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CMHC's Housing Affordability Grant Recipients Announced

OTTAWA, Ontario, April 24, 2001 — Fourteen grants, worth up to $20,000 each, have been awarded under Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's (CMHC) Affordability and Choice Today (ACT) Program.

In making the announcement today, the Honourable Alfonso Gagliano, Minister responsible for CMHC said, "through collaborative partnerships, these projects bring together municipalities and the private and nonprofit housing sectors to help develop, demonstrate and promote innovations in local planning and building regulations."

Operating since 1990, this program is a partnership between CMHC, the Canadian Home Builders' Association (CHBA), the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association (CHRA) and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). FCM carries out program administration on behalf of the partners. In 1998, the United Nations recognized ACT as a best practice for improving the living environment.

Dick Miller, CHBA President, said, "ACT helps to improve the regulatory environment to supply housing affordability, quality and choice. The initiatives encourage more flexibility and innovation in housing construction."

CHRA president Robert Cohen added, "ACT grants like these help grass roots groups find solutions to address housing needs in their communities. But ACT is also about sharing those solutions across the country so that other communities can benefit from them."

FCM president Joanne Monaghan said, "ACT helps Canadian municipal governments develop sustainable communities. Working in partnerships, ACT grant recipients are finding innovative housing solutions that result in urban intensification, conversion and alternative development standards."

To date, 163 projects, chosen by a national committee of housing experts, have been awarded ACT grants.

This application round saw the introduction of a new grant category, "Promotion", under which grants of $5,000 were used to fund creative efforts that promote regulatory reform, and contribute to sharing ideas. Applications, under this category, are accepted year-round.

ACT's new web site, launched last year, has information on the program, application forms, and information on the more than 75 case studies documenting completed ACT initiatives.

The ACT web site is at:

Case studies may also be obtained from CMHC at:

Canadian Housing Information Centre (CHIC)
700 Montreal Road
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0P7
(613) 748-2367 or fax at: (613) 748-4069.
CHIC can also be accessed through CMHC's Web site.

For further information please contact:
Susan Fisher Rosemary Kinnis Eric Tetrault
CMHC Manager, Affordability and Choice Today, FCM Press Director, Office of Minister Gagliano
(613) 748-2317 (613) 241-5221 ext 242 (819) 953-1098


Today's Flexible Lifestyle Townhouses: Destiny Developments, Bedford, Nova Scotia

$20,000 to develop healthy, flexible, economical, energy efficient townhouses in the core of Bedford, Nova Scotia. Restrictions in the zoning and residential planning strategy will need to be modified to enable this development.

Domaine des prés: Chambre de commerce de Marieville et Région, Marieville, Quebec

$20,000 to provide the aging population of Marieville with quality, single-family rental homes. The team aims to amend zoning by-laws to permit the construction of one-storey rowhouses of five or six units, with a park, garden and community room.

Promoting Homes for All Residents: Town of Cochrane, Alberta

$5,000 to conduct open houses and workshops to educate community members in Cochrane and reduce opposition to housing initiatives that would be affordable to low and moderate income households. The team will also conduct a needs assessment to determine priorities.

Kanata 2000: Fiset Miller Bourke Architects: Montreal, Quebec

$20,000 to conduct research and obtain the necessary regulatory changes to permit the construction of the biological water treatment system for a demonstration house in a First Nations community in Kahnawke, Quebec.

Nuc-tuct Non-profit Homes Corporation, Toronto, Ontario

$10,000 to apply for site-specific rezoning to allow the development of a six-storey, 60-unit apartment building in Toronto. In addition, the team will need to develop an innovative parking plan to meet the City's requirements.

Oakville Salvation Army Homelessness and Affordable Housing Project: Regional Municipality of Halton, Ontario

$20,000 to examine regulatory changes that would affect the viability of affordable housing including emergency shelter beds, transitional housing and permanent affordable housing. The team will build and demonstrate affordable housing units in the Regional Municipality of Halton.

A2H Accessible/Affordable New Housing: The Sun Ridge Group, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

$10,000 to identify and track regulatory barriers to developing new accessible housing that is affordable to low-income people with disabilities. Regulatory challenges include municipal by-laws related to zoning and parking and building standards related to spatial separation, fire and sound barriers and forms of egress. The team will also raise awareness of affordable accessible homes and demonstrate the concept by building 24 new homes in Saskatoon.

Trellis Gardens: Trellis Housing, Toronto

$12,000 to examine regulatory requirements and develop new legal documentation required to implement the construction of 24 permanent affordable housing units in Toronto for women and children currently in the shelter system.

Development Process Creation: District of Lake Country, Kelowna, British Columbia

$5,000 to conduct research and consultation with development community representatives to create a new development approval process that would reduce housing costs by streamlining and speeding up the process.

Streamlining Business Process, High Density Housing: Halifax Regional Municipality, Halifax, Nova Scotia

$5,000 to streamline construction approvals processes for high density residential housing. Improvements will make the process more user-friendly, flexible, efficient and responsive to innovative designs. The team will bring together municipal, provincial, nonprofit and industry representatives to develop the new processes.

Creation of Comprehensive Development Policy Manual: Municipality of Leamington, Ontario

$5,000 to compile a comprehensive policy manual that would streamline the development process by consolidating the municipality's development requirements into one volume. The team will conduct focus groups to review the draft manual and test its validity and market acceptance.

Markham Building Standards Client Performance Program: Town of Markham, Ontario

$10,000 to enhance the Town's computerized building permit application management system to measure and promote the performance of its building industry clients.

North Okanagan Affordable Housing Initiatives: North Okanagan Social Planning Society, Vernon, British Columbia

$10,000 to draft affordable housing policies and regulations and then carry out a wider consultation process as required through the Official Community Plan process. The team will draft criteria for reduction or elimination of municipal charges.

Facilitating the Development of Manufactured Homes, City of Surrey, British Columbia

$10,000 to prepare a new manufactured homes by-law to accommodate all types of manufactured homes, including siting and location of two-storey units and those in areas with non-manufactured homes.

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)


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