© Mennonite Heritage Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba (Last updated Oct. 26, 2006)


  • Mennonite Urban Renewal Program


    Retrieval numbers: Volumes 4544, 4545; photograph collection 494

    Title: Mennonite Urban Renewal Program fonds
    Dates: 1974-1991
    Extent: 0.5 meters of textual records
    Extent: 4 photographs
    Repository: Mennonite Heritage Centre Archives

    Historical note

    The Mennonite Urban Renewal Program (MURP) traces its origins back to 1981 when it was organized according to the vision set forth by a fellowship group at the River East Mennonite Brethren Church. The program was designed to provide low-income people in Winnipeg's core area with affordable, dependable housing, thereby facilitating the establishment of Christian ministry in the community. The commitment to a "wholistic ministry" was realized through the "Housing Plus" program which MURP created in 1984. Cal Wiebe and Willy Guenther were hired to implement this program, providing pastoral and counselling services as well as other forms of assistance to the tenants of buildings operated by MURP. While MURP originally targeted Native people as prospective tenants and future administrators, the expected levels of Native involvement in the program did not materialize.
    MURP's first building was acquired at 277 Atlantic Avenue in May, 1981, financed by member donations and low interest loans. Further properties were purchased in December 1983 at 641/645 Westminster Avenue and at 768 and 774 Toronto Street. The organization was formalized in 1983 with the support of the Mennonite Brethren Board of Missions and Church Extensions, Native Ministries of the Conference of Mennonites in Canada, and the Winnipeg Core Area Initiative. Jake M. Unrau served as president of the provisional Board of Directors in 1981, and was elected chair of the board in 1982. Other chairs were Peter J. Kroeker (1985-1986) and David Dyck (1987-1988). Gerald Brown acted as full-time manager of the apartment blocks from 1983 until July, 1987.
    Due to a lack of awareness and support of MURP in the Mennonite churches, some discomfort on the part of tenants with MURP's expectations, and the increasingly evident contradictions in upholding a "distinctively Christian approach" to administering the properties and managing them in a financially viable way, the program encountered serious financial difficulties. The Atlantic property was sold in November, 1987 followed by the Westminster block in February, 1988. The decision to dissolve the corporation was made at a special annual meeting in November, 1988, where the board recommended that MURP's remaining properties be sold and the assets transferred to the Mennonite Foundation of Canada for investment. Interest earned by these monies was to be used by the Mennonite Central Committee (Manitoba) to finance new proposals with aims similar to MURP's regarding ministry in Winnipeg's inner city.

    Scope and content note

    This fonds consists of seven series: 1) Minutes, 1980-1989, 2) Financial ledgers, 1981-1987, 3) Financial files, 1981-1991, 4) Correspondence, 1981-1990, 5) MURP properties and their administration, 1974-1988, 6) MURP-tenant relations, 1983-1987, and 7) MURP objectives and operation, 1977-1989.

    Index terms

    Creators

  • Mennonite Urban Renewal Program

    Adjunct descriptive data

    Finding aids

    Series description and inventory file list available. Photographs are described at an item level in the MHC Photograph database.

    Notes

    Custodial history

    These records were brought to the archives by Edd Funk in June, 1993.

    Arrangement

    Arranged and described by Stephanie Heidenreich, June 1997. Reviewed and updated by Alf Redekopp, Oct. 2006.

