Monday, February 24, 2020 - 5:00 PM

Housing Fund Catalyst Recipients Announced

The 2020 recipients of the City of St. John’s Housing Catalyst Fund were announced at the Regular Meeting of Council today.

“The Housing Catalyst Fund recognizes practical and collaborative projects that produce tangible housing solutions for people,” explained Deputy Mayor Sheilagh O’Leary, Council Lead for Affordable Housing. “The City’s role through this fund is to work collaboratively with community groups and other stakeholders such as builders and developers to facilitate and plan housing solutions that will enhance the quality for life for individuals and families and build a healthier community.”

Seven grants totaling $60,000 will be awarded for 2020:

  • Fundamental Inc.: a net-zero ready affordable tiny home prototype unit - $10,000
  • Power Brothers Inc.: design costs to make affordable housing units accessible as part of retrofit build - $10,000
  • Stella’s Circle Community Services: consultant costs to expand housing portfolio and maximize current units/land - $10 000
  • L’Arche Avalon: floor plan design for the construction of two homes and a day centre -$10,000
  • Connections for Seniors: supportive housing needs assessment for older adults - $10,000
  • NL Gray Gays: housing and care needs assessment for LGBTQI2S community - $5000
  • Universal Design Network: universal design education - $5000 

A Housing Catalyst Grant selection committee was established to review submissions. It included members of the City’s Affordable Housing Working Group and City staff.

“Leading innovation is a strategic direction in our Affordable Housing Strategy and we are pleased to support these innovative and solutions-focused projects,” said Deputy Mayor O’Leary.
 
Providing Housing Catalyst grants for affordable housing projects is a goal of the 2018 Affordable Housing Strategy, a ten-year plan to address our municipality’s housing needs, developed with the vision of working in-step with partners, stakeholders and residents to create and maintain safe, suitable, and affordable housing throughout the city.

BACKGROUND: HOUSING CATALYST FUND PROJECTS

Organization
 
Project
Fundamental Inc. The team is proposing to build an affordable, net zero ready tiny home unit. They intend to build the tiny home unit using an up-cycled shipping container as the structure and including fit and finish with nontraditional materials to provide a high quality and affordable final product. This will be a modular demonstration unit showing that a high-quality living space can be provided by using innovative design, materials and built form while still meeting the City’s affordability targets. They plan to showcase the project for one year after construction and then donate the unit to Choices for Youth to function as an available housing option for an individual in need.
 
Power Brothers Inc. Design costs to make affordable housing units accessible as part of retrofit build. They commit to having at least 1/3 of the 32 units as affordable and likely 75% accessible. This will address the growing need of people requiring these units.
 
Stella’s Circle Community Services Stella's Circle owns 79 units of supportive housing in St. John's. From this existing stock, they have identified 13 housing units/property that have potential for expansion, thus adding additional housing units to offer to individuals who require supportive housing. The requested funds will be used for portfolio planning and analyzing assets with the intent to develop a plan that aims to increase their total number of units.
 
L’Arche Avalon Funds will be used to offset the cost of floor plan design for the construction of two l’Arche Avalon homes and a day centre. The homes will each house four adults with intellectual disabilities and their assistants.
 
Connections for Seniors The requested funds will be used to conduct research that studies senior-specific housing and support services needs in St. John's and the Metro area.The research will specifically examine existing housing models, existing support services for older adults, and will extensively investigate supportive housing needs based on a needs assessment of the chosen demographic and community.
 
NL Gray Gays Housing and care needs assessment for LGBTQI2S community. The result of this research would provide NL Gray Gays with an assessment of the needs of the LGBTQI2S* community for the next 20 years. It will provide invaluable information about the situation facing LGBTQI2* Elders and may be used to form the basis of funding proposals to the federal and provincial governments and any other foundations or agencies. It is intended to identify the planning and design of facilities that meet the emerging needs of this emerging demographic, as well as if there are gaps in service provider awareness.
 
Universal Design Network To develop and distribute educational materials to engage stakeholders regarding the flexibility of use and cost saving properties of universal design in building. For the purpose of this project, stakeholders will include municipalities, developers, contractors, new and existing enterprises and individuals.