July 29, 2022

Lead applicant: John Howard Society of Victoria
Lead municipality: City of Victoria
Sector: Energy (Sustainable Affordable Housing - SAH)
Project type: Feasibility study
Approved funding through the Green Municipal Fund: $148,950

The John Howard Society of Victoria (JHS, est. 1989) currently provides 20 units of affordable housing to individuals leaving the corrections system. This initiative will be JHS’s first Net-Zero Energy Ready (NZER) project and first new build.

Aiming to achieve BC Energy Step Code 4 (which meets SAH’s minimum energy threshold), the project will assess the feasibility to build 28 long-term and transitional housing units, based on client needs. The study will also involve building systems design and drafting architectural and electrical drawings. The proposed building will feature administrative space for JHS staff, educational and social space for residents, and a social enterprise café geared towards professional training and employment services for residents and other JHS clients.

Innovative aspect(s):

Tenant training opportunities, through the social enterprise café and a partnership for inmates at JHS’ feeder institution to develop construction skills and potentially gain professional experience during building construction, will support former inmates in their transition out of correctional facilities

Allowing tenants to control temperature, within a set range, strikes a balance between giving tenants options and ensuring anticipated building performance is maintained

Replicability:

The inclusion of offices and residential services within the same building is a model that could be replicable for many non-profit or municipal new builds

Success of the social enterprise café could serve as a model for other non-profit housing operators looking to offset rents or build resident capacity in their buildings

Affordability:

Rents are deeply subsidized at what JHS calls “shelter” rates, well below the median market rate for the region

Most rents are also eligible for government subsidies to ensure they are affordable to tenants

(Project description from original funding application)

Green Municipal Fund
Climate change
Energy
Housing
Inclusive communities
Infrastructure
Sustainability
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