    Restrictions on access

    None

    Other notes

    Accession No. 93-167

    SERIES DESCRIPTION

    1. Mennonite Urban Renewal Program minutes. - 1980-1989. - 6 cm of textual records.
      This series consists of the minutes of various meetings pertaining to the Mennonite Urban Renewal Program. It includes the minutes and reports of the executive committee, the board of directors, and the advisory committee, as well as those related to the annual and general meetings.
      Location: Volume 4544
    2. Mennonite Urban Renewal Program financial ledgers. - 1981-1987. - 4 cm of textual records.
      This series consists of registers recording the MURP's general income and expenditures. There are also payroll books which document the salaries paid to its employees.
      Location: Volume 4544
    3. Mennonite Urban Renewal Program financial files. - 1981-1991. - 23 cm of textual records.
      This series consists of records documenting the Mennonite Urban Renewal Program's financial activities. There are financial statements, records of donations and low-interest loans made by the membership, documents pertaining to Mennonite Urban Renewal Program's investment interest, and tax-related forms and correspondence. Documents describing the Manitoba Employment Action Program's involvement in MURP are also included.
      Location: Volume 4544, 4545
    4. Mennonite Urban Renewal Program correspondence and mailing lists. - 1981-1990. - 5 cm of textual records.
      This series consists of the MURP's general correspondence as well as letters and reports sent to its membership. There are lists of individuals receiving MURP mailings.
      Location: Volume 4545
    5. Mennonite Urban Renewal Program property-related and administrative records. - 1974-1988. - 5 cm of textual records.
      This series consists of legal and mortgage documents pertaining to MURP properties, as well as notices of rent increases, insurance records, and realty tax bills.
      Location: Volume 4545
    6. Mennonite Urban Renewal Program tenant-related records. - 1983-1987. - 1 cm of textual records.
      This series consists of minutes, reports, and other documents related to the Housing Plus committee. There are records pertaining to tenant-related concerns, and notices sent to the tenants of the Atlantic Avenue building.
      Location: Volume 4545
    7. Mennonite Urban Renewal Program records describing its goals and operation. - 1977-1989. - 4 cm of textual records.
      This series consists of documents which describe MURP's objectives and operation. It includes documents related to MURP's incorporation and by-laws, as well as reports, studies, publicity materials, news bulletins and articles, and directories of community services related to MURP and its objectives. There is an extensive study on low-rental housing and related social service needs in Winnipeg undertaken by Vera Isaak at MURP's request.
      Location: Volume 4545
    8. Mennonite Urban Renewal Program photograph collection. - ca. 1983. - 4 photographs.
      This series consists of photographs depicting the properties owned by the Mennonite Urban Renewal Program.
      Location: photograph collection volume 494

    Mennonite Urban Renewal Program fonds file list:


    Volume 4544
    1. Minutes
    1. Executive committee minutes. - 1983-1989.
    2. Board meeting minutes. - 1981-1982.
    3. Board meeting minutes. - 1983.
    4. Board meeting minutes. - 1984.
    5. Board meeting minutes. - 1985-1986.
    6. Board meeting minutes. - 1987-1989.
    7. Annual and general meeting minutes. - 1981-1985.
    8. Annual and general meeting minutes. - 1986-1988.
    9. Advisory committee minutes. - 1982.
    10. Miscellaneous minutes. - 1980-1988.

    2. Financial Ledgers
    1. Register of income and expenditures. - 1981-1984.
    2. Register of income and expenditures. - 1984-1986.
    3. Register of income and expenditures. - 1986-1987.
    4. Payroll book. - 1984.
    5. Payroll book. - 1985.
    6. Payroll book. - 1986.
    7. Payroll book. - 1987.

