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Aug 9th, 2021

News Release: Canada Invests in Net-Zero Retrofits for Affordable Housing in Ottawa

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(OTTAWA, ON) – August 9, 2021 – Improving energy efficiency in our communities is an important part of our toolkit to fight climate change. It will help us exceed our climate goals, lower emissions where people live and work, and provide opportunities for Canadians to be part of building a clean and prosperous future that leaves no one behind.

The Honourable Mona Fortier, Minister of Middle Class Prosperity, Associate Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Ottawa—Vanier, on behalf of the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources, today announced a $547,500 investment to the Ottawa Community Housing Corporation (OCHC) to retrofit affordable housing. The corporation is matching federal funding, for a project total over $1 million.

The pilot project is the first of its kind in Canada. It aims to retrofit a four-unit townhome in Ottawa into net-zero homes – meaning they will produce as much energy as they consume in a year – while extending the building’s life-cycle and maintaining access to affordable housing in the City.

The retrofits include a new roof, windows, prefabricated exterior panels and an array of solar panels to increase energy efficiency and reduce the building’s carbon footprint. These renovations are performed without needing to relocate tenants. The project is expected to cut the building’s energy use by 55 percent.

Federal funding is provided through Natural Resources Canada’s Green Infrastructure – Energy Efficient Buildings Program. This program supports the development and implementation of building codes for existing buildings and new net-zero energy-ready buildings through research, development and demonstration projects. CanmetENERGY-Ottawa is also collaborating with OCHC to monitor the performance of the retrofit, as well as providing ongoing research on Prefabricated Exterior Energy Retrofits (PEER).

The government supports green infrastructure projects that will create good, middle-class jobs, advance Canada’s low-carbon future and help achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

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“Climate change is measured globally but felt locally. We’re helping retrofit existing affordable housing units, like the retrofit project in Ottawa, to build a clean energy future, support jobs and lower emissions.”
The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr.
Minister of Natural Resources

“We are partnering with Ottawa Community Housing to make life more affordable for people in our community. This important retrofit project will cut the building’s energy use by more than half, helping families save money on their energy bill each month – all while being a part of the solution to fight climate change. I will continue to stay focused on delivering innovative projects like this one to our community as we build a greener, more prosperous Ottawa.”
The Honourable Mona Fortier
Minister of Middle Class Prosperity, Associate Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Ottawa—Vanier

“Ottawa Community Housing values partnerships with all levels of governments and industry leaders. Those innovative partnerships allow us to meet the diverse needs of 32,000 tenants and increase access to affordable housing. The PEER project is important as it allows us to bring the expertise and research from Natural Resources Canada to life.”
Stéphane Giguère
Chief Executive Officer, Ottawa Community Housing Corporation

“The PEER project is a new way to address Ottawa Community Housing’s capital repair needs in aging family homes, while reducing the Corporation’s greenhouse gas emissions, which aligns with the City’s Climate Change Master Plan. It is a win-win. We can address the climate crisis and the housing crisis with one project while stimulating the local economy.”
Mathieu Fleury
Rideau–Vanier Councillor and Chair, Ottawa Community Housing Board of Directors

“As local councillor and an Overbrook resident, I am proud that this partnership was realized to improve the quality of life for residents at 197-203 Presland. This is a perfect example of partners coming together to design a new approach towards enhancing the longevity as well as lessening the environmental impact of social housing assets, which can be used to improve other facilities within the sector and across OCH communities throughout the city.”
Rawlson King
Rideau-Rockcliffe Councillor and Ottawa Community Housing Board Member
Related Information

Natural Resources Canada Media Relations 343-292-6100

Ian Cameron
Acting Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources

Ottawa Community Housing Corporation
Media Inquiries

Follow NRCan on Twitter: @NRCan (
Follow OCH on Twitter: @OCH_LCO (

Watch this video about the project! Prefabricated Exterior Energy Retrofit Project: Innovative Net-Zero Retrofit in Community Housing – YouTube