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Greener Co-op Microgrants supporting a record number of projects this summer

Published August 19, 2021

Co-op members sit in front of Halam Park Co-op's community garden

The community garden at Halam Park Co-op, built with help from a 2020 Greener Co-op Microgrant

Thanks to funding from the Community Housing Transformation Centre (the Centre) and other sector partners (CHF BC, the Agency for Co-operative Housing, FHCQ, Vancity Community Investment Bank and more) we allocated just over $130,000 in funding to 30 co-ops across Canada this year.

This is the second consecutive year the Centre has contributed funding to the microgrant program, essentially doubling the program’s impact. In addition, the Centre is funding the development of two “how-to” guides that will provide essential tips on starting community gardens and installing electric vehicle charging stations.

These Greener Co-op Microgrant initiatives are providing food security, encouraging active transportation and saving water and energy costs in co-ops across Canada. The sum of annual energy savings is estimated to be over $20,000, with significant reduction in carbon emissions.

Since 2016, $402,000 in microgrants have been allocated to 128 housing co-ops.

Julie LaPalme, the project’s consultant, says, “I’m so proud of how housing co-ops are taking environmental sustainability seriously whether it’s adopting the Environmental Sustainability Policy, building community gardens or replacing energy-inefficient light fixtures.”

The Centre’s deputy executive director, Lisa Ker, applauds these CHF Canada initiatives and says it’s clear evidence that when housing groups work together, “everyone benefits.”

 An award-winning program

This year, the Greener Co-op Microgrant Program received the Canadian Housing Renewal Association’s Sustainability Award.  Patricia Tessier, Director, Member Services, accepted the award on behalf of CHF Canada. “It is always great to have the sector recognized and celebrate in mutual successes,” said Patricia. “It has been wonderful to see the program grow…It was of particular value during the pandemic in lifting spirits and bringing people together – in addition to the environmental benefits!”


Energy coaches can help your co-op

Irfaan, who has shortly clipped hair and beard, stands in front of a brick wall smiling and wearing a blue suit

Irfaan Hasham, CHF Canada’s Regional Energy Coach, can help your co-op make plans to become more sustainable

Since teaming up with sector partners is making a real impact on the environment, CHF Canada is collaborating with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) to provide energy coaches to assist co-ops to plan energy-efficient retrofits and apply for FCM’s Green Municipal Fund.

Regional Energy Coach Irfaan Hasham says, “There’s a business case for energy efficiency now more than ever!”

Reach out to Irfaan at ihasham@chfcanada.coop or call 416.366.2085 for anything energy related and for assistance in applying for a microgrant next year.

Stay tuned for more stories about microgrant recipients coming this fall, and visit the Microgrants page for more information if your co-op is thinking about applying next year.



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