Affordable housing is the foundation of community wellbeing and prosperity. It creates local jobs, strengthens purchasing power, attracts employers with a stable workforce and reduces the demand for emergency services.
In November 2021, Stronger Foundations: Alberta's 10-year strategy to improve and expand affordable housing was released with an ambitious goal to provide safe, stable, and affordable housing for an additional 25,000 households. However, not enough progress has been made in achieving that goal. Our strong community of non-profit affordable housing providers need stable, predictable, and ongoing investment to develop new homes to meet escalating demands, including operational funding.
Election day is May 29, 2023
Why is this important?
The private housing market meets the needs of approximately 78 per cent of Calgary's households. Of the remaining, four per cent are supported by government and non-profits, but 18 per cent of Calgarians cannot find housing affordable that is relative to income. It is especially difficult for Indigenous people, newcomers, people with disabilities, lone-parent households and seniors. Addressing this critical need requires collaborative partnerships. Major funding tools needed to make an impact, rest with the federal and provincial governments. The City is committed to contributing investment, leveraging it with federal and provincial funds to increase the housing supply to meet the Canadian national average and improve social well-being.
We have heard the following from Calgarians:
- There is a need for more investment in safe and affordable housing in all areas of the city to support and house those with lower incomes in all areas of the city.
- Higher housing utility and maintenance costs are a concern for those who may not be able to afford these costs and associated risks.
- Affordable housing should be a shared financial responsibility with all orders of government and with an investment in public-private partnerships.
- Affordable housing has an impact on providing stability and improving all aspects of life for all Calgarians.
What The City has invested
We have invested in affordable housing in the following way:
- Created 315 new homes by using $55 million in funding from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) Rapid Housing Initiative.
- 150 new homes since 2016 through The City of Calgary’s development program.
- 247 additional homes are in the planning and pre-construction phase for 2023-24.
- Sold nine development sites at below market value, leading to the creation of over 250 new homes.
- Invested $33 million to maintain and regenerate 2,250 units.
- The Foundations for Home Community Development Program provided a wide variety of program activities to more than 1,000 individuals by the end of 2018. The Home Program continues to provide grants in support of the affordable housing sector.
What we need from the province
We are seeking provincial partnerships to deliver:
- A program to address the condition of aging provincially-funded social housing, including capital funding.
- Stable, predictable, and ongoing capital and operating investment so that our strong community of non-profit affordable housing providers may develop new homes to meet escalating demands.
- Expanding our partnerships with all orders of government and with an investment in public-private partnerships.
Questions to ask your candidates
When candidates ask for your ideas and priorities, use this list of questions to find out how they will support Calgary and our community:
Q: How does your party plan to accelerate progress to improve and expand the delivery of safe, stable, affordable housing to meet the needs of Calgarians?
Q: How does your party plan to help Calgary increase the supply of affordable housing from 3% to 6%?
Q: What plans does your party have to meet the housing needs of Urban Indigenous Calgarians, who are over-represented in the homeless population?
Shared solutions to complex social problems
The City and its partners have invested in Calgary’s Mental Health and Addition Strategy, a community-based cross-sector initiative that is helping our community find hope and support for individuals and families living with mental health issues and addictions.
Q: How will your party address the root cause and impacts of mental health and addictions?
Q: Will you support and fund a spectrum of supports including prevention, enforcement, harm reduction and treatment?
The YYC Matters Community voices tool was open to the public to provide their thoughts on priority issues.
The public input received reflects concern among Calgarians about the shortage of affordable housing supply, public safety, on and off Transit, support for mental health and addictions as well as for vulnerable Calgarians in general. Calgarians also want the Province’s support for improving health care and education in our city.