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McIntyre House - Souris, Prince Edward Island

An RCMP barracks that was no longer needed in Souris, Prince Edward Island, became a new home for men with developmental disabilities.

Since 1980, McIntyre House has provided a home and life skills training for men with developmental disabilities in this rural community on Prince Edward Island's eastern tip. In 2002, it needed extensive repairs. The Souris Group Home Association, which operates the residence, began considering alternatives to costly renovations—at the same time that the RCMP vacated the barracks in the centre of Souris.

McIntyre House Highlights

Renovations to a vacated RCMP building create affordable supportive housing for adult men with developmental disabilities and support needs.

  • Client group: Homeless adult men who have developmental disabilities
  • Developer: Souris Group Home Association
  • Number of units: 7
  • Tenure: Rental
  • Who was involved? Souris Group Home Association, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, federal government, Province of Prince Edward Island, Eastern Kings Health Region, the community.

The affordable housing solution for McIntyre House

The Souris Group Home Association decided that renovating the RCMP building—which was in relatively good condition—was a better option than building a new home or renovating the old building. Under the Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative, the Association acquired the building—valued at $91,000—for $1. The Association received an interest-free Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) Proposal Development Funding loan to help cover upfront expenses to develop their proposal.

As the Souris Group Home Association upgraded and retrofitted the RCMP building, the people of Souris rallied around it. The parish priest quit smoking, took up running and participated in a marathon to raise $28,000. A potato farmer gave the project a $5,000 cheque and service clubs held fundraising events.

Completed in 2004, the newly renovated building has seven units and provides residents with a home environment. The home also offers life skills training to help residents work towards more independent lives. Six of the units provide supportive housing for men with cognitive disabilities. One of these units has accessibility features for a resident with physical disabilities. The seventh unit is set aside for short-term housing in case of an emergency or for respite care. Among the many advantages to the project's new location is its proximity to the Harbour View Training Centre, where most of the residents work.

McIntyre House received funding from several government programs. Through the Affordable Housing Initiative, CMHC and the Province of Prince Edward Island contributed $55,100. McIntryre House also received $168,000 from CMHC's Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) and $183,200 from the Canada/Prince Edward Island Labour Market Development Agreement. The residence receives operating support from the Eastern Kings Health Region.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation contact for McIntyre House

Caroline M. Arsenault, 506-851-7725, cmarsena@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Additional information about McIntyre House

This document was produced by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, highlighting the successful partnership between Employment and Skills Development Canada, CMHC and Public Works and Government Services Canada.

Old Post Office - Rocky Mountain House, Alberta

When Canada Post built a new post office building in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, a town councillor recognized an opportunity to convert the old post office to affordable housing and community service space. That was the beginning of a partnership between the federal, provincial and municipal governments and community groups, creating affordable housing for lower-income families and single people with physical disabilities. Rocky Mountain House is a town of about 7,000, midway between Calgary and Edmonton, and west of Red Deer. Its steady growth over the past decade and shortage of barrier-free affordable housing have presented difficulties for both lower-income families and single residents with disabilities.

Highlights on the Old Post Office

Rocky Mountain House Low Income Housing Coalition acquired a surplus post office for $1 and converted it into affordable, barrier-free family rental housing with space for community service organizations.

  • Client group: Lower-income families and single people with disabilities
  • Developer: Rocky Mountain House Low Income Housing Coalition
  • Number of units: 7
  • Tenure: Rental
  • Who was involved? Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Province of Alberta, Government of Canada through the Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative, Town of Rocky Mountain House, Berry Architecture and Associates, the community.

The Affordable housing solution for the Old Post Office

Like most government buildings, the old post office was built to last. This made it an ideal candidate for conversion to housing. Berry Architecture and Associates oversaw the conversion. The old post office now has five barrier-free units for people with disabilities and two homes for families. Rents are about $250 per month for the barrier-free units and about $525 per month for the family housing. The main floor has a women's emergency shelter and office space for five local community service agencies.

The Town of Rocky Mountain House provided $10,000 to get the project under way. Transforming the building into affordable housing took advantage of an existing resource that lowered construction costs. The total capital cost of renovating the building was approximately $882,800. The Rocky Mountain House Low Income Housing Coalition acquired the Old Post Office building for $1 through the Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative (SFRPHI) under the Government of Canada's Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS). The building was appraised at $195,000.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and the Province of Alberta provided $350,000 through the Affordable Housing Initiative. Most of the remaining costs were covered through CMHC's Rental Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP), with $168,000 coming from the conversion component and $96,000 from RRAP funds for people with disabilities, which provides funding for features that enhance rental housing accessibility for people with physical disabilities.