    3. Financial Files
    1. Financial statement, April. - 1983.
    2. Financial statement, December. - 1983.
    3. Financial statement, January. - 1984.
    4. Financial statement, February. - 1984.
    5. Financial statement, March. - 1984.
    6. Financial statement, April. - 1984.
    7. Financial statement, May. - 1984.
    8. Financial statement, June. - 1984.
    9. Financial statement, July. - 1984.
    10. Financial statement, August. - 1984.
    11. Financial statement, September. - 1984.
    12. Financial statement, October. - 1984.
    13. Financial statement, November. - 1984.
    14. Financial statement, December. - 1984.
    15. Financial statement, January. - 1985.
    16. Financial statement, February. - 1985.
    17. Financial statement, March. - 1985.
    18. Financial statement, April. - 1985.
    19. Financial statement, May. - 1985.
    20. Financial statement, June. - 1985.
    21. Financial statement, July. - 1985.
    22. Financial statement, August. - 1985.
    23. Financial statement, September. - 1985.
    24. Financial statement, October. - 1985.
    25. Financial statement, November. - 1985.
    26. Financial statement, December. - 1985.
    27. Financial statement, January. - 1986.
    28. Financial statement, February. - 1986.
    29. Financial statement, March. - 1986.
    30. Financial statement, April. - 1986.
    31. Financial statement, October. - 1986.
    32. Financial statement, February. - 1987.
    33. Financial statement, April. - 1987.
    34. Financial statement, August. - 1987.
    35. Financial statement, October. - 1987.
    36. Financial statement, January. - 1988.
    37. Financial statement, February. - 1988.
    38. Financial statement, March. - 1988.
    39. Financial statement, April. - 1988.
    40. Financial statement, April. - 1989.
    Volume 4545
    1. Miscellaneous financial records. - 1983-1991.
    2. Donations. - 1981-1987.
    3. Alternative investment low-interest loans. - 1981-1983.
    4. Investment interest. - 1981-1988.
    5. Revenue Canada. - 1983-1989.
    6. Health and Education Tax. - 1983-1987.
    7. Worker's Compensation. - 1983-1988.
    8. Manitoba Employment Action Program. - 1982-1984.
    4. Correspondence
    1. General correspondence. - 1981-1983.
    2. General correspondence. - 1984.
    3. General correspondence. - 1985.
    4. General correspondence. - 1986.
    5. General correspondence. - 1987.
    6. General correspondence. - 1988-1990.
    7. Correspondence with MURP members. - 198-.
    8. Mailing Lists. - 1985-1988.
    5. Property-Related Files
    1. Legal and mortgage documents, 277 Atlantic Avenue. - 1981-1987.
    2. Legal and mortgage documents, 641/645 Westminster Avenue. - 1974-1988.
    3. Legal and mortgage documents, 768 and 774 Toronto Avenue. - 1981-1987.
    4. Rent increase records, 277 Atlantic Avenue. - 1984-1987.
    5. Rent increase records, 641/645 Westminster Avenue. - 1984-1985.
    6. Rent increase records, 768 and 774 Toronto Avenue. - 1984-1986, 1988.
    7. Realty tax. - 1982-1987.
    8. Insurance policy. - 1985-1986.
    6. Tenant-Related Files
    1. Housing Plus program. - 1984-1987.
    2. Notices issued to tenants, 277 Atlantic Avenue. - 1983-1987.
    3. Tenant-related concerns. - 1985.
    7. Objectives and Operation
    1. Incorporation and by-laws. - 1981-1984.
    2. Studies and reports related to MURP's goals and operations. - 1977-1989.
    3. Study on Low-Rental Housing. - 1982.
    4. Reports made to the board and membership. - ca. 1982-1986.
    5. Publicity materials and Publicity committee records. - 1981-1988.
    6. News Bulletins and Articles. - 1982-1987.
    7. Community Service
    8. Photographs

      494:1 277 Atlantic Avenue. - ca. 1983. - 13x 9 cm (col.). This photo shows the Mennonite Urban Renewal Program's property žat 277 Atlantic Avenue in Winnipeg.
      494:2 641/645 Westminster Avenue. - ca. 1983. - 13x 9 cm (col.). This photo shows the Mennonite Urban Renewal Program's property žat 641/645 Westiminster Avenue, Winnipeg.
      494:3 368 and 374 Toronto Street. - ca. 1983. - 13x 9 cm (col.). This photo shows the Mennonite Urban Renewal Program's property žat 368 and 374 Toronto Street, Winnipeg.
      494:4 374 Toronto Street. - ca. 1983. - 13x 9 cm (col.). This photo shows the Mennonite Urban Renewal Program's property žat 374 Toronto Street, Winnipeg.