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Deputy Prime Minister Manley Announces CMHC's 2002 Housing Awards Finalists

OTTAWA, Ontario, July 31, 2002 — Fourteen finalists in Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's (CMHC) Housing Awards Program (HAP), which recognizes significant contributions to the advancement of Canadian housing, were announced today by the Honourable John Manley, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations.

This year's HAP, under the theme, Affordable Housing Innovations is the seventh since the program's inception in 1988.

"The Housing Awards Program not only recognizes advancement in housing, but shares innovative solutions and best practices which have helped improve the affordability of housing and living environments in Canada," said Deputy Prime Minister Manley. "I am pleased to bring attention to achievements of people who, by working together to create affordable housing solutions, have helped reduce the cost of housing for those persons who might otherwise have difficulty finding housing to meet their needs."

The awards program was open to individuals/organizations, private or public, that implemented solutions that addressed housing affordability. Architects, designers, builders, planners, financial institutions, educational institutions, charitable organizations, public and non-profit housing, and social service agencies were included.

An independent selection committee composed of housing experts in various disciplines, selected the individuals/organizations who achieved excellence in one of five categories: Finance and Tenure; Technology and Production; Planning and Regulation; Concept and Design and; Process and Management.

The national Forum, to be held October 22-23, 2002 at the Courtyard Marriott in Toronto, will honor all finalists, announce winners and provide an opportunity to learn about innovative initiatives that address housing affordability.

The CMHC Housing Awards Program has been successful in promoting innovations in: seniors' housing (1988); housing for young families (1990); housing for persons with disabilities (1992); housing for Aboriginal people (1994); housing for youth (1997); and housing challenges of the new millennium (2000).

For information on the Housing Awards Program, please contact:

CMHC Housing Awards Program
c/o Wilson Young and Associates
13 Wildbriar Way
Nepean, ON
K2G 5B4
Telephone: 1-866-822-8719

For further information please contact:

Ruth Chamberland
(613) 748-2808

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

2002 CMHC Housing Awards Finalists Affordable Housing Innovations

City of Ottawa
Ottawa, Ontario
Affordable Housing Initiatives

To create more affordable housing in Ottawa the City of Ottawa has used a full range of incentives at its disposal: offering surplus municipal land at virtually no cost, waiving municipal development fees and charges, reducing property taxes for new rental construction and providing capital grants for affordable housing development. Through its own resources and in combination with federal homelessness funding, the City has assisted with the production of over 300 new affordable housing units in the past three years.

Creighton/Gerrish Development Assoc.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Creighton/Gerrish Development

A partnership of four community-based non-profit groups, the Creighton/Gerrish Development Association (C/GDA) is developing a $7.25 million mixed-use complex in central Halifax. C/GDA completed the first of 5 components, a 19-unit apartment building for low-income single persons, in January 2002. Subsequent elements will include a multi-purpose centre for the City's black community and 45 to 50 dwellings for sale and affordable to households in a neighbourhood where 44% of households are renters of non-profit and public housing.

David W. Edwards Architect Ltd.
Regina, Saskatchewan
Relocation Project for Seniors Housing

The Saskatchewan Housing Corporation owns hundreds of semi-detached houses across the province, which local housing authorities rent to seniors. Seniors in small towns, however, often feel isolated in these homes and prefer to live in larger communities with more services. David W. Edwards Architect Ltd. proposed a creative solution: move several semi-detached units to a single location and connect them under one roof, adding hallways, lounges, and common areas. David W. Edwards Architect Ltd. has since reconfigured some 100 units in six Saskatchewan communities, and a zero vacancy rate attests to the program's success.

Hilditch Architect
Toronto, Ontario
30 St. Lawrence Affordable Housing Project

To provide affordable accommodation for homeless persons in Toronto, Hilditch Architect designed a 10-townhouse complex on behalf of Dixon Neighbourhood Homes. Located on a property at 30 St. Lawrence Street, the townhouse complex was completed in February 2000, on time and on budget. Hilditch Architect designed the complex such that it would fit into any typical Toronto neighbourhood and provide residents with responsibility for their townhouses. The approach worked. Occupants maintain the properties in good shape and participate in various grounds-keeping activities, and the building's owner is meeting projected financial obligations.

Options for Homes Non-Profit Corporation
Toronto, Ontario
Affordable Home Ownership for Low- to Moderate-Income Residents

Low-income Canadians often consider home ownership beyond their means. Options for Homes, a private non-profit corporation located in Toronto, is changing this thinking. The company obtains access to residential land and pre-sells homes to low- and moderate-income households. By minimizing marketing expenses, avoiding costly amenities, and applying an innovative financing approach known as the Affordable Housing and Community Equity Reinvestment Technique (AHCERT), Options for Homes has built five affordable condominium complexes in Toronto and given hundreds of families the opportunity to own their homes.

Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte
Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, Ontario
Revolving Loan Program

The Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte First Nation, a community of 2,200 people, offers its young people, singles, elders, and those on social assistance the opportunity to obtain low-cost mortgages to build or purchase their own homes. With some federal funding, the community created a revolving loan program that offers low interest rates for entire mortgage terms. Hundreds of people have taken advantage of the attractive financing, producing a multi-million dollar mortgage portfolio owned and administered by the community. Today, 85% of households within the community own their homes.

