Through a governance review of the Jasper Community Housing Corporation (JCHC), Jasper Municipal Council identified the need for an alternative governance structure for the JCHC to further housing development in Jasper. On August 15th, 2023 Council passed a resolution to establish a Municipally Controlled Corporation and create the Jasper Municipal Housing Corporation (JMHC).
A municipally controlled corporation is a government-owned or government-controlled entity responsible for providing specific services or managing assets on behalf of a municipality. The Board of Directors plays a pivotal role in overseeing the corporation's operations, ensuring transparency, and making strategic decisions.
With the establishment of the JMHC, the Municipality is now recruiting members to serve on the corporation’s inaugural Board of Directors. The JMHC Board of Directors will support the establishment of and start up of the corporation and work to advance the development of affordable housing in Jasper specifically through the construction of a 40 unit affordable housing apartment building on Connaught Drive.
The JMHC is a corporation wholly owned by the Municipality of Jasper and governed by Bylaws and a Unanimous Shareholders Agreement. The Municipality will appoint a Board of Directors to form the governing body of the corporation. As sole shareholder, the Municipality of Jasper retains the right to appoint and remove Directors.
The Board of Directors will have 7 members, including 2 Municipal Councillors.
Administrative support will be provided by two positions; the CEO and the Treasurer. The CEO of the Corporation will be the Chief Administrative Officer of the Municipality of Jasper and the Treasurer will be the Municipality of Jasper Housing Coordinator.
The municipally controlled corporation will at all times continue to be in alignment with the municipality's interests and community needs.
The JMHC Board of Directors will direct the work of the corporation, and oversee development projects, keeping in mind the needs of the community and fiscal responsibilities to ensure successful business operations.
The Board of Directors is appointed to manage the Corporation. The Board must act within all legislated and contractual requirements. It must obey all resolutions passed at Directors meetings. The Directors must act at all times in the best interests of the Corporation and Municipality as a whole, so as to preserve its assets, further its interests, and promote the purposes for which it was formed.
Directors will work collaboratively with fellow board members, the executive team, and municipal authorities.
Term of Office
Directors will be appointed to a term of either 2 years or 3 years. Terms to be staggered to ensure continuity of projects and initiatives and Board effectiveness.
General Duties and Responsibilities of a Director:
- Fiduciary Duty: Uphold a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the municipally controlled corporation and the community it serves.
- Compliance: Directors are responsible for ensuring that the corporation operates in compliance with all relevant laws, regulations, and bylaws.
- Strategic Planning: Directors participate in setting the corporation's strategic goals and long-term plans. They must provide input and make informed decisions on the corporation's direction.
- Financial Oversight: Directors review, approve, and monitor budgets, financial statements, and major expenditures to safeguard the corporation's financial stability.
Specific Roles and Responsibilities of a Director on the JMHC Board:
- Attend board meetings, actively participate in discussions, and vote on critical matters.
- Prepare for meetings by reading relevant material, agendas and minutes in advance.
- Establish, review, and enforce governance policies and procedures.
- Understand the general needs and concerns of all aspects of corporation operations.
- Remain up to date with relevant legislation and policies.
- Represent the interests of the municipality and its residents on the board.
- Maintain open lines of communication with the community to understand their needs and concerns.
- Contribute to the development, review, and revision of policies that guide the corporation's operations.
- Ensure policies align with the corporation’s strategic objectives
- Identify, assess, and address risks that may affect the corporation's financial health, reputation, or operations
- Foster positive relationships with key stakeholders, including government officials, community groups, and the municipality as the sole shareholder.
- Disclose and manage conflicts of interest promptly and transparently, recusing oneself from discussions or decisions where a conflict exists.
- Understand financial implications of Board decisions and recommendations.
- Understand and implement the JMHC Business Plan.
- Approve the annual budget and recommend it to Shareholders.
- Review annual financial statements.
- Promote transparency in the corporation's operations, including financial reporting and disclosure.
The Municipality of Jasper is currently seeking applications for the position(s) of Director on the Jasper Municipal Housing Corporation (JMHC) Board. The Board will consist of 7 Directors; 2 members of Council and 5 members of the public.
Application Deadline: January 11th, 2024
Application Process: Complete the online application (link above and below), or pick up and drop off application packages at the Jasper Activity Centre, 303 Bonhomme St. Jasper, AB.
Eligibility: We invite all members of the public who are interested in serving on the Board to apply.
Meeting frequency and length: Monthly meetings, approx. 2 hours in length.
Commitment: Online or in person attendance at monthly meetings, other duties as required
Director term: 2- and 3-year term positions
At this time there is no remuneration for serving on the Board.
Questions: Contact Municipal Housing Coordinator, Leanne Pelletier, at email@example.com or by phone at 780-931-3135 with any questions regarding the application process.
JMHC Focus and Current Projects
The JMHC Board of Directors is a Governance Board, established to oversee housing initiatives in the community led by the corporation. Broadly, the Board will be responsible for ensuring the sustainability of the corporation by providing strategic direction and oversight to ensure the corporation's activities align with its mission and business plan, monitoring financial performance, and ensuring compliance and legal oversight.
Work currently underway to bring affordable housing units to Jasper will continue, led by the new Jasper Municipal Housing Corporation, in the form of a 40-unit affordable housing development on Connaught Drive.
What are we looking for in the Board?
