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Innovative Community to Combine Energy Efficiency and Affordable Housing

Ontario’s Largest ENERGY STAR Rated Community Underway in Mississauga

TORONTO, Ontario, October 14, 2005 — Construction has commenced on the first ENERGY STAR community in Canada aimed at the first-time buyers market. The homes will also be eligible for CMHC’s new 10 per cent mortgage insurance premium rebate program which improves affordability when purchasing energy-efficient homes.

The announcement was made by the Daniels Corporation, along with Federal Labour and Housing Minister Joe Fontana, Mississauga West MPP Bob Delaney and Katie Mahoney, City Councillor.

With its FirstHome Community in Erin Mills, Daniels becomes the first Canadian builder to construct an entire development to the ENERGY STAR standard of construction. Previously, builders have offered this as an upgrade option.

"Today, we are proud to announce that all 354 townhomes in our FirstHome Community in Erin Mills will be built to the ENERGY STAR standard," said Mitchell Cohen, president of Daniels. "We are also thrilled to announce that qualifying buyers at FirstHome Erin Mills, and our FirstHome Markham community of 94 townhomes, will be eligible for the Energy Efficient Mortgage Loan Insurance Program offered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation."

"This initiative by Daniels reflects a recognition that our land and energy resources are not infinite, that all of us need to act responsibly about the future," Cohen said. "Building entire communities to the ENERGY STAR standard will ideally create a new benchmark for the home building industry, and create a new standard of construction homeowners will come to expect."

Recently-launched by CMHC, the program reduces mortgage carrying costs for first-time buyers purchasing an ENERGY STAR home.In addition to the 10 per cent mortgage insurance premium rebate, the program allows mortgages with up to a 35-year amortization to ENERGY STAR buyers, without charging the premium surcharge that normally applies to 35-year mortgages.

"This government understands that energy prices have a huge impact on housing affordability, so last week we unveiled a proposed $2.4 billion energy relief package that would provide longer-term measures to reduce energy costs for Canadians by improving energy-efficiency in homes and buildings," noted Minister of Labour and Housing Joe Fontana. "Today’s event shows that the housing industry is working with us to support affordable housing and environmental sustainability."

The starting price of the ENERGY STAR townhomes in Daniels’ Erin Mills FirstHomewill be $129,900. Qualifying for the 35-year amortization mortgage will reduce purchasers’ monthly mortgage costs by up to $150. When combined with the savings in energy costs delivered by ENERGY STAR homes, purchasers will reduce their costs by close to $2,000 annually. ENERGY STAR homes must be a minimum 40 per cent more energy efficient compared to homes built to the Ontario Building Code.

"The combination of the ENERGY STAR rating and the 35-year mortgage amortization makes home ownership more affordable for first-time buyers. As you can see, the annual savings on mortgage payments are substantial, as are the savings our purchasers will enjoy from reduced energy consumption in their homes," said Don Pugh, vice-president of low-rise housing for Daniels.

CMHC’s program helps offset the increased cost of building to the ENERGY STAR standard, as compared to a home built to the standards required by the Ontario Building Code.

"CMHC’s mortgage insurance program addresses both energy efficiency and housing affordability. At a time when energy costs are rising steeply, this means more first-time buyers will be able to afford ENERGY STAR homes," said Pugh.

The benefits of ENERGY STAR homes goes beyond saving on energy and mortgage costs. Because they are 40 per cent more energy efficient, ENERGY STAR houses are a key part of Canada’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. With higher standards of construction and mechanical features, and their air-tight building envelopes, ENERGY STAR homes offer healthier indoor living environments and improved interior comfort.

Natural Resources Canada sets the standard for achieving Energy Star certification. In Ontario, Energy Star certification is administered by the Energuide for New Houses Program.

Over the past two decades, The Daniels Corporation has emerged as one of Canada’s preeminent builder-developers, with a reputation for quality and integrity in all forms of residential construction. The company has built more than 16,000 homes and apartments in a diverse range of award-winning communities.

The Daniels Corporation is the first-ever recipient of the Greater Toronto Home Builders’ Association’s prestigious "Builder of the Year" award and a recent winner of the Tarion Warranty Corporation’s "Ontario High-Rise Builder of the Year Award. The company has received numerous other awards, including the GTHBA "Best Building Design Award for The Capital Condominiums in Mississauga and "Community of the Year" for their NY Towers Community in Toronto.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is Canada's national housing agency. For over half a century, CMHC has been contributing to improving the living conditions and the well-being of Canadians through four areas of housing activities — housing finance, assisted housing, research and information transfer, and export promotion. CMHC is committed to helping Canadians access a wide choice of quality, affordable homes, and making vibrant and sustainable communities a reality across the country.

For more information, please contact:

Rhoda Eisenstadt/Beth Merrick
The Communications Group Inc.
(416) 696-9900 /

Angelina Ritacco
(416) 218-3332

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)


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