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Women Led Families get a Huge “Step Up” in Quality of Life Thanks to the YWCA Hamilton and Kearns Mancini Architects

Hamilton (Ontario) – Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. That is why, in May 2018, the Government launched the National Housing Co-Investment Fund (NHCF), the largest program of its kind in Canadian history.

Today in Hamilton, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Member of Parliament for Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas, on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), announced a federal government financial commitment for four projects valued at $30.5 million including over $10.08 million for the construction of 50 units at the YWCA Hamilton Ottawa Street Redevelopment located in Hamilton.

With the expertise of Kearns Mancini Architects, the YWCA Hamilton has spearheaded the project in the hopes that it will be a catalyst for an ecological revolution. Not only are Passive House buildings incredibly energy efficient, they are also comfortable and incredibly resilient.  The YWCA Hamilton’s forward-thinking vision has enabled the Kearns Mancini Architects design team to unleash its Passive House expertise and bring the YWCA’s vision to life.

The YWCA Hamilton exemplifies social and fiscal responsibility, using the intrinsic resilience and low energy consumption of this development to protect the capital investment. Sub-metering will allow the YWCA Hamilton to track energy usage metering. By choosing Passive House year on year operation costs may be reduced by as much as 90%.

Through community involvement, educational programming and outreach marketing, this project as a Passive House Development will guide its occupants to demand a higher standard as they make their way in life.  Passive House has been demonstrated to be intrinsically suited to providing spaces that offer social equity, providing a healthier, calmer, more comfortable, affordable, energy efficient and morally conscientious residence to people who need it the most.

“We believe everyone deserves an opportunity to succeed and this is why we are extremely happy to be supporting this wonderful project in Hamilton through the National Housing Strategy. I am proud to be part of a government that works in a spirit of collaboration with all partners to enable all Canadians to build a better life for themselves and their community.” – Filomena Tassi, Member of Parliament for Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas

“We are thrilled to realize our vision of safe, affordable housing for women, girls and families on Ottawa Street. Housing is a starting point for women to move forward. And thanks to this commitment by the federal government, we are able to provide women with a foundation that is necessary for them to succeed. Because every dollar we invest in women is an investment in the greater community.” – Denise Christopherson, CEO of YWCA Hamilton

“We are all part of a global community that is being called to take action to reduce the impact of climate change. As members of an industry that significantly contributes to carbon emissions, we have a personal and ethical responsibility to reduce the environmental impacts of Canada’s built environment.” – Deborah Byrne, Passive House Canada, Board Chair and Kearns Mancini Architects Inc.

Quick Facts
- The projected construction cost of the YWCA Hamilton Ottawa Street Redevelopment is over $22.2 million.
- With its Passive House design, the YWCA Hamilton aims to achieve energy savings of 75% and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of more than 25% compared to the National Energy Code for Buildings in 2015.
- 10 units will be fully accessible, and all common areas of the building will be barrier-free. 35 units will be affordable and will have rent representing less than 75% of the median market rent. 
- YWCA Hamilton is a women-led charitable organization that meets the needs of women and girls since 1889. The organization offers a wide range of services and programs including emergency shelter and transitional housing, affordable child care and after-school programming, youth services, employment and training, women's and senior’s health and wellness, and women and girls leadership.
- Kearns Mancini Architects (KMAI) is a full service architectural practice based in Toronto who understand the significance of the Passive House design methodology. Our creative vision, combined with our experience designing high performance buildings, allow us to create inspired design solutions through architectural expression.
- With a budget of $13.2 billion, NHCF gives priority to projects that help those in greatest need, women and children fleeing family violence, seniors, Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, those dealing with mental health and addictions, Veterans and young adults.
- Through the NHCF, the Government of Canada will work with partners to build up to 60,000 new affordable homes and repair up to 240,000 existing affordable and community homes over the next 10 years.
- Investments are also planned in the NHCF to create or repair at least 4,000 shelter spaces for survivors of family violence and create at least 7,000 new affordable housing units for seniors and 2,400 new affordable housing units for people with developmental disabilities.
- Under the Investing in Canada plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada's rural and northern communities.

For more information regarding the design of the project or Passive House, please contact:
Lindsay Keir
Director of Marketing and Business Development
Kearns Mancini Architects

Valérie Glazer
Press secretary
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development 613-220-1841

Catherine Léger
Public Affairs
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Sheryl Nadler
Media and Communications Manager
YWCA Hamilton


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