This demonstration supports sustainable housing and communities, as well as housing for those dealing with mental health and addiction issues. Its innovation shows housing that meets Passive House standards, complemented by in-house supports can provide affordable and stable housing for vulnerable tenants.
This Demonstrations project shows how property management companies can provide better value to tenants and on environmental sustainability by:
- investing on Passive House features
- combining affordable housing for those in greatest need with convenient access to supports that help people keep their housing
- enhancing access to services such as integrated mental health and addiction services, nursing, occupational therapy, conflict resolution and opportunities to overcome isolation and build social networks
- Local partner agencies, businesses, faith communities and individuals also play a key role in supporting tenants, creating better integration of services and establishing a welcoming neighborhood.
Passive House buildings use up to 90% less heating and cooling energy than conventional buildings.
Community financing programs help overcome construction financing challenges
Tenants that have in-house community services offered do not have to rely on transportation to get to appointments, additionally saving them money and increasing the likelihood of making the appointment
Project scope and expected outcomes
Ontario-based Indwell uses “Passive House” energy-efficient design standards to create affordable housing in multi-unit residential buildings. The charity provides “hope and homes” to people with disabilities, including mental health and addiction. They do so with the support and involvement of their community.
Indwell goes beyond property management. They work with local partner agencies, businesses, faith communities and individuals to create better integration of services and establishing a welcoming neighborhood.
Working together, they enhance access to services such as integrated mental health and addiction services, nursing, occupational therapy, conflict resolution. These then provide opportunities to overcome isolation and build social networks.
In the communities of Hamilton and Woodstock Ontario, Indwell has been able to show the value of combining affordable housing for those in greatest need with better access to supports that help people retain their housing. They have found:
- Multi-unit buildings meet energy efficient, Passive House performance levels.
- Increased energy efficiency reduces operating costs and improve indoor environmental air quality without complex mechanical or energy systems.Tenants can comfortably afford their utility costs
- Community financing programs help overcome construction financing challenges – operating costs in a non-profit setting requires the support of donations
- Community engagement strategies creates sustainability and bring success in providing affordable housing in new neighbourhoods
- The community services offered in-house to the tenants and community, promote improved mental health and wellness.
“By sharing the essential aspects of our model with other housing providers here in Ontario—and across the country—we are together moving closer towards achieving our vision of hope and homes for all.” says Jeff Neven, Indwell’s Executive Director.
Developers and builders can now replicate these projects in both larger and smaller communities throughout the country.
Project Team: Indwell Community Homes
Location: Hamilton and Woodstock Ontario
Project Collaborators / Partners:
Canada Green Building Council – Toronto Branch, Hamilton Niagara
Haldimand Brant Local Health Integrated Network (LHIN), St. Joseph's Healthcare
Get More Information: Contact CMHC at Innovation-Research@cmhc.ca.
Learn about Indwell’s Passive House features
Discover the video
See how you can apply for a Demonstrations Initiative grant.