The Alberta Real Estate Foundation recently announced that it has invested $455,000 in grants to research and educational organizations. The foundation invests in real estate policy, research, practices and education with a goal to strengthen Alberta’s communities. Under the Real Estate Act, whenever a consumer deposits money in trust through a real estate broker, property manager or commercial broker, the interest earned on the deposit is accumulated and forwarded to the foundation for reinvestment into Alberta’s communities. Since its inception in 1991, it has invested more than $23 million in grants to over 650 initiatives.

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The latest projects and recipients are:

Advancing Placemaking and Innovation in Downtowns by 1M

As part of its vision to advance 10,000 creators through a million square feet, 1M developed the 1M Fellows Program – a creator and talent development accelerator aimed at students, founders and emerging leaders in real estate and urban development. The program is designed to train young people to maximize their ability to make an impact in the industry and their communities. The structured, four-month core program is offered to three types of cohorts – student, industry and founder.

A New Approach to Energy Efficiency in New Homes by the Alberta Energy Efficiency Alliance

Energy efficiency is among the most cost-effective ways to reduce a homeowner’s ongoing monthly utility costs, and the most influential time to affect the efficiency of a home is during its initial design and construction, the foundation says. Decisions made during home design and construction impact not only the initial homebuyer, but all future owners.

This project will leverage the launch of the Clean Energy Improvement Program in the province to demonstrate how it can be used to significantly increase the energy efficiency of new homes constructed, says the alliance. The successful demonstration could present an opportunity for all new buildings in the province (both multi-unit residential and commercial) to be built to a higher efficiency level for the same sticker price as a standard efficiency building – benefiting both the initial owner and all subsequent owners, it says.

Enhancing Rural and Regional Real Estate through Community Learning by Athabasca University

This initiative will create learning resources for related professionals and the public in respect to the role that real estate can play in the economic, environmental and social recovery of rural and regional Alberta, says the university. This will help communities across the province design their own future – a future in which Alberta communities are healthy, sustainable, resilient and safe, it says. The resources and evidence-based best practices will be shared with communities across the province using design charettes or workshops, online modules to supplement the workshops, and some material will be shared as open educational resources via the university’s social media channels.

Advancing the Real Estate Industry for Albertan Immigrants and Newcomers by EmpowerMe

This project will implement proven education and support practices to newcomer and immigrant Albertans who have little experience and understanding of Albertan homes or the Canadian real estate industry, says the organization. This project will educate immigrant and newcomer Albertans who are new or future homeowners on the structure of Albertan homes, how homes “work”, how to understand and sign up for energy services, and the typical operating costs associated with Albertan homes. It will ensure newcomers and immigrants have the information and education they need to make informed home-buying decisions. The project will ensure new and future Albertan homeowners are empowered and educated to understand and plan for affordable homeownership, it says.

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