Building Better Communities

Affirmative Industries

AI promo sheet (2)_img_0Affirmative House
Scope: 10 unit apartment building for mental health consumers
Client: Affirmative Industries Association
Location: Dartmouth, NS
Cost: $1.5M
Role: Project Manager
Opened: 2007
Award: Canadian Institute of Planners 2008 Award of Excellence for Housing

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Innovation
Facilitates independent living for mental health consumers by incorporating an innovative ‘asset management plan’ as a component of rent – designed to help tenants build ‘equity’.
Inclusiveness
Mental health consumers were involved in planning the project, in cooperation with the local community, at public hearings and in setting tenant selection policies.

Engagement
A collaborative effort between planners, housing support groups ,governments, communities and mental health professionals to develop an innovative solution for independent living.

Pride of Ownership
Tenants’ committee meets to address facility management.

Community Economic Development
Halifax Regional Municipality donated a derelict ½ acre site and the private sector provided 15% of project funding. Many tenants are now employed by local businesses. Others access Affirmative Industries training programs. The building has helped kick-start local business district revitalization efforts.

Model Approach
Mental illness is one of Canada’s leading public health problems. Mutual sharing, inclusiveness and community engagement can help address issues of stigma and community awareness while building opportunities for independent living.