Multi-Family Unit Development: Honourable Mention
Project Name: Good Samaritan / Habitat for Humanity Residence
Habitat for Humanity Edmonton
This twelve dwelling housing project was designed with FlexHousing principles in mind. That is, the dwellings are designed to be Affordable, Adaptable, and Accessible. All twelve dwellings are entered through on-grade access, and eight of the dwellings house wheelchair accessible bathrooms. Four of the dwellings are fully wheelchair accessible.
FlexHousing is a term coined in 1995 by the housing research people at Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. FlexHousing is defined by three (3) terms: Adaptable, Accessible, and Affordable. The development of this housing project can easily be adapted to meet the present and future needs of the occupants. This adaptability will become increasingly important as our population ages, as lifestyles change, and as we witness an increase in home-based activities and new technologies.
Our aging population is the fastest population growth in the country, and almost three times the national average. This complex issue does concern both their well-being and for affordable housing options for seniors. One of the housing solutions for older Canadians is multi-generational accommodations. Multi-generational housing, which is also called bi-generational or inter- generational housing, is defined as a residential arrangement combining affordable housing with family care-giving and accessible supportive services in a nearby facility. Multi-generational households are on the rise. In 2011, two six-plexes, designed according to multi-generational housing principles, were built in Stony Plain by Habitat for Humanity.
The key to this multi-generational housing project is the four entrance foyers. Each entrance foyer serves three dwellings. This better allows for residents to share a common space and to have chance encounters. Post occupancy evaluation has been very positive. Examples include a young resident fixing the car of an older resident and an older resident watching over a child resident; no after school care is required.
All of the entrances have no steps. Four of the one-storey ground-level dwellings are fully wheelchair accessible complete with a VisitAble washroom and curbless shower. Four of the two storey dwellings house VisitAble washrooms. The four upper storey dwellings would be VisitAble only if a lift were added to the stairs. The stairs have been purposefully designed to easily accommodate a stair lift.