Nepean Housing Corporation
Ottawa, Ontario
Longfields Development

With 4,000 people on a waiting list for its 265 subsidized rental units in Ottawa's west end, the Nepean Housing Corporation (NHC), a private non-profit housing provider, recognized the community's drastic need for additional affordable housing. A municipal land donation, government grants, and considerable creative thinking enabled NHC to secure financing and launch a project to build 76 units in manor home form. Rents on 65% of the Longfields units are subsidized; rents on the balance are charged at market rates.

Quint Development Corporation
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Affordable Housing Program

Located in the Core neighbourhoods of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Quint Development Corporation is a neighbourhood-led non-profit community economic development organization. Quint set up an innovative Co-operative program that puts homeownership within reach for 70 low-income families, with 20 more homes underway for this year. The program is set up to include families on social assistance. The Co-operatives, each comprising 10 families, own homes for five years, after which the households have the option to arrange financing to assume their own mortgages. Supporting Co-operative members through the transition from renter to homeowner and neighbourhood rejuvenation are major focuses of this program.

Stella Burry Corporation
St. John's, Newfoundland
Carew Lodge

A community-based non-profit organization, the Stella Burry Corporation purchased a run down building in St. John's, Newfoundland, and turned it into one of the best examples of supportive housing in the province. Refurbished and reopened in August 2001, Carew Lodge provides safe, affordable accommodation to 14 tenants, many of whom have difficulty finding places to live. The project represents the success that federal and provincial governments and grass-root community organizations can achieve when they work together to help people on low-incomes find decent affordable housing.

Colin Munro, architect / Groupe CDH
Montréal, Quebec
Coopérative d'habitation LeZarts

In March 2002, 33 painters, sculptors and media artists, some with spouses and children, moved into new, custom-designed lofts at LeZarts, a former two-storey, 22,000 square-foot clothing factory in Montréal's Centre-sud district. This housing cooperative offers affordable housing in downtown Montréal and gives residents the environment and synergetic support to develop their artistic talents. One unit is reserved for an artist-in-residence, funded by Le Conseil des Arts et Lettres du Québec. Developed by using Accèslogis and City of Montréal subsidy programs, LeZarts intelligently integrates work and living spaces, sparing artists from paying two rents. The building also includes a basement exhibition space, La Chaufferie, for the residents and the public.

La Société d'habitation et de développement de Montréal
Montréal, Quebec
Terrasse St-Michel

La Société d'habitation et de développement de Montréal (SHDM) is a para-municipal non-profit organization in Montréal, Quebec, whose mission is to increase the quality of life for low-income persons or those with special needs by refurbishing residential buildings and encouraging communities to manage their properties. With financial help from the City of Montréal and the provincial government, SHDM purchased and renovated Terrasse St-Michel, a 14-building development long neglected by its previous owners. Five years after the purchase, SHDM handed over property management duties to Habitations Terrasse St-Michel, a local non-profit organization. Rents at Terrasse St-Michel, although market based, remain below average, offering tenants well-managed, affordable accommodations-SHDM's ultimate objective.

The Working Centre
Kitchener, Ontario
43 Queen Street South Downtown Revitalization

A volunteer-driven organization with a mandate to help people in lower incomes live full and productive lives, The Working Centre spearheaded the renovation of a long-neglected 9,000 square-foot building at 43 Queen Street in downtown Kitchener. Forging partnerships with regional and local governments, social agencies, voluntary associations, and churches, The Working Centre turned the building into a vibrant multi-use complex that includes affordable housing; workspaces for crafts, bicycle repair, and computer refurbishing; a main-floor cooperatively run storefront for crafters; and a library and job-search resource area.

Whistler Housing Authority
Whistler, B.C.
Beaver Flats Employee Housing

The Whistler Housing Authority (WHA) oversees the development and administration of employee-restricted housing in Whistler. In December 2001, the organization finished developing Beaver Flats Employee Housing, a 57-unit apartment restricted to those who work full-time in Whistler. Rent controls protect tenants from escalating Whistler real estate prices, and an energy-efficient building design keeps tenant utility costs down. The building is fully occupied, and WHA receives vacancy inquiries every day, a testament to the project's success.

Wood Buffalo Housing and Development Corporation
Fort McMurray, Alberta
Edgewater Court

In 2001, the province of Alberta donated eight acres of land in Fort McMurray, Alberta, to the Wood Buffalo Housing and Development Corporation (WBHDC) to develop affordable housing. WBHDC has completed the first two phases of Edgewater Court, introducing 120 new social housing rental units to the Fort McMurray community. A third phase will add 55 more units. Edgewater Court rents are cost based, not market based, which keeps rents affordable and restricts rent increases to cost-of-living adjustments. With Edgewater Court, WBHDC has met its objective: to increase the supply of affordable rental accommodation in a market where vacancy rates hover around zero per cent.

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)


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