- Corporate body
The City of Winnipeg was incorporated in 1873 by a charter granted by the legislature of Manitoba. At incorporation, the City established a committee system of government: while Council was the governing body for the City, it was in committee that civic policies were formed and executed. The initial task for the first and all subsequent Councils was to strike standing committees for the Council year. In addition to standing committees, Council established special committees to investigate and manage various projects, issues and questions placed before the City.
The Special Committee on Housing Conditions was formed in 1933 and was responsible for the creation of the Winnipeg Housing Company Limited.
On June 28, 1937, Council accepted a report by the Special Committee on Housing Conditions and instructed the City Solicitor to draft incorporation papers for a company to be known as the Winnipeg Housing Company Limited. The company charter was granted by the Province of Manitoba and issued on July 17, 1937. Formation of the Company had been proposed by the Special Committee to address a severe housing shortage and to provide employment to construction workers and tradesmen during a period of severe unemployment. As well, the Company would enable the City to take advantage of provisions in the Dominion Housing Act for the construction of low cost housing. The success of this endeavor depended upon an amendment to the City's charter to allow the City to exchange residential building lots for common stock in the Company. While this amendment was before the Provincial Legislature, the Company constructed a demonstration home at 804 Ashburn Street; some 20,000 people toured this home in the fall of 1937 and the Company received expressions of interest in building similar homes from a significant number of these visitors. Early in 1938, the bill to amend the City of Winnipeg Charter was defeated in the Provincial Legislature and no further homes were built. In 1938, the Company reorganized to enable construction of low cost rental housing under part two of the National Housing Act of 1937. The Company filed returns at both the provincial and federal level until 1945.
The first (provisional) directors of the Company were: Mayor Frederick Warriner and Aldermen E. D. Honeyman, R. A. Sara, J. Blumberg and J. Simpkin. Alderman Sara, who served as Secretary-Treasurer and Secretary of the Company, was also Chairman of the City's Special Committee on Housing Conditions for the years 1937-1941. In September of 1937, Frank E. Halls of the construction company Carter, Halls, Aldinger Co. was elected a Director and then President of the Company.