Capital Connect is like LinkedIn for affordable housing financing
May 20, 2024
May 18, 2024
Thanks to the innovation and research team at Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, affordable housing developers have a new tool available for financing their projects, and investors have a new way to find new investment opportunities. Capital Connect is an online networking platform exclusively for investors and housing developers, and its user experience will be familiar to anyone who has used LinkedIn. Users create a profile with details about their company, and then developers can also create projects or portfolios that need financing.
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Building at the speed of trust: Constructing culturally appropriate housing with Indigenous organizations
May 9, 2024
May 9, 2024
Most of the country’s future housing supply suffers from a productivity crisis. Communities across the country need more culturally appropriate housing, yet too many housing projects suffer from poorly managed collaborations, delays, workforce shortages and supply chain challenges. Building culturally appropriate housing at scale will require a different approach. Investing in true collaboration requires transparent partnerships and process innovation to equitably shape power dynamics.
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Building confidence: YWCA Trade Journey reshaping the construction industry
March 8, 2024
If Canada is going to ramp up construction to solve the affordable housing crisis, it will need enough skilled workers to do so. Since 2015, the YWCA Trade Journey program in Saskatoon has been training women to work in construction through a 16-week program where participants explore a sample of trades, receive fitness training to increase strength, and build their workplace confidence. The program also provides personal protective equipment, helps participants get all necessary safety tickets, and places them as a site labourer at the end of the program. 
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Solving the community housing gap in Alberta
March 1, 2024
Alberta needs 43,800 community housing units by 2030. That’s only six years from now, and is a 47% increase in community housing. Taking a Housing First approach can help avoid needless deaths, save taxpayers money, and improve people's health — and modular construction is a solution to provide more housing faster. But it also needs to be done at scale, which starts with sourcing the right land in the pre-development stage.
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The value of measuring energy efficiency in multi-unit residential buildings
February 23, 2024
January 2, 2024
Energy efficient buildings are extremely important to the future of Canada’s housing industry. Not only is the federal government aiming to have all new homes Net Zero Energy Ready by 2035, energy efficient homes help homeowners and building operators save money on energy costs and insurance claims. The Silver Sage Housing Corporation Horse Dance Lodge / misatimosimôwin mîhkowâp is 28% more energy efficient than code and will consume 48% less heating energy than a code-built equivalent building. But how did we get those numbers? And why is it important to have these measurements?
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NICHI working alongside Indigenous-led service providers to tackle housing insecurities
November 7, 2023
National Indigenous Collaborative Housing Inc. (NICHI) was created in 2022 to help address the pressing issues of housing adequacy and security — to maintain and create housing and to enforce it as a human right for Indigenous people living in urban, rural, and northern communities across Canada. Many of these communities are facing a severe lack of affordable and safe housing, which is only furthered by buildings with infestations, poor water, and in unsafe locations. NICHI aims to help those experiencing housing insecurity, whether it be homelessness, precariously housed, or at risk of violent situations.
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Reoccupying the land: Horse Dance Lodge sets a new standard for transitional housing
October 26, 2023
For many First Nations peoples, a safe and affordable home has been strategically kept out of reach – they were not allowed off the reserve for a time period, not allowed to own a house on the reserve, and unable to build equity as generations of non-Indigenous people have done, and Architect David Fortin says a project like the Silver Sage Housing Corporation Horse Dance Lodge is a step in the right direction to start addressing these types of inequalities.
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Prairie provinces pave the way: Affordable housing initiatives in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba
September 25, 2023
Canadians need housing now, and prairie provinces are offering initiatives that offer support to community-minded organizations that want to provide affordable housing solutions. With the federal government announcing plans to remove GST from eligible purpose-built rental developments effective Sept 14, 2023, and striking Housing Accelerator Fund deals with the City of Calgary and other local governments, Big Block CEO Alex Miller expects more bold action to follow at the provincial and municipal levels.
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YWCA Saskatoon announces expansion to empower women in need
September 7, 2023
YWCA Saskatoon has announced an exciting expansion of its Crisis Shelter & Residence, with the organization embarking on a transformative journey to address the urgent need for safe and supportive housing in the community. The expansion project involves the construction of a new 35-unit transitional housing development, aimed at providing affordable residential units and support programming to women and their children who are fleeing traumatic and violent situations.
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Maximizing efficiency: The unique process of designing for modular construction
August 17, 2023
Designing housing for modular construction is a unique process in the building industry — it requires careful consideration from the early stages of the project to ensure efficient and cost-effective results. There are some specific methods modular-built housing uses that differ from traditional stick building, including building for increased rigidity during transport and craning. We also try to complete as much as possible in the factory, especially in areas where on-site labour is both premium and scarce. These types of considerations change the way we need to approach our projects.
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