In doing so, we are creating a good supply of affordable housing by stabilizing an entire community. It cannot be emphasized enough, that by sticking to our home ownership thrust, we are successfully bringing a renewed commitment to the area through these new homeowners. Through our innovative program and efforts, HOP home buyers have now been able to have their homeownership dreams come true.
Loren Realty / Parkhill Homes
Retired Neighbourhood Planner
Winnipeg Regional Real Estate Board
Royal Lepage Dynamic – C Davis
RE/MAX Performance Realty
Zappia Group Realty
“Thanks to HOP our life-long dream to own our own home has come true. I can’t begin to tell you how much we appreciated the hands-on concern and care given by HOP.”R. Drury, HOP Home Owner.
For more information, contact: Frank Zappia 204-772-2100 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.