about us

Canmore Community Housing (CCH) is a non-profit corporation wholly owned by the Town of Canmore and governed as an arm’s length organization. Established in 2000, we support a more sustainable community by providing a range of housing that is appropriate for the community’s needs. We achieve this through research, education, advocacy and our Vital Homes (previously called Perpetually Affordable Housing), Accessory Dwelling Grants, and Matching Down Deposit programs.

Vision

Canmore has a strong and diverse housing market that supports its economic and social well-being and sustainability.

Mission

To bridge Canmore’s housing affordability gap through long-term housing options for Canmore’s workers.

Mandate

Planning & Development
Housing Programs
Research & Advice

Values

Leadership
Connectedness
Integrity
Accountability

staff

Dougal Forteath

Managing Director

Email

Erik Butenschon

Manager Housing Programs

Email

Min Sun Veluchamy

Executive Assistant

Email

Theresa Newland

Rental Administrator

Email

board of directors

Steve Ashton,
Chair

Kieran Dowling,
Vice-Chair

Dallas Suttie,
Treasurer

Dan Sparks

Jeff Hilstad

John Borrowman

Rob Murray

Samantha McConnery

Todd Kunst

governance

Our Board of Directors and staff provide CCH with tremendous expertise and leadership. Their insights inform our Business Plan and Strategic Plan, in alignment with Town of Canmore policies and regional assessments, to provide housing solutions for a healthy and balanced community. This work is done in a fiscally responsible and transparent manner. All Board meetings are open to the public and budget and audited statements are available below.

frequently asked questions

For more than 20 years, we have created opportunities for local individuals and families to call Canmore home on a permanent basis. Here are a few of the frequently asked questions about our work.

Did the Vital Homes Program replace the Perpetually Affordable Housing Program?

Yes, but only the name has changed. In September 2020, CCH re-named the Perpetually Affordable Housing (PAH) Program to better characterize the program and needs of the community. While the program remains the same, the new name, Vital Homes, better represents CCH’s aspirations to bring homeownership within reach, and providing affordable rental options to Canmore residents.

Why should I purchase a CCH home?

The Vital Homes program, formerly Perpetually Affordable Housing, enables households unable to pay Canmore market prices to get into homeownership and build equity even with the restricted resale price formula. Let’s use the example of a $250,000 Vital Home property. The resale price formula allows for a 1.98 per cent increase in year one, 3.19 per cent in year two, 1.65 per cent in year three, 0.99 per cent in your four and 2.20 per cent in year five. This means that over those five years, the maximum resale price of the home would be $276,013. That’s a potential gain of $26,013 over that time. And don’t forget the equity built by paying a mortgage rather than paying rent.

How do I buy or rent a CCH home?

Submit an application form and supporting documentation to CCH. We will process your application and confirm your eligibility to buy or rent a Vital Homes property. This gets you on a list of pre-approved applicants to buy or to rent, which is used by CCH in administering the sales and rentals of units. When a new resale or rental home becomes available, approved applicants are contacted first.

Purchasing a Vital Homes property is a personal and financial decision. When you buy through the Vital Homes program, you are purchasing a leasehold interest in the property that gives you ownership for up to one-hundred years. Once you have been approved, the process to buy home is the same as it is to buy a non-CCH home. You will make your own arrangements for mortgage financing and make an offer to purchase. CCH does not act as an agent on your behalf in this process, but we can provide you with a list of lenders/brokers and lawyers who are familiar with the Vital Homes program to provide you with independent advice. We encourage applicants who are thinking of buying within the next two years to apply now as you never know when the right home will become available.

What does Vital Homes mean?

Vital Homes, previously called Perpetually Affordable Housing (PAH), is a community investment in Canmore’s housing infrastructure. It allows CCH to provide homes at below-market prices to eligible households. To ensure that the community’s investment and the “perpetual affordability” are retained for the benefit of future residents. Resale and rental price formulas are used. This means that if you own your Vital Homes property, a resale price formula indexed to 110% of inflation is used to calculate how much your home may increase in value each year, which in turn is compounded annually year over year. If you rent your Vital Homes property, current rental rates are at least 10 per cent below market rental rates of a comparable market unit in Canmore.

Is Vital Homes the same as subsidized housing?

No. Subsidized housing, or social housing, is the mandate of the Province and benefits low income households. Typically, the cost of the units in social housing is geared toward income; meaning that prices may fluctuate depending on a household’s income and the Government subsidizes the remainder of the cost. Means-tests are generally performed when program affordability is measured as compared to income, whereas Vital Homes has affordability measured against market rates. Vital Homes is intended to meet the needs of moderate income households; neither the rental rate nor the purchase price fluctuate depending on income of the applicant accepting the unit.

Are CCH rental and ownership units subsidized?

