City of Calgary decommissions Bridgeland Place
Calgary City Council has decided, at the recommendation of City Administration and Calgary Housing Company (CHC), to close Bridgeland Place, a centrally-located affordable housing development.
The building has significant operating challenges, including heating issues, high operating costs, poor environmental and energy performance and is not delivering social value for tenants. By closing the building and exploring its future uses, The City and CHC can find operating cost efficiencies, improve its environmental performance and improve the quality of life for current and future residents.
“This is an extremely difficult decision,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “Bridgeland Place has been home to so many people for so many generations. However, we owe it to all of our tenants to provide a decent home, a place of dignity and a platform for the future. We can’t do that in this building without severely impacting people’s lives. But our commitment is unwavering. We will work with every tenant to find them a home that fits their needs, and to move in a dignified way.”
The closure plan is deliberately gradual, taking place over the next two years. It will prioritize the safety and security of current tenants, with a focus on providing a smooth transition to alternative homes. The City and Calgary Housing Company will be working closely with tenants to minimize uncertainty, anxiety, and inconvenience. CHC will work with tenants one-on-one to transition them to other affordable housing that is suitable for their specific situation, supporting them through the process.
Due to the challenging conditions in the building, and in anticipation of this decision, CHC has been proactively managing vacancies. As tenants have moved out or transferred to other properties, CHC has not moved new tenants into the vacated homes. The current building tenants and daycare have been notified of the decision to close, and CHC has begun one-on-one conversations with tenants to discuss options that may meet their needs.
“Tenants will be our main priority through this closure. We’ll be working hard to alleviate the disruption this will cause and to support them into other housing options,” says Councillor Farrell, Calgary Housing Company Board Chair. “As we do that, we’ll also take our time to look at all of the options before a decision is made as to what the future holds for this building.”
The City will be proceeding with a feasibility study to assess the future use of the property and options to replace the affordable homes. This study will look at several options and provide a recommendation to Council in 2022.
- The recommendation to decommission is based on sound asset management practice and an evaluation of how best to serve current and future tenants and the community.
- The building has had significant operating challenges in recent years, including challenges with heating issues and interruptions in the water supply.
- While the building is still habitable, it does require substantial renovations that are not possible to complete without major disruption to the tenants.
- A feasibility study will consider several options for this site, to replace at least 210 affordable homes.
- There is a significant shortage of affordable housing of all kinds in Calgary. The City and Calgary Housing are committed to working to replace the homes being decommissioned and to grow the overall supply of affordable housing in Calgary.
- More than 100,000 Calgary households are forecast to be in housing need by 2025.
- Nearly 1 in 5 Calgary households are struggling with housing costs.