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Winners of CMHC 2008 Housing Awards Announced

OTTAWA, Ontario, November 03, 2008 — Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) will announce today the 16 winners of CMHC’s Housing Awards Program, which recognizes housing initiatives that have contributed to improving the affordability of housing in Canada.

“This year’s CMHC Housing Award winners showcase the incredibly rich source of housing knowledge and innovation in Canada that has helped create and revitalize communities from coast to coast,” said CMHC President Karen Kinsley.

“By finding new uses for old buildings and creating new options from the ground up, these winners have championed solutions that work for communities and families across the country.”

The theme of this year’s 10th Housing Awards Program is Best Practices in Affordable Housing. It recognizes affordable housing innovations in the following fields: buildings, housing finance, neighbourhoods, housing with resident services, and Aboriginal housing. CMHC will promote these winning initiatives at future housing-related events across the country.

The competition was open to groups and organizations in both the public and private sectors. The 16 winners, chosen by an independent multi-disciplinary selection committee comprised of housing experts from across Canada, will be honoured at an awards event in Ottawa this evening.

Earlier today, 2004 Housing Award Winner Mary Bales, Founder and Chair of Heartwood Place in Kitchener delivered a keynote address to Housing Awards Program participants. CMHC also moderated a Town Hall discussion on affordable housing. Both may be viewed on CMHC’s web site at www.webcastcanada.ca/cmhc/index.php.

For fact sheets on each project visit the Housing Awards on CMHC’s web site www.cmhc.ca/affordablehousing.

For more information contact:
Julie Girard
CMHC
Media Relations
613-748-4684
Cell. 613-295-6330

Backgrounder

2008 CMHC Housing Award Winners

  • Billy Halcrow Subdivision
    Cross Lake, Manitoba
    A new subdivision constructed using geothermal heating to allow for energy-efficiency during the construction process and designed to provide energy-efficient, low-cost homes for members of central Manitoba’s Cross Lake Band. The use of geothermal heating and cooling will minimize operating costs and help keep homes comfortable and dry in every season.
  • City of Langford Affordable Housing Strategy
    Langford, British Columbia
    A policy that is the backbone of a partnership between the City of Langford, industry and other stakeholders to deliver market and subsidized ownership and rental housing. The policy features inclusive zoning, visitability requirements and mandatory secondary suites. It also promotes diverse options for housing.
  • Dr. F.M. Walker Veterans' and Seniors’ Villa
    Alliston, Ontario
    A 33-unit housing facility developed by the Royal Canadian Legion’s Alliston Branch to help veterans and seniors live comfortably and remain part of their community. The Villa attracted extensive community support, including a property tax deferral, reduced development fees and donated furniture.
  • Flora Place
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    A half-century-old neighbourhood originally built for Second World War veterans, transformed into 28 updated rental townhouses that better meet the current needs of residents and the community. Four of the units are barrier-free, 16 are rent-geared-to-income and the remainder offer below median market rents.
  • Ingenuity in Action
    Peterborough, Ontario
    A partnership between Homegrown Homes, the City of Peterborough, local businesses, non-profit organizations and volunteers to manage or renovate surplus buildings and relocate donated homes onto surplus land for affordable rentals. The approach has been used to develop 11 projects in the city over the past 10 years.
  • Off-Reserve Aboriginal Home Ownership Program
    Fredericton, New Brunswick
    A financial assistance program that helps off-reserve Aboriginal households with modest incomes to buy or build a first home. Eligible applicants receive a 25-year repayable mortgage as well as a forgivable loan for help with down payments and closing costs.
  • Peel Youth Village
    Mississauga, Ontario
    Affordable transitional housing for young people in need built on top of a portion of an underused parking garage transformed and incorporated into the project. The Village provides 48 young adults with housing, as well as access to fitness facilities and life skills and employment support.
  • Penfeld Court
    Steinbach, Manitoba
    A three-storey rental apartment building for lower-income singles and small families. Up to half of the 24 units are occupied by people who need ongoing mental health support and,face special challenges finding secure, stable accommodation.
  • Performing Arts Lodge (PAL) Vancouver
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    A 111-unit subsidized life-lease and rental residence for seniors mainly from the professional performing arts community. The building also features a reading and craft room, rooftop garden and a 100-seat theatre for residents and the local community.
  • Pocket Housing
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    A flexible housing model for creating small apartment buildings, or “Pocket Houses,” on narrow infill lots in Winnipeg’s inner city. Designed to resemble single-family detached houses, each building provides eight small, affordable suites for single residents.
  • Somerset Gardens
    Ottawa, Ontario
    A 10-storey condominium for low-income individuals and families in downtown Ottawa. The Gardens were developed as a partnership between the Multifaith Housing Initiative (MHI), the City of Ottawa Housing Branch and Teron Inc., a local builder.
  • Streets to Homes
    Toronto, Ontario
    A housing-first program that works with large property management firms to offer vacant units to homeless people at a reduced rent. Since its start in February 2005, the program has helped more than 2,100 people find a place to call home.
  • The Cornerstone Initiative
    Victoria, British Columbia
    A formerly derelict heritage property transformed into market-based affordable homes with mixed retail spaces. The Initiative, led by the Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Group (NRG) Society, involved thousands of volunteer hours, contributions from private companies and a partnership with a local school.
  • Ucluelet First Nation 24-Unit Revisionary Housing Project
    Ittatsoo Reserve # 1 Ucluelet, British Columbia
    The result of innovative construction techniques and community consultation, these 24 social-housing units were built for the Ucluelet First Nation. The energy-efficient, affordable and weather-resistant units were constructed to address the community’s needs as well as the climate conditions of B.C.’s West Coast.
  • Verdant @ UniverCity
    Burnaby, British Columbia
    A 60-unit green, affordable and family-oriented townhouse community for faculty and staff of Simon Fraser University. A covenant requiring owners to resell at 20 per cent below market value ensures the future affordability of the project.
  • Women In Supported Housing (WISH) Program
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    A supported housing program that provides furnished apartments, financial management and support services to 24 women in the Halifax Regional Municipality,who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Residents gain access to the assistance and services they need to achieve housing stability and independence.

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

 

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