Calgary’s Housing and Affordability Task Force develops six recommendations to improve housing affordability and access for Calgarians
Calgary’s Housing and Affordability Task Force released today six recommendations that, if implemented, would create a more equitable, inclusive, and affordable housing market in Calgary across the housing continuum, and ensure that all Calgarians have access to safe, adequate, and affordable housing. A copy of the Housing and Affordability Task Force’s report can be found at https://engage.calgary.ca/HATaskForce.
The Housing and Affordability Task Force was created and tasked to address Calgary’s housing crisis and the urgent need for more housing and housing affordability in Calgary.
“For the past eight months, the Housing and Affordability Task Force has been coming together to hear from experts and develop bold and transformative recommendations that can address Calgary’s affordable housing crisis,” said Tim Ward, Chair of the Housing and Affordability Task Force. “The recommendations recognize the complexity of Calgary’s housing affordability challenges and are comprehensive in their scope, reflecting the need to increase and diversify our housing supply, and to significantly increase the amount of affordable housing in Calgary.”
The first three Task Force recommendations will help Calgary increase and diversify the supply of housing with a goal of boosting development by 1,000 more market homes beyond what is normally built in a year, and at least 3,000 non-market affordable homes a year.
·Recommendation 1: Make it easier to build housing across the city.
·Recommendation 2: Make more land available to build more housing across the city.
·Recommendation 3: Ensure that the supply of affordable housing meets the needs of Equity Deserving and Indigenous people living in Calgary.
“Access to adequate and affordable housing is a fundamental component of the quality of life in a city and Calgary is experiencing significant challenges related to the availability, diversity and affordability of housing choice,” said Patricia Jones, Housing and Affordability Task member and President and CEO Calgary Homeless Foundation. “Calgary’s population has grown by 100,000 in the last four years and is expected to grow by another 100,000 in the next four years. Couple that with indications that rental rates are increasing by 25 per cent and it’s clear that to help eliminate the supply deficit, The City needs to reduce barriers or create incentives for the development of all types of housing across the housing continuum.”
The next two recommendations will help Calgary to strengthen the housing sector to support partner collaboration which will foster a greater impact than having government and industry partners act alone. Finally, the last recommendation will help the city improve living conditions for people in rental housing.
·Recommendation 4: Convene the housing sector to collaborate.
·Recommendation 5: Increase the investment to support housing providers.
·Recommendation 6: Ensure more individuals have a safe place to call home.
“Affordable housing is about people and the lack of affordable housing options in Calgary is a growing concern for many residents, particularly those in low-income and marginalized communities,” said Maya Kambeitz, Housing and Affordability Task Force member and Chief Executive Officer at Norfolk Housing Association. “To strengthen Calgary’s housing sector, all governments, developers and non-profit housing providers need to work together to deliver safe and diverse affordable programs and services that make affordable housing more readily available to individuals and families living on lower incomes.”
The recommendations from the Housing and Affordability Task Force are tailored to the unique needs and context of Calgary. They are informed by best practices from other jurisdictions, 18 experienced panel contributors, and an open forum through The City’s engagement portal. The recommendations provide a roadmap that enables policymakers, housing developers, community organizations, and other partners to work collaboratively towards creating more housing and sustained affordable housing options for Calgarians.
The Housing and Affordability Task Force will present the recommendations to Council for deliberation on June 6, 2023.