Blueprints to Steel Toes… Breaking Ground with Multifaith Housing Initiative

Written by Melissa Estable

December 17, 2015

“A house is made of walls and beams.  A home is made of love and dreams.” 

Do you believe that a home is more than four walls and a roof?  I believe that home is where the heart is, where the seeds of our dreams take root while we sleep. Cahdco has been working as development project manager for Multifaith Housing Initiative since the summer of 2014.  Our job is to bring the vision of affordable family housing into reality. 

We know that real estate development takes patience.  Along the timeline of many small victories come those big milestones worthy of mention.  Breaking ground is one of these moments.  As of October we moved from the boardroom to the site trailer and l leave my heels behind for steel toe boots. We collectively took one step closer to making dreams come to life in Barrhaven.

The Haven is affordable housing for low to moderate income families. 

Many of these families have been patient themselves.  With a waitlist of more than 9,500 names, it can take up to 5 years before a home becomes available in Ottawa.  Each name on that list is hoping to find housing better matched to their incomes than what the market has to offer.  Spending 30% of income on housing is the magic number.  If a household is spending more, compromises are made in other areas of life: food, clothing, and school supplies … imagine what else?  Dreams?

The 98 homes are designed by Barry J Hobin and Associates Architects to integrate into the neighbourhood of Barrhaven as a mix of apartments, back-to-back townhouses and standard townhouses.  The buildings are united by a ‘grand allee’ connecting all eight buildings in a landscaped promenade blending private and public outdoor spaces.  This multi-faith community is walking distance to a public greenway, 3 schools, a transit hub and South Nepean Park where kids can play soccer in the summer and grow their love of Canada’s favorite sport during the cold winter months.

Over the winter of 2017/18, families will move into their new homes.  As our work wraps up, the buildings will really come to life.  At the end of a particularly long day, I smile at the memory of a chalkboard message from a school in Kenya:A house is made of walls and beams.  A home is made of love and dreams.” 

Multifaith Housing Initiative is helping families realize their dreams, one home at a time.

Melissa Estable

Project Manager

December 17, 2015