Province Provides Highlights of Affordable Housing Strategy for Residents
On November 1, the Government of Alberta released Stronger Foundations: Alberta’s 10-year strategy to improve and expand affordable housing.
Key highlights of the announcement from the government that may be of interest to residents:
Over the next 10 years, the province will take bold action to build an affordable housing system that is flexible and adaptable to local needs, fair, inclusive and sustainable, and provide more affordable housing options that meet the needs of Albertans with low income. The strategy outlines how the province has set a target to serve 82,000 households – an increase of more than 40 per cent over 10 years – through five key action areas:
- Support Albertans most in need,
- Improve access,
- Increase governance and planning,
- Enhance sustainability and efficiency, and
- Enable growth and investment.
Of special note for residents, actions under the strategy intend to make it simpler for residents to access and navigate housing supports, and make sure there are more options and more flexibility in how residents meet their individual needs. This includes helping residents improve their personal situations as they work toward housing independence where possible.
Initiatives that may be of interest to residents include:
- The Government of Alberta will make it easier for Albertans to find housing options, understand the eligibility criteria, and connect with a housing provider. This includes continued investment in the Find Housing online tool and making the eligibility rules more fair for everyone.
- The government will work with housing providers to provide local housing solutions to meet a range of needs – from the most vulnerable households to those with more moderate needs.
- Mixed-income housing approaches will be the focus in planning for new developments. Mixed-income housing lets residents pay rent at a price that makes sense for their individual situations. Instead of moving if their finances change, they can simply pay an adjusted price.
- The government plans to expand its redesigned Rent Supplement Program. Through that program, tenants can use the benefit to afford market units if they choose, so they aren’t limited to designated affordable housing units.
The Government of Alberta stated they “will proceed thoughtfully and carefully and will continue to protect the most vulnerable to ensure they are not left behind”.
You can learn more about the strategy online at: alberta.ca/stronger-foundations-affordable-housing-strategy.aspx.