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Adsum announces 25 new homes for those without housing security

Adsum for Women and Children were recommended by city staff to receive part of the funding through the RHI. Alexa MacLean/Global Halifax

A Halifax non-profit is creating new housing units for women, families and gender-expansive individuals experiencing housing insecurity.

Adsum for Women and Children has signed off an agreement with the HRM for ‘Sunflower Court’ — a new 25-unit housing development.

The group secured $4 million in funding from the Rapid Housing Initiative that will go towards the creation of Sunflower in Lakeside.

An additional $1 million is being raised by Adsum to construct an adjacent community space that will include offices, programming and a natural play space.

Read more: Nova Scotia promises $1.8M to three Halifax affordable housing groups

Adsum says the design of the building is based on the belief that “low income housing can be both beautiful and environmentally sustainable.”

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The building, planned by a team of architects and other professionals including Passive Design Solutions, will consume 80 per cent less energy than code-built homes.

“Using the Passive House approach results in a drastic reduction in energy use and when combined with the proposed solar panel system it will allow Adsum to achieve ‘Net-Zero’ for this development — meaning that Sunflower Court and Sunflower House will produce as much energy as they use,” said Natalie Leonard, founding partner of Passive Design Solutions, in a release.

“As important as the resulting energy and money savings, this approach will create living spaces that are warm, bright, quiet and comfortable for Adsum’s tenants.”

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Sunflower Court will consist of four two-storey buildings with housing units and a one-storey community building called the Sunflower House. Four of the housing units will be fully accessible and the other will be adaptable units.

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Construction is expected to begin March 2021 with completion expected by April 2022.

Read more: N.S. pledges homes for people with disabilities but advocate calls pace ‘glacial’

Adsum says Sunflower Court and Sunflower House were named in honour of Patti Melanson, a health and housing advocate who passed away in 2018. Melanson was also a recipient of the Order of Nova Scotia.

“Melanson’s daughters, Ella and Mackenzie were asked to name the housing project that would pay tribute to their mother and her activism,” said Mackenzie in the release.

“Sunflowers were not only our mom’s favourite flower but they represent so much of who she was — beautiful, strong and always turning toward the sun.

“Our mom believed that people, no matter their circumstances, should not be treated with judgement, only compassion. Sunflower Court will be a place where, like sunflowers, its residents will find the light, warmth and safety they need and deserve.”

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