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City’s Cornerstones Program creates affordable housing in Castle Downs

Media Release
City of Edmonton

City’s Cornerstones Program creates affordable housing in Castle Downs
Forty two families have affordable townhomes in the Castle Downs area, thanks to a $6.3 million investment by the City of Edmonton and the Government of Alberta through the Cornerstones Affordable Housing Program.

Edmonton - September 8, 2012 - Forty two families have affordable townhomes thanks to a $6.3 million investment by the City of Edmonton and the Government of Alberta through the Cornerstones Affordable Housing Program.

Mayor Stephen Mandel helped celebrate the grand opening of Cedar Roots Housing Co-op, a 42 unit townhouse development in north Edmonton sponsored by the Northern Alberta Co-operative Housing Association and developed with the assistance of the Communitas Group. The development is currently full, with 24 three bedroom units, 6 four bedroom units and 12 two bedroom units. Four of the units are adapted for greater accessibility.

The townhomes were designed to accommodate families, and over half of the residents are new Canadians with larger families who would normally find it difficult to access housing to meet their needs.

“The demand for affordable family-oriented housing has grown as our city grows,” said Mayor Stephen Mandel. “Cornerstones has helped address the needs of newcomers who are drawn here for work and to enjoy a great quality of life. Council is proud to have worked with our Cornerstones partners to meet this demand.”

Qualifying members had to meet the City’s Cornerstones income guidelines, and housing charges can’t exceed 85% of market rents for similar units.

“The Government of Alberta is proud to invest in this project through the Cornerstones program,” said Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths. “Together, we continue to improve housing options for Albertans.”

The townhomes include several energy-efficient features to make them more environmentally sustainable and ensure ongoing affordability. High efficiency furnaces heat the suites, and solar collector panels on the roofs heat hot water.

“It’s great to see the completion of our homes,” said Muna Ali, President of the Cedar Roots Housing Co-op. “Cornerstones funding has helped us create a unique neighbourhood with environmentally friendly and energy efficient houses, our own Community Centre, and shared gardening which brings our residents together to celebrate and support each other. We’ve created a strong diverse community which is a great place to live."

The Cornerstones Plan was City Council’s successful 5 year plan to increase the number of long term affordable housing units and advocate for corresponding increases in income supports and support services for lower-income Edmontonians.

The Cornerstones program supported Council’s strategic vision to improve Edmonton’s livability and manage growth, bringing communities, businesses, and governments together to develop affordable housing. Cornerstones committed funding for over 3,038 affordable housing units, surpassing Council’s goal of creating 2,500 homes by 2011.

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