Berry Architecture and Associates reduced its fee by 66% and community donations covered the costs of appliances for the affordable homes as well as washers and dryers for the women's shelter.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation contact for the Old Post Office

Shirlinell E. Hopkins, 403-515-3013, shopkins@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Additional information about the Old Post Office

This document was produced by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, highlighting the successful partnership between Employment and Skills Development Canada, CMHC and Public Works and Government Services Canada.

Wigwamen Waabnong - Toronto, Ontario

For Wigwamen Incorporated, a request for proposals from the City of Toronto to develop housing at 20 Sewells Road was an opportunity to build safe and affordable housing for Aboriginal families, singles and seniors. Wigwamen is Ontario's oldest and largest urban Aboriginal housing provider. The group submitted the winning proposal and secured funding from a range of partners to build Wigwamen Waabnong.

Highlights for Wigwamen Waabnong

An innovative approach to securing funding created 92 safe and affordable housing units for Aboriginal people in Toronto.

  • Client group: Aboriginal families, singles and seniors
  • Developer: Wigwamen Incorporated
  • Number of units: 92
  • Tenure: Rental
  • Who was involved? Wigwamen Incorporated; Hilditch Architect; City of Toronto; Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing; Employment and Skills Development Canada; Natural Resources Canada; Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

The affordable housing solution for Wigwamen Waabnong

Wigwamen Waabnong, which means "Houses in the East" in the Ojibwa language, is a four-storey, 92-unit apartment building that opened in 2007. The brick and stone building has nine bachelor, 33 one-bedroom, 28 two-bedroom, 20 three-bedroom and two four-bedroom apartments. One-third of the units are for transitional housing.

The project has a large common room that is used as a multi-denominational worship space and for community activities. These include the Aboriginal Peer Nutritional program, which teaches preparation of nutritious and affordable meals, and a multicultural arts and crafts program for children. Wigwamen Waabnong provides office space to the Aboriginal Housing Support Centre, a program funded by the City of Toronto that helps Aboriginal families and individuals apply for non-profit housing. A community centre offering recreational and educational resources is next door to the project.

Rent is 30 per cent of household income. A full-time transitional housing staff member works with residents who could benefit from assistance to stabilize their lives through support services including credit counselling, resumé building and job training. Construction costs were $13.38 million. Modestly priced building materials improved the affordability of the project and energy-efficient building features reduced operational expenses and environmental impact. Wigwamen received an interest-free Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) Proposal Development Funding loan to help cover some of the expenses incurred during the planning stages of the project. Wigwamen brought over $1 million of its own equity to the project—acquired through fundraising. CMHC and the Homelessness Partnering Strategy contributed $2.5 million. CMHC provided mortgage loan insurance and a mortgage premium reduction. The land was provided by the Province of Ontario and the federal government for $1 through the Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative. The City of Toronto contributed a $1 million dollar grant, a $1 million loan from its Capital Revolving Fund, and fee and permit waivers, including a 50 per cent reduction in parking requirements.

Wigwamen Waabnong won a CMHC Housing Award in 2006 for its innovative approach in securing financing from a variety of private and non-profit groups to create affordable housing that has made a positive difference in peoples' lives.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation contact for Wigwamen Waabnong

Donna Mayer, 416-250-3229, dmayer@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Additional information about Wigwamen Waabnong

CMHC and the Homelessness Partnering Strategy contributed $2.5 million. CMHC provided mortgage loan insurance and a mortgage premium reduction. The land was provided by the Province of Ontario and the federal government for $1 through the Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative. The City of Toronto contributed a $1 million grant, a $1 million loan from its Capital Revolving Fund, and fee and permit waivers, including a 50 per cent reduction in parking requirements.

Wigwamen Waabnong won a CMHC Housing Award in 2006 for its innovative approach in securing financing from a variety of private and non-profit groups to create affordable housing that has made a positive difference in peoples' lives.

This document was produced by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, highlighting the successful partnership between Employment and Skills Development Canada, CMHC and Public Works and Government Services Canada.

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