Saanich, British Columbia – Affordable housing solutions that are sustainable can help local communities advance climate action while providing healthy and secure places to live for residents. These solutions lead to lower energy bills and cleaner air in communities. This is why the Government of Canada, and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) are working together to deploy these net-zero solutions in communities across the country.
Today the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, and Scott Pearce, President of FCM, announced an investment of $4.6 million (a $2.3 million grant and $2.3 million in loans) through the Green Municipal Fund’s Sustainable Affordable Housing initiative to support the retrofit of a nearly four-decade-old housing complex in the District of Saanich, British Columbia.
Built in 1984, the Twin Oaks Housing Cooperative, a 32-unit complex that houses a range of tenants from seniors to families with small children, requires urgent renovations and updates to improve energy efficiency and building functionality. This includes replacing windows and doors, installing air-to-water heat pumps and implementing heat recovery ventilation systems. This project will replace the existing baseboard heaters in each unit with a ductless split heat pump that can also provide essential cooling during summer heatwaves.
The Government of Canada provided the Sustainable Affordable Housing (SAH) initiative $300 million as part of a $950-million expansion of FCM’s Green Municipal Fund (GMF) in Budget 2019 to help retrofit existing units for higher energy performance or build new affordable housing in line with net-zero standards.
“The Government of Canada is investing to reduce the cost of housing and energy while ensuring our buildings are more energy-efficient, resilient and comfortable. Today, I announced retrofit investments for homes in Saanich and Victoria that will help families and seniors to live in greater comfort, with lower energy bills. Through investments like these, we are addressing housing, affordability and climate challenges concurrently.”
– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources
“The lack of affordable housing and the threat of climate change are among the many and interconnected challenges that Canada and Canadians face, which demand prompt and collaborative action. To ensure adequate living standards for low-income people and to reduce the impact of climate change, more housing units that are affordable, energy-efficient, and environmentally friendly need to be built. This is exactly what FCM's Green Municipal Fund is doing today in British Columbia in collaboration with the federal government and a local partner. The funding announced today will transform an old housing complex by Twin Oaks Housing Cooperative into a green and sustainable building. Together with the federal government and other partners, let's continue creating a more affordable and a greener Canada.”
– Scott Pearce, FCM President
"Housing co-operatives are a unique model of housing. They are diverse, self-governed communities. Co-op members work together to manage and maintain affordable homes for current and future members. At Twin Oaks Housing Co-op, we are particularly grateful for this funding that will allow us to maintain our homes while also greatly improving the energy efficiency of our buildings. We look forward to this project getting underway in the days to come and extend our gratitude to the parties who have made this possible."
– Jennie Bartosik, President, Twin Oaks Housing Co-operative
Office of the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources
FCM Media Relations