Winners of CMHC 2008 housing awards announced



    OTTAWA, Nov. 3 /CNW Telbec/ - 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

    A backgrounder is attached. For fact sheets on each project visit the
Housing Awards on CMHC's web site www.cmhc.ca/affordablehousing


    
                                 Backgrounder

                       2008 CMHC Housing Award Winners

    - Billy Halcrow Subdivision
      Cross Lake, MB
      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, BC
      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, ON
      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, MB
      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, ON
      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, NB
      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, ON
      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, MB
      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, BC
      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, MB
      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, ON
      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, ON
      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, BC
      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, BC
      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, BC
      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, NS
      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.
    




For further information:

For further information: Julie Girard, CMHC Media Relations, (613)
748-4684, Cell. (613) 295-6330


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