Urban Ecology EQuilibrium(TM) Demonstration Project Starts Construction in Winnipeg

    WINNIPEG, Sept. 11 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada today marked the
start of construction of the Urban Ecology demonstration project, an
energy-efficient and environmentally friendly home to be built in Winnipeg.
    The home will be constructed by Winnipeg Housing Rehabilitation
Corporation (WHRC), as part of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's
(CMHC's) EQuilibrium(TM) Sustainable Housing Demonstration Initiative, which
encourages builders and developers to build the next generation of sustainable
housing in Canada.
    The Honourable Steven Fletcher, Minister of State (Democratic Reform), on
behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills
Development and Minister Responsible for CMHC, was joined today by Flor
Marcelino, Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Wellington, on behalf
of the Honourable Gord Mackintosh, Minister of Family Services and Housing and
minister responsible for persons with disabilities for the Province of
Manitoba, City Councillor Jeff Browaty, on behalf of Mayor Sam Katz and the
City of Winnipeg, and Menno Peters of WHRC, along with sponsors and supporters
in the ground-breaking of the first demonstration home of its kind in
    "The Government of Canada is pleased to work with the housing sector to
develop such innovative homes. We congratulate WHRC on their winning design
and commitment to environmental responsibility," said Minister of State
Fletcher. "Urban Ecology gives people in this region an opportunity to see
first-hand how we can create beautiful, healthy homes, conserve energy and
resources, and reduce pollutant emissions."
    Urban Ecology will integrate solar energy systems into its design and
construction, in addition to high-efficiency appliances, water-efficient
fixtures and building materials with lower pollutant emissions. A two-storey
duplex on an infill site in an established downtown area, Urban Ecology
represents a new approach to building in an urban environment. It also
demonstrates how the principles of EQuilibrium(TM) housing can play a key role
in the delivery of affordable, efficient and healthy housing as part of the
overall renewal of Canada's inner cities.
    The project received over $160,000 in funding from the Winnipeg Housing
and Homelessness Initiative (WHHI). WHHI is a partnership between the
Government of Canada, the Province of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg. WHHI
funding includes $120,000 from the cost-shared Canada-Manitoba Affordable
Housing Initiative and up to $41,200 from the City of Winnipeg in funding and
land costs. CMHC is also providing $60,000 to WHRC to help with the costs of
designing, documenting and promoting the project. Other contributors include
the Province of Manitoba Sustainable Development Innovations Fund (SDIF), the
Province of Manitoba Science, Technology, Energy and Mines (STEM), the
Winnipeg Foundation, and Manitoba Hydro.
    "Manitoba has always enjoyed a leadership role in innovation, and we are
especially glad to see these designs aimed at entry level or first time home
buyers," said Minister Mackintosh. "Environmental responsibility is everyone's
business and we all win when new housing options are made available to
Manitobans, especially in existing neighbourhoods."
    Representing Mayor Sam Katz, Councillor Browaty said, "Building
sustainable neighborhoods is a key focus of the City's long-term planning in
the Speak Up Winnipeg process. We're pleased to be partners in a project that
advances that goal, and helps point the way to a greener Winnipeg."
    "As with many growing cities, Winnipeg's downtown neighbourhoods are in
need of rehabilitation and renewal. We are excited to be creating affordable
housing while renewing the urban environment," said Menno Peters of Winnipeg
Housing Rehabilitation Corporation. "Urban Ecology will demonstrate that
energy-efficient healthy homes can be affordable for entry-level buyers of the
housing market."
    Urban Ecology is one of 15 projects that won CMHC's national
EQuilibrium(TM) sustainable housing competitions since the initiative was
launched in 2006. All EQuilibrium(TM) projects will be open to both the
general public and professional audiences for tours, and then monitored for
performance by CMHC for one year, once occupied.
    EQuilibrium(TM) offers a new approach to housing in Canada. It strives to
balance our housing needs with our environmental priorities. It brings
together the principles of occupant health and comfort, energy efficiency,
renewable energy production, resource and water conservation, and reduced
environmental impact.

    As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of
experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally
sustainable, and affordable homes - homes that will continue to create
vibrant, healthy communities and cities across the country. For more
information, call 1-800-668-2642 or visit CMHC's website at www.cmhc.ca.

For further information:

For further information: Media inquiries: Michelle Bakos, Press
Secretary, Office of the Honourable Diane Finley, Tel: (819) 994-2482;
Stephanie Barkley, CMP, Marketing Consultant, Prairie and Territories Region,
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Tel: (403) 515-3007, Cell: (403)
585-2117; City of Winnipeg, Media Inquiries, Tel: (204) 986-6000,

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