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Posted by on May 2020 in All Stories, Features, Slider, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Increase energy efficiency and lower costs through sustainable construction and retrofits

A housing community with plenty of greenspace

Aging housing stock, rising energy costs and increasing demand for affordable housing have created a unique challenge for municipalities and other affordable housing providers working to build better lives. On May 15, the Green Municipal Fund (GMF) launched a new $300 million Sustainable Affordable Housing initiative. This new funding stream supports local affordable housing providers – including municipal, not-for-profit organizations and housing co-ops – to retrofit existing affordable housing units, or construct energy efficient new builds that emit lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

About the Green Municipal Fund (GMF)

Since 2000, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund has supported municipalities’ sustainability projects. With our help, municipalities and their partners have brought more than 1,310 sustainable projects to life. Through GMF’s unique mix of training, resources and funding, municipalities have improved their air, water and soil quality, and tackled the impacts of climate change.

Few national programs boast the exceptional return on investment generated by the Green Municipal Fund (GMF). Intending to build on this success, the Government of Canada invested an additional $1B to the fund in Budget 2019, bringing its total endowment to $1.6B. The Sustainable Affordable Housing funding stream is one of the new initiatives created with this investment.

Sustainable Affordable Housing

A building under construction covered in scaffolding.

The Sustainable Affordable Housing (SAH) initiative provides grants, loans and capacity-building opportunities to municipal providers, not-for-profit organizations, or housing co-ops. Whether just getting started or already with a project in the works, this funding will help communities across the country reduce energy and GHG intensity, increase energy and housing affordability, improve building quality, all with a view to increasing comfort, health and quality of life for residents.

Support throughout a project’s lifecycle

No matter what stage a project is at, funds are available for:

  1. Planning grants: early support to get started on achieving more sustainable affordable housing initiatives.
  2. Studies: assess in detail how to implement a project, including technical evaluations, energy models, financial analysis, site assessments, stakeholder engagement and detailed project planning.
  3. Pilot projects: test out a new or unique approach on a small scale.
  4. Retrofit capital projects: renovation of existing residential buildings with installation of energy efficient technologies.
  5. New-build capital projects: construction of new highly energy efficient residential buildings.

Eligible projects

The funding aims to help affordable housing providers overcome financial barriers to reducing energy consumption. To that end, projects must aim to achieve these eligibility thresholds:

Existing building retrofit: 25% or greater reduction in energy consumption. Eligibility threshold: The project achieves at least 25% reduction in building energy consumption, with incentives for projects that achieve even greater reductions.
New build: Net-Zero or Net-Zero Ready Eligibility threshold:	Net-Zero Energy (NZE) building produces as much energy from renewable sources as it consumes each year
Net-Zero Energy Ready (NZER) building is a high-performance building that could, with the addition of renewable energy, achieve NZE performance.

Learn more and apply

Visit fcm.ca/sustainableaffordablehousing to learn more. You’ll find a webinar recording and case studies that highlight how GMF can help municipalities and housing service providers to better plan, build, operate and maintain energy efficiency projects.

Make sure to read the application guide before submitting your application. All information and relevant documentation are included in this easy-to-navigate document.  

For questions and guidance, please contact our GMF Outreach team at 1-877-417-0550 or gmfinfo@fcm.ca.

This post is in partnership with the Green Municipal Fund (GMF)

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