Debt servicing and operational costs of rental units are covered through rental revenues. The costs to develop ownership units are recovered from the purchase price of the units.

How does CCH confirm eligibility?

CCH programs are established to confirm a connection to Canmore and need for housing. Need is determined through income and asset limits. The eligibility criteria are verified before eligibility is confirmed.

How many rental units does CCH have in its portfolio?

There are 123 units in CCH’s rental portfolio, including 60 at The Hector, located on Palliser Lane and 48 at McArthur Place, located on Dyrgas Lane in Three Sisters Mountain Village (TSMV). The balance of the units, 15, are located at Wolf Willow Condominium Corporation (TSMV) and will be converted to Vital Homes homeownership units post 2020.

Who approves rental applications/applicants?

CCH administration approves applications within policies approved by the Board of Directors.

Who approves the rental rates that CCH charges?

Rental rates are approved by CCH administration, on an annual basis, within policies approved by the Board.

I’ve heard CCH owns the Blakiston on Palliser Trail, is that correct?

CCH does not own the Blakiston and is not involved with the management of this property. While some units were purchased under an Attainable Housing model by the developer, Blakiston is considered a market condominium.

How many ownership units does CCH have?

There are currently 129 homeownership units in CCH’s portfolio. In addition to this, over time, CCH will be bringing other ownership units into the portfolio through private sector developments where the developer has promised to provide Vital Homes units as a function of their development approval.

I’ve heard all the homeownership units are of a leasehold tenure?

Most of CCH’s Vital Homes properties are acquired by purchasers under a leasehold tenure, coupled with a restrictive covenant and option agreement. Vital Homes owners acquire a leasehold interest which defines the interests, roles and responsibilities of all parties. There is a landlord or owner of the land (CCH) and a tenant or leaseholder of the building and its improvements (homeowner). Some units are Fee Simple Titles bound by a restrictive covenant and option agreement in CCH’s favour. With respect to these properties, CCH holds a Restrictive Covenant and Option Agreement on Title; these legal instruments are registered with the homeowner’s agreement as a condition of purchase.

What limitations are put on Vital Homes owners?

The Leases and Restrictive Covenants/Option Agreements extend CCH the rights as outlined in these Agreements, namely that the properties remain the owner’s primary residence, the future resale of the property is price restricted and that CCH has an option to purchase the property when the owner wishes to sell.

How does CCH ensure it is the owners’ primary residence?

On an annual basis, homeowners must sign a declaration indicating they are using the property as their primary residence. In addition to this, should CCH receive a complaint that a property is not being used as one’s primary residence, the matter will be investigated and if not in compliance, CCH would enforce the requirement immediately.

Who owns CCH?

There are two shareholders of CCH, the Town of Canmore, represented by Town Council and the chief administrative officer (CAO) of the Town of Canmore, who holds their share in trust for the Town of Canmore.

Who oversees CCH operations?

The shareholder appoints a Board of Directors who governs the administration of CCH. The Board is comprised of seven public members, two Council member representatives from the Town of Canmore, and one senior administrative personnel liaison from the Town of Canmore (non-voting). Board terms are offset revolving two-year terms (4 members/3 members).

How often does the Board meet?

The Board meets the first and third Thursday’s of the month, CCH Board meetings are open to the public. Approved meeting minutes are posted on CCH’s website; they can be accessed through the following link: https://www.”https://www.canmorehousing.ca//”/minutes-and-agendas.

How many staff does CCH have?

CCH has four administrative personnel; a Managing Director, Manager of Housing Programs, Rental Administrator and an Executive Assistant.

Who pays for CCH’s operations?

CCH’s operational costs are currently offset through funds collected by the Town of Canmore. These funds are derived from tax contributions: specifically, from the Vital Homes mill rate. The current residential mill rate (2020) is 0.05209 of the total rate of 4.84368. This means that for a $1 million dollar home, the annual tax assessment would be approximately $4,844 (rounded) with $52.09 earmarked for Vital Homes. More information can be found on the Town of Canmore website through this link: https://canmore.ca/residents/property-tax/rates-assessments.

How much does the Vital Homes mill rate generate annually?

The Vital Homes mill rate currently generates approximately $700,000 in revenue annually; CCH requested and was approved to receive $450,000 (2020) and $450,000 (2021) in operational funds. All PAH properties (both rental and ownership) pay municipal taxes including the Vital Homes levy.

What happens to the rest of the Vital Homes mill rate funds collected?

They are held in a reserve by the Town of Canmore for future Vital Homes initiatives.

Who approves CCH’s budget?

CCH’s Board of Directors approve the budget, subject to final approval by The Town of Canmore.

Can I see CCH’s budget?

Yes, the budget and audited statements are available on CCH’s website through the following link: https://www.”https://www.canmorehousing.ca//”/documents.

Should you have any other questions, please contact CCH directly at 403-609-9983.