The Housing and Affordability Task Force Recommendations and Actions
The City of Calgary incorporates the Housing and Affordability Task Force
Recommendations and Actions into the revisions presently underway on the
Corporate Affordable Housing Strategy.
Calgary has a housing crisis of both housing affordability (i.e., the individual capacity and capability to afford housing costs) and affordable housing (i.e., the financial entry to purchase or rent housing). As a City Councillor, I understand the challenges this crisis creates for Calgary residents and newcomers particularly our Indigenous Peoples and equity-deserving residents. My staff and I have first-hand, lived experiences with housing challenges through families, newcomer relations, landlord/tenant relations, and engagement with Ward 7 constituents.
We acknowledge the attention and work towards easing the tensions of the housing crisis and applaud the insights and efforts of the Housing Affordability Task Force (HATF) members. This crisis requires decisive action and the HATF recommendations provide a path towards affordable housing. We strongly commend them for the bold recommendations and actions presented to City Council. As repeatedly stated in City Council, I thank them for the preparation of the recommendations and presentation of this report.
On Wednesday June 7, Calgary City Council voted 14-1 in favour to adopt as amended these new set of recommendations
1. Receive the Housing and Affordability Task Force Recommendations and Actions (“Recommendations”) for information (Attachment 2);
2. Disband the Housing and Affordability Task Force and thank its members for their time and professional advice;
3. Direct Administration to incorporate the Housing and Affordability Task Force Recommendations and Actions into the revisions presently underway on the Corporate Affordable Housing Strategy, which is scheduled to return to Community Development Committee in September 2023;
4. Direct Administration, as part of the September 2023 Committee presentation, to clearly identify which Housing and Affordability Task Force Recommendations and Actions were incorporated into the Corporate Affordable Housing Strategy, the corporate-wide implications (including but not limited to changes to base land use district, parking requirements, or funding for the downtown incentive program), and the decisions required from Council as a result;
5. Direct Administration to bring forward specific actions for further consideration and deliberation through committee to Council, including those that require additional budget resources to the monthly standing Executive Committee item “Strategic Discussion on Building and Delivering on Plans and Budgets”.
6. Direct Administration to report on the status of the implementation of the updated Corporate Affordable Housing Strategy on a quarterly basis, through Community Development Committee to Council, commencing in Q4 2023.
I Voted Yes to the approved recommendations and particularly support #3, 4, and 5 as they precisely reflect a set of amendments which I had proposed the day before, and why I suggested same day reconsideration of the vote.
My proposed amendments were based upon weeks of consultation with Ward 7 constituents and Administration. They would have sought to ensure that the Task Force recommendations received appropriate technical and administrative review due diligence, planning for resource and budget allocation, activity prioritization, planning and legislative consideration, public consultation and the eventual creation of an implementation plan that Council could authorize 3 months later in September.Those that I consulted also believed that all 6 recommendations and 33 actions vary in both ease of implementation and community engagement. The initial administration recommendations expected that every Task Force Recommendation and Action be accepted and implemented immediately without supporting information or a research report.
It was difficult to see reasonable amendments not considered before the first vote, because additional information and outreach is crucial to the successful implementation of Task Force recommendations. I am happy that Council reconsidered the first vote and allowed for a new vote based on a set of amendments from different Councillor that reflected what I advocated for the day before.
Over the course of the next three months, the Ward 7 office will engage our constituents further to inform, consult, and coordinate a response that is reflective of your interests and concerns for presentation in September’s public hearing. I look forward to hearing from you and working together to achieve the best outcomes. I believe in informing, if not consulting with Ward 7 constituents before decisions which affects your lives, assets, and wealth are undertaken; this is my reason for public consultation.
To those who have criticized the perceived rejection of the housing crisis and the Housing Affordability Task Force recommendations, I hope you better understand the journey to the successful authorization of next steps by Administration. I trust you will appreciate that this could have been avoided if we allowed an amendment on the first day of debate before the initial vote.
The housing crisis requires broad action across every level of housing including people living without a fixed address, people living on fixed incomes, renters, and owners. We need to work together to build and implement solutions for diverse and affordable housing choice for all Calgarians.
Respectfully, thank you!
Terry Wong (He/Him/His)
Ward 7 City Councillor
Categories: Budget, Housing, Updates, Ward 7