Canadian communities are in dire need of environmentally sustainable, affordable housing solutions. Residents who depend on this housing infrastructure deserve a high quality of life that’s sustainable. These objectives are entirely compatible. That’s why we expanded our work on driving cost-saving energy efficiency to include sustainable affordable housing across Canada. Working in this sector is relatively new for GMF, but it plays a critical role in providing a reliable, high quality of life for many Canadians.
Our Sustainable Affordable Housing (SAH) initiative focuses on making more energy-efficient affordable housing stock available. This new $300M funding and capacity building initiative means municipalities and community non-profits can build more energy efficient affordable housing stock and retrofit their current stock. They can reduce GHG emissions from our nation’s affordable housing stock while lowering operational costs and residents’ energy costs.
Grants and loans are available for every phase of a project, from early-stage planning to feasibility studies and financial modelling, through to pilot and capital projects. As with our core GMF funding, we also deliver capacity building resources and training to applicants and those who receive funding. Key resources and services include fact sheets, case studies, an online resource library, online learning, piloting Regional Energy Coaches and a community of practice for funded initiatives.
Together, the funding and capacity building design strengthens affordable housing providers' ability to retrofit and build new projects to a higher energy performance standard. Wherever possible, GMF's program design complements existing funding opportunities and capacity building initiatives in the sector. The SAH funding launched in the spring of 2020, and was met with great interest from the sector.