The following skills, experience, and expertise have been identified as desirable in the Board as a whole:
Industry & Domain Experience:
- Real Estate Development
- Building Construction
- Finance and Investment in Housing
- Staff Accommodation Provider Experience
- Residential Building Management
- Affordable Housing Policy and Regulation
- Affordable Housing Advocacy
- Strategic Planning
- Experience with Board Governance and Policy Development
- Knowledge of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Fundamentals
Legal and Regulatory Knowledge:
- General Law Experience
- Familiarity with Parks Canada Land Use Regulations
- Budgeting and Forecasting
- Business Financial Management
- Strategic Fundraising l Grant Processes and Requirements
- Marketing and Promotions
Community & Stakeholder Engagement
- Public Relations/Community Outreach
- Understanding of Local Social Needs
- Understanding Local Business Operations
- Stakeholder Collaboration
Municipally Controlled Corporation (MCC)
Q. What does creating a Municipally Controlled Corporation (MCC) have to do with Housing?
The Jasper Community Housing Corporation (JCHC) and Committee have identified the need for an alternative governance structure for the JCHC to further housing development in the community; specifically, that the Jasper Community Housing Corporation be converted to a Municipally Controlled Corporation (MCC).
The JCHC was incorporated on 2007/09/21 and is currently structured as a Company Limited By Shares. In its current structure, the JCHC cannot assume debt independent of the municipality or provide equity in return for capital contributions. These goals can be accomplished through the conversion of the JCHC as a Company Limited by Shares to a Municipally Controlled Corporation.
Establishing the JMHC as an MCC allows the Municipality to play a more direct role in the delivery of housing in Jasper. The JMHC could formally partner with the private sector, and fund and finance housing developments in Jasper.
There are 3 main advantages of creating an MCC:
- Debt incurred by a MCC does not count toward the debt limit of a municipality;
- An MCC can have assets and leverage or borrow against them to fund future development;
- An MCC can partner with the private sector to fund development.
If established, the JMHC could act as an owner, operator and source of capital for their current assets, as well as future developments that are underway like the Connaught Housing Project.
What is the cost of creating an MCC?
Costs to create an MCC are nominal and were approved in the 2023 budget. Staff time, consultant and lawyer fees make up the bulk of the cost. Consultants assisted with the creation of the JMHC Business Plan (a requirement to establish an MCC) and contracting lawyers ensures the municipality meets the requirements to establish an MCC as laid out in the Municipal Government Act (MGA).
Connaught Housing Project
What is the Connaught Housing Project?
The Connaught Housing Project, in its most recent form, is an initiative by the JCHC to develop affordable housing on Parcel GC on Connaught Drive in Jasper.
A business plan has been developed, and a substantial portion of funding has been secured to move forward with the project.
The development will be affordable housing, with rents in the 60-75% of market rental rate for Jasper.
Q. Why is the town investing in an affordable housing project?
Adding more rental units in Jasper will fill a gap that has existed for years. Municipal Council sees the importance of providing affordable, quality housing for residents and has committed, through the adoption of Housing as a Strategic Priority and the approval of a $5 million debenture, to being an active partner in advancing housing solutions in the community.
The project aligns with Council’s strategic priorities of Housing and Community Health. Specifically:
• to take proactive steps to reduce the risk of people becoming vulnerable and respond when they are vulnerable,
• to invest in infrastructure to support housing, and
• to invest in developing community focused housing units.
Q. Where is the proposed building site?
The proposed project site is Parcel GC on Connaught Drive. This is the vacant parcel of land next to the Petro Canada, on the south side of Connaught Drive. The existing Parcel will be divided into 2 lots anticipating future development on the remaining site.
Q. Why was this location chosen?
This land currently belongs to Parks Canada and was set aside for future development. The Jasper Community Housing Corporation is currently working with Parks Canada to secure a lease for the land. Recently, the municipality of Jasper installed utility services to the property line of Parcel GC in anticipation of future development.
Q. What are the details of the development? (# of units, type, etc.)
The proposed development is a 40 unit apartment building. The proposed distribution of units is twenty 1 bedroom units and twenty 2 bedroom units.
Q. What will the building look like?
The final design has not been decided, but some design elements are predetermined to follow Parks Canada development guidelines. For example, the maximum stories of a development is three. As details are decided more information will be posted under the ‘Major Projects’ tab of the municipal website.
Q. How much will it cost?
Estimated capital expenditures for the Connaught project are $22,013,250. More precise cost estimates will be available as submissions received during the Request for Proposals process are reviewed.
Q. How is the Project being funded?
The project will be funded through a municipal debenture of $5 million, grant funding of $6.5 million (AHPP – Alberta Affordable Housing Partnership Program) and private equity.
Q. How much will rent be?
To comply with grant requirements, all units will be rented as affordable housing as defined by the Government of Alberta. Rents will fall in the affordability bands of minimum rent - 60% of market rent, and mid-range rent – 75% of market rent for Jasper.
Specific amounts are not confirmed yet.
Q. Who will be eligible to live in the units? How can you apply for a unit?
All residents will have to meet Parks Canada Eligible Residency criteria to live in a unit.
We are still in the planning stages, details about who can and how to apply for a unit will de added to the Housing page of the municipal website as processes are confirmed. We are not currently taking requests for units or keeping a waitlist.
Q. When will construction start?
We are in the planning stages and hope to begin construction in the spring of 2024. This FAQ’s page will be updated as we learn more and the construction schedule is confirmed.
Please Note that the Housing Project FAQ’s page will be updated as questions arise and as more information is available.