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Learn about affordable housing

At the most basic level, affordable housing is about people; people of all ages, family composition and demographics. It’s about helping people secure a basic life necessity, creating inclusive communities and making our city a great place to live and work for people at all income levels.

Affordable housing refers to both rental units and home ownership properties available to low- and moderate-income households at reduced or subsidized rates, achieved through a variety of funding assistance models:

  • Federal and/or provincial grants supplement The City’s capital budget to build new affordable housing units
  • Government grants, City funding or non-profit contributions cover maintenance costs
  • The City provides rent subsidies to make up the difference between tenant income and the cost of market or non-market rent
  • The City gives incentives to private developers to set aside a number of units within multi-family housing developments as affordable housing units
  • Reduced down payment programs (e.g. Attainable Homes)

Research on Calgary’s housing supply confirms a critical need to increase the number of affordable housing units. Learn more about the status of Calgary’s affordable housing supply gap and other research findings.

Common myths about affordable housing

Myth: Property values will go down if affordable housing is in my neighbourhood.

Reality: More than 100 studies conducted in the US and Canada during the past 30 years show no evidence that property values are impacted by affordable housing developments. The City of Calgary does not consider the proximity of affordable housing in property tax assessments.

Myth: Crime will increase.

Reality: A Canadian study of 146 supportive housing sites concluded there was no statistically significant evidence that such developments led to increased crime.

Myth: New residents won’t fit into the neighbourhood.

Reality: Often, the future occupants of new affordable housing already live in or near the neighbourhood. They are people sharing housing with other family members or friends, or struggling to pay market rent by giving up meals or having to walk because they cannot afford transit fares. Complete communities provide housing opportunities for all.

Myth: Affordable housing design won’t fit with the neighbourhood / units will be an eyesore

Reality: Affordable housing must comply with the same building restrictions and design standards as market-rate housing, which includes fitting the character of the neighbourhood.

Tenant stories

Read stories about Calgarians who need housing assistance.