Sacajawea Non-Profit Housing Inc.
A loan from HCF to Sacajawea Non-Profit Housing Inc. is enabling the organization to buy property where they will build 23 affordable rental apartment units for Aboriginal families. The project is located in an area well-served by transit, schools and services including grocery shopping, government services, parks and an Aboriginal Health Access Centre.
“The indigenous population in Hamilton is growing more quickly than the City’s overall population and the existing units run by Aboriginal providers are geared to families,” said Sacajawea Executive Director, Melanie McAulay. “While more affordable housing is needed for all family types, this building will help address an unmet housing need for singles, couples and small families.”
Sacajawea is a non-profit organization that builds and maintains housing for low- to moderate-income Aboriginal families. With this new building development project, Sacajawea will address a critical gap for one-person and small-family Aboriginal households in Hamilton.
Neighbour to Neighbour Food Centre
Good healthy food is something that everyone should enjoy regardless of income. A new initiative by Neighbour-to-Neighbour is geared towards ensuring that low-income families on the Hamilton Mountain have dignified access to healthy meals. The “community food centre” – the seventh of its kind in Canada – is a welcoming community space that offers a range of programs with healthy food at its core.
Last year Neighbour-to-Neighbour was chosen from among 24 Ontario towns and cities to partner with Community Food Centres of Canada to open a centre. The location at Limeridge Road West is well-placed — Neighbour-to-Neighbour cites some 35 percent of residents in some Mountain neighbourhoods live below the poverty line. A new loan from HCF will help to finance renovations to the facility before it opens as the community food centre.
Although addressing food insecurity is at the heart of this initiative, the community food centre is distinct from a food bank because it involves more than just access to food. It also offers programs for skills development and education around healthy eating. Indeed, the benefits of community food centres are wide-ranging and include improvements in both physical and mental health.
Trillium Housing Inc.
Housing affordability can make a world of difference for families. That’s where Trillium Housing comes in. Trillium is a non-profit organization that creates housing affordability through financing and developing entry-level homes. The Trillium team itself has significant expertise with a combined 100 years of experience in real estate, construction and housing innovation.
A recently approved loan from HCF will allow Trillium Housing to develop a new site with 66 affordable townhouses for families with annual incomes as low as $45,000, an income level below the local median. This new build site represents Trillium Housing’s second Hamilton project with financing from the Hamilton Community Investment Fund.
Of significance to eligible families is the Trillium Mortgage which combines with conventional financing to provide housing affordability, and is payment-free until resale or discharge. Moreover, the value of the mortgage is based on the individual circumstances of income-eligible buyers. This structure provides a simple yet effective way to offer housing affordability to families with eligible income levels.
HCF regularly supports organizations and initiatives that deal with poverty, health and the environment. But it’s not every day that a project comes along that addresses all three at once, while also helping to unlock a lot more funding.
SoBi Hamilton, the popular bike sharing program, was launched with great success in 2015, but limited resources also limited the number of locations it could serve. Now, a grant from HCF’s Losani Family Foundation Fund and the Environmental Endowment Fund is helping to expand SoBi’s reach into neighbourhoods where more low-income residents can access the service.
Peter Topalovic, Hamilton Bike Share & Smart Commute program manager with the City of Hamilton says HCF’s support to the pilot project, known as Everyone Rides, has also been the key to garnering a matching grant of $275,000 from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).
“The community foundation was more than a partner in this initiative,” says Peter. “Not only did its contribution allow SoBi to access the full match from FCM, the Foundation team was also very supportive in bringing their knowledge to maximize community benefit. They really understood the initiative and the importance of having accessible transportation throughout the city.”
Through Everyone Rides, Hamilton will become a frontrunner in North America in bike share systems to serve low-income neighbourhoods. The program also includes supports such as cycling safety and skills training to overcome barriers to bike use experienced in other cities.
By encouraging more people to ride bikes, SoBi creates sustainable transportation from which the only energy burned is calories.
From Summer 2016 Legacy newsletter