City of Calgary signs Modernized Housing Agreement with Government of Alberta
Just two days before the 10thannual Coldest Night of the Year, a nation-wide campaign directed at combatting the effects of homelessness and housing insecurity across Canada, the City of Calgary has signed a new modernized housing agreement with the Government of Alberta.
On February 18, 2021, the City of Calgary released a press release detailing their agreement with the Alberta Government, which lays out a 4-year, $34 million operating and capital funding agreement for the continued facilitation of affordable housing in Calgary. The agreement covers the continued maintenance of 1,048 existing affordable households throughout the city. Extending through 2024, this updated agreement will take the place of the original jointly funded housing agreements between The City and the provincial government.
All homes are managed by Calgary Housing Company (CHC), a wholly owned subsidiary of The City, and the largest landlord in Calgary, currently managing more than 10,000 households with approximately 25,000 tenants. According to the release, 1 in 5 Calgary households currently struggle with housing costs and more than 100,000 Calgary households are forecast to be in housing need by 2025.
Comments from Calgary housing officials and Mayor Naheed Nenshi highlight the importance of affordable housing in ensuring the future success of all Calgarians and the continued prosperity of Alberta. According to Councillor Druh Farrell, the ability to contribute positively to society begins with access to safe, reliable and affordable shelter. “It’s important to remember that affordable housing is about people,” she says, “People in stable housing have greater chances to find and keep jobs, to learn and build skills and be active participants in their communities.”
“Alberta’s government knows affordable housing is critical to create inclusive communities and to build economic prosperity for all Albertans,” continues Seniors and Housing Minister Josephine Pon.
In addition to the extended provision of 1,048 affordable households, the agreement enables the transition of all City-owned social housing to a social-housing mixed rent model, which in turn, will facilitate positive housing outcomes for tenants. This includes a focus on moving residents out of poverty and reducing reliance on government subsidies moving into the future.
This agreement represents another important step in prioritizing affordable housing, which remains a key factor in reducing the impacts of homelessness and housing insecurity in Calgary and across Canada. According to the City of Calgary press release, “It actually costs less in tax-payer dollars to provide citizens experiencing homelessness with affordable housing. They will rely less on other public supports, such as shelters, healthcare and emergency services.”