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Bridgeland Affordable Housing FAQ

On July 21, 2014, Council considered and approved a report that outlined the site at 816 McDougall Road N.E. as an appropriate, viable and cost effective site for an affordable housing development. This is a required first step for the project as all City-owned land requires Council approval for the intended development, prior to speaking with the community.

To see the latest update on the development progress, visit the Bridgeland affordable housing development page.

What is the proposal?

The City of Calgary Office of Land Servicing & Housing (OLSH) is proposing construction of 24 units of affordable housing in two buildings of stacked town homes to be located on City-owned land in Bridgeland (816 McDougall Rd. N.E.). All units will have ground floor entrances on McDougall Road and along the north and eastern sides of the site. Main floor patios will be street oriented.
The layout will contain stacked town homes with studio and one bedroom units on the lower level, and two and three bedroom units on the upper levels.

Who might live in the Bridgeland development?

There will always be people who need affordable housing. In Calgary, this need has been consistently recorded at approximately 18% of all households since 1991.  Based on 2006 federal census data, in Calgary, there are 38,000 renter households and an additional 33,500 households that own their own homes who are considered in danger of losing their home due to financial circumstances. Many of these individuals may already live in your community and be your neighbors. They include students, seniors, young couples, people with disabilities, Aboriginal peoples, low income workers and their families (including, as examples, sales clerks, taxi drivers, cooks, cashiers, teachers’ assistants, janitors, and gas station attendants), new Canadians and people who are unemployed. 

How did The City determine the number of units for the location?

Funding restrictions limit OLSH to build a maximum of 24 units on this site.

Why can't the proposed patios face west? 

Ground floor patios are located on the east side of the site to allow for "eyes on the street" along the proposed pedestrian corridor connecting 7A St N.E. to the escarpment to the north.

Moving the buildings further east to allow for patios to be located on the west side of building one is limited by a utility right of way. Buildings are not allowed to be built over utility right of ways in case there are maintenance issues.

Why is there parking at the rear of the site?

Our original concept included on-street reverse angled parking in which tenant parking could be monitored through onsite cameras. The Alberta Traffic Safety Act restricts reverse angled parking on the street. Due to the operational challenge of monitoring tenant parking, parking had to be relocated on site. The additional requirement for increased barrier-free parking for provincially funded buildings resulted in five larger stalls being provided and as a result, there was not enough room on the street.

Parking has been located at the rear of the site, tucking it behind the building to lessen any visual impact from the street and taking advantage of the existing trees at the base of the escarpment to screen the surface parking from the open space and views from above.

Has underground parking been considered for the development?

Underground parking is not being considered for this project because the associated costs will exceed the project budget.
An independent engineering firm has completed a parking study prior to decisions being made related to the level of parking provided. This study occurs as part of the development permit process.

What happened to the proposed open space for the tenants?

As a result of the parking being relocated on site, the additional open space that was proposed to be added to the community space was eliminated. Instead we focused our attention on rebuilding the historic connection from Riverside to Bridgeland through a woonerf, a living street where vehicle traffic is limited to a walking pace.

Is there any open-space on the lot?

Community feedback gathered during engagement indicated that the community was in favour of open green space within the development. However, it was determined that it was not possible to provide this due to parking requirements.  Alternatively, we can provide enhanced connectivity to support increased activity between the 7th street stairs through our site to McDougall Road, while improving the community’s perception of the area.

What does the open-space connection look like?

Our submitted design concept focuses on creating a unique landscaped connection, or “woonerf” serving to bring together the community and connect the open space at the base of the 7th Street stairs through the site to McDougall Road. The woonerf accommodates pedestrians, cyclists and parking traffic, keeping the area active. It also serves to restore the historical connection between the Bridgeland and Riverside communities.

How will the lighting in the area be addressed?

Lighting for the open space will be co-ordinated with Parks and will be discussed during the Development Permit process.

What are the general development timelines?

  • Community input:
    • OLSH meetings with Bridgeland Civic Affairs and Planning Committee - September 2014
    • OLSH Introduced proposal to community at the Farmers Market - October 2014
    • OLSH meets with adjacent land-owners  - October 2014
    • OLSH reports back to Community Association - November 2014
    • OLSH reports back to the Community Association – December 2014
    • OLSH presents two options to community at an Open House - Thursday December 11, 2014
  • Development permit application filed - March 2015
  • Construction start- February 2016
  • Construction Completion - Spring 2017
bridgeland development process

How can citizens share feedback and stay up-to-date?

We encourage you to check this website frequently as we will update it regularly as the Bridgeland project progresses. You can share your comments and ask questions by contacting the Project Manager, Susan Sanderson, directly.