Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness Initiative

Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness Initiative
Government of Canada

Government of Canada
Government of Manitoba

Government of Manitoba
City of Winnipeg

City of Winnipeg

March 17, 2011 11:00 ET

Urban Ecology EQuilibrium™ Housing Project Celebrates its Official Opening

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - March 17, 2011) - Today, the Government of Canada along with the Province of Manitoba and City of Winnipeg announced the official opening of the Urban Ecology EQuilibrium™ Housing project, an energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The home was built by the Winnipeg Housing Rehabilitation Corporation (WHRC) as part of CMHC's EQuilibrium™ Sustainable Housing Demonstration Initiative (www.cmhc.ca/en/en_001.cfm), which encourages builders and developers to build the next generation of sustainable housing in Canada. The Urban Ecology Home is the tenth EQuilibrium™ home across Canada to be completed and opened for public tours.

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 by the Honourable Kerri Irvin-Ross, Manitoba Minister of Housing and Community Development, Mike Pagtakhan , Winnipeg City Councillor, Menno Peters, Executive Director, WHRC, Megan Tate, from the Winnipeg Foundation, and Lloyd Kuczek from Manitoba Hydro, along with sponsors and supporters to celebrate the opening.

"The Government of Canada is proud to work with WHRC on their project to design and build the Urban Ecology home" said Minister of State Fletcher. "This forward-looking project demonstrates how we can build beautiful, healthy homes that conserve energy and resources."

"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 Irvin-Ross. "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 Pagtakhan said "Building sustainable neighbourhoods 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." 

EQuilibrium™ demonstration homes are designed to be healthy to live in, highly energy and resource efficient, produce as much energy as they consume on an annual basis, and have very low environmental impact.

"Participating in CMHC's EQuilibrium™ Housing Initiative gave us the opportunity to continue our efforts of revitalizing Winnipeg's inner city neighbourhoods and allowed us to explore new ways of building affordable housing that has environmental, social and economic benefits." said Stephanie Haight, Project Manager of Winnipeg Housing Rehabilitation Corporation. 

The Urban Ecology project team is one of many builder/developer teams across Canada to have turned design concepts into real homes as part of CMHC's national EQuilibrium™ Sustainable Housing Demonstration Initiative. All CMHC EQuilibrium™ Housing projects are open to the public and industry for demonstration for a minimum of 6 months. The houses are monitored for performance for one year, once occupied.

CMHC's EQuilibrium™ Sustainable Housing Demonstration Initiative offers a new approach to housing in Canada. It strives to balance our housing needs with those of the environment. It brings together—under one roof—the principles of occupant health and comfort, energy efficiency, renewable energy production, resource and water conservation, reduced environmental impact and affordability.

CMHC has worked closely with many stakeholders to develop and establish EQuilibrium™ Housing. In particular, CMHC has collaborated closely with Natural Resources Canada, which has contributed substantial research and development expertise and resources to advancing the Initiative.

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC (www.cmhc.ca) draws on 65 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

BACKGROUNDER

The Urban Ecology EQuilibrium™ Home integrates solar energy systems and a high performance building envelope 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™ 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 up to $60,000 to WHRC, under its EQuilibrium™ Housing Initiative, to help with the costs of designing, documenting and demonstrating 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.

The federal AHI investment is part of the Government of Canada's $1.9-billion commitment for housing and homelessness for low-income Canadians. In Manitoba, the Affordable Housing Initiative (AHI) and the renovation programs for low-income households are jointly funded by the federal and provincial governments.

Through the WHHI, the government partners work together to deliver funding for affordable housing, to address homelessness, and to assist in the revitalization of Winnipeg's older neighbourhoods. Since 2000, the WHHI partnership has committed over $138 million to repair, rehabilitate, or construct over 5,000 housing units as well as assist those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The WHHI is a single-window office for community organizations to access information on government-funded housing and homelessness programs. For more information, visit www.whhi.ca.

Contact Information

  • CMHC
    Carol Mulley
    Communications
    403-585-9317
    cmulley@cmhc.ca
    www.cmhc.ca
    or
    Office of Minister Finley
    Ryan Sparrow
    Director of Communications
    819-934-3629
    or
    Manitoba Housing
    Joe Czech
    Communication Services MB
    204-945-6778
    joe.czech@gov.mb.ca
    or
    City of Winnipeg
    Michelle Bailey
    Communications
    204-986-6000
    mbailey@winnipeg.ca