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City looking for affordable housing partners

Non-profit organizations could get a city lots for just a dollar — plus $65,000 in grant money — if they promise to build affordable family housing on it.

That's the deal being offered on two east-end properies that are up currently up for tender.

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The city of Brandon is partnering with Manitoba Housing on the project, which is designed to see the construction of either single-family homes or semi-detached dwellings on the two lots.

Under the rules of the tender, approved bidders will take ownership of each lots for $1, and they'll also be eligible for a $65,000 forgiveable loan for each housing unit they build.

But the criteria are strict. Each home has to be certified Power Smart for energy efficiency, and must also meet Manitoba Housing criteria for accessibility. One of the lots is a narrow lot half the size of most other lots in the area, and both are sloped enough that the request for proposals notes development challenges.

As well, single family homes won't be allowed to be sold for any more than about $213,500 and semi-detached homes for no more than $156,400. Each will have to have a minimum of three bedrooms. Qualified buyers are limited to families that earn less than about $65,000 a year.

The tender document also says that the homes must be "modest," which is speficially prohibits fireplaces, skylights and balconies to be included in the homes.

The two lots are located at 255 Frederick Street and 231 Rosser Avenue East. The city is accepting proposals until Aug. 5.

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