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CMHC's Housing Affordability Grant Recipients Announced

OTTAWA, Ontario, April 15, 2002 — Fifteen 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 John Manley, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations said, "These grants will help municipalities and the private and non-profit housing sectors work in partnership to make regulations more responsive to the housing needs of Canadians. ACT helps communities to develop new solutions and share them with others across the country."

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.

Greg Christenson, CHBA President, said, "ACT projects are an excellent source of innovative solutions to streamlining approvals and building public/private partnerships, which will help to make homes more affordable."

CHRA President Robert Cohen added, "Non-profit housing groups can benefit from the experiences of ACT project teams in addressing housing needs in their communities. Many of this year's grants aim to encourage a range of affordable housing options such as secondary suites, smaller infill lots, multiples, new rental housing and housing for youth and independent seniors."

FCM president Jack Layton said, "As well as providing funding to develop new ideas, municipalities can turn to ACT for good ideas on broadening housing choice and encouraging urban intensification, sustainable communities and housing affordability."

To date 179 projects, chosen by a national committee of housing experts, have been awarded ACT grants and over 100 ACT projects have been completed.

This year, three grants were awarded under the "Promotion" category, that provides grants of $5,000 to fund creative efforts that promote regulatory reform and contribute to sharing ideas. Applications under this category are accepted year-round.

ACT's web site has information about the program and 80 case studies documenting completed ACT initiatives. The ACT web site is at:

Case studies may also be obtained from CMHC at:

CMHC Order Desk
Suite 1000
700 Montreal Road
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0P7
1 800 668-2642 or fax at: 1 800 245-9274

For further information please contact:

Susan Fisher,
(613) 748-2317

Rosemary Kinnis,
Manager, Affordability and Choice Today, FCM
(613) 241-5221 ext 242

Jeff Brownlee,
Press Secretary
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister
(613) 952-4900

Act Grant Recipients, 2002

Housing Affordability Partnership: Canadian Home Builders' Association-Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia

$20,000 to work with the City of Victoria to build an affordable demonstration project. They will examine increasing density and changes to the Official Community Plan.

Hardware Infrastructure for Distributed Power Cogeneration in Wha Ti: Enterra Environmental Corporation, Wha Ti, Northwest Territories

$20,000 to demonstrate the viability and benefits of distributed power generation employing microturbines with combined heat recovery in northern remote communities. They will work with NWT Power Corporation to develop protocols and regulations governing installation and power buy back.

Spence/West Broadway Demonstration Project to Create Affordable Housing Through the Subdivision of Land and Property: Winnipeg Housing Rehabilitation Program, Winnipeg, Manitoba

$20,000 to develop an affordable housing model to assist neighbourhood organizations in creating a Community Land Trust. They will examine the zoning by-law, title registry and national building code.

Laneway Housing: Jeff Stinson, Terence Van Elslender, Toronto, Ontario

$20,000 to build an affordable laneway dwelling. The regulatory framework will be examined and a new approval process proposed.

Promoting Affordable Housing Through Evaluation Guidelines for Residential Development Applications: District of Central Saanich, British Columbia

$10,000 to prepare evaluation guidelines and check lists that provide clear and consistent rationale for approving residential development that promotes affordable housing for young families, new rental housing and housing for independent seniors.

Parking Standards for Affordable Rental Housing: City of Mississauga, Ontario

$10,000 to undertake a parking demand study to determine whether parking standards can be reduced for multiple housing. Recommendations would be made to Council for amendments to parking standards in the zoning by-law.

Development Implementation Enhancement Program: City of Abbottsford, British Columbia

$10,000 to develop an Integrated Voice Response telephone system to enable builders to book multiple inspections and receive inspection results, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Development Permit Process: Corporation of the City of Iqaluit, Nunavut

$10,000 to consult with industry, non-profit and public representatives to develop a new legislative framework, guidelines and simplified set of rules to shorten the time required to issue development permits.

Cedar Valley Development Approval Process Review: District of Mission, British Columbia

$8,000 to streamline the development approvals process review by such means as: elimination of the need for outside referrals; simplified development forms; electronic submissions and application tracking, and collection of application fees via credit or debit cards. They will seek to achieve a 10-day response time.

Second and Third Floor Development in Existing commercial Buildings: Charlottetown Area Development Corporation, Prince Edward Island

$10,000 to determine the feasibility of using existing heritage structures in the downtown core for apartment dwellings. They will conduct a building inventory, assess the feasibility of having second and third floor units and identify regulatory barriers.

Review of Issues, Impacts & Options in Building Inspection Systems: Atlantic Home Building & Renovation Sector Council (AHBR), Nova Scotia

$10,000 to examine options for streamlining the building inspection processes in Nova Scotia. It will assess the quality of current systems and look for ways to fast-track development applications.

Accessing the Level of Municipal Legislation Limiting the Creation of Green Infrastructure Solutions for Sustainable Housing: The BC Municipal Regulations (MSR), 1999 and Conflicts for Acquiring Municipal Approvals for Servicing: Nova Tec Consultants, Vancouver, British Columbia

$10,000 to examine the gap between new provincial sewage regulation for municipal wastewater treatment facilities and municipal legislation that sets the standards for subdivided properties. Guidelines will be given to the province and education workshops provided to municipalities. Servicing sites for new housing will be streamlined.

Home Work: Town of Conception Bay South, Newfoundland

$5,000 to develop a series of promotional materials, workshops and a business fair to promote new regulations for home-based businesses.

Neighbourhood Satisfaction Survey: City of Kelowna, British Columbia

$5,000 to undertake a survey of residents to examine the actual neighbourhood impacts of affordable housing types such as secondary suites, smaller infill lots, townhouses and apartments. A brochure will then be prepared to provide residents with information to help reduce resistance to denser forms of housing.

Secondary Suite Strategy Workshop: Smart Growth BC, Vancouver, British Columbia

$5,000 to organize a workshop on the potential of advancing secondary suites as a strategy for creating private sector affordable housing in the lower mainland. A report will summarize the issues and solutions.

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)


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