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Unique energy efficient affordable seniors' residence opens in northern Ont.

Friday saw the grand opening of a unique affordable zero carbon seniors’ housing project in the Greater Sudbury community of Coniston.

The project has been more than 10 years in the making – with the city selling the land required land to a determined group of community residents for only $10, the federal government providing funding and the forming of the Coniston Non-Profit Seniors Housing Board.

With a simple ribbon cutting, the Elmwood facility officially opened.

The 55-unit building geared to seniors is contracted to keep unit rental costs below market value for the next 20 years.

A program was set up to allow non-profit organizations, such as the Coniston Non-Profit Seniors Housing Board, to obtain funding through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) – the Elmwood project met all the goals; it is affordability, its for seniors, it is energy-friendly and is located in a community that is self-sustained.

“This is a really exciting moment that we look at a project that can be done in smaller communities that will benefit the residents of Greater Sudbury and northern Ontario,” said Nickel Belt MP Marc Serré.

“This is a model that we have to continue working together.”

Sheena Sharp is the architect of the project and told CTV News that Elmwood is net zero – meeting the highest levels of energy efficiency.

“So CMHC their underwriters… I didn’t realize this is unique we have been fighting for it we got the maximum you get points it’s a point system to get a good mortgage. We got the maximum points on energy,” she said.

“We had to explain it to them and walk it through them because they had never seen it before.”

Sudbury mayor Paul Lefebvre said projects like this help people age in place in their communities and have many other benefits.

“The need is there we know with seniors housing the demographics there is a need for affordable seniors housing,” said Lefebvre.

“This facility this building is just an amazing first start that I believe that many others we need in our city.”

All of the politicians on hand for the grand opening agreed that this project should serve as a model for the development of more affordable seniors housing both locally and across the country. Top Stories

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