March 15, 2023
The City is moving forward with plans to support 351 new units of affordable and supportive housing.
On Tuesday, Council approved an investment plan for the third round of the Rapid Housing Initiative, a national program led by the Government of Canada to support shovel-ready affordable housing projects.
The City will submit three City-led projects, one of which will be eligible for $12.5 million earmarked by the federal government for Edmonton. Five other affordable housing developments led by non-profit organizations will also be submitted. In total, the projects would leverage a City investment of $48.4 million to access $72.6 million of federal funding.
“Each one of these projects is life changing, a vision of what we can do when we work together,” said Mayor Amarjeet Sohi. “We need a bold plan to grow our affordable housing infrastructure, to make Edmonton a place for all of us.”
Supportive housing is a flexible model of affordable housing tailored to individuals who struggle to maintain housing. Over the past four years, the City has supported the development of 644 units of supportive housing for Edmontonians facing complex health challenges, trauma and homelessness.
“These new proposals represent a very important step towards regaining our momentum in ending homelessness in our community,” said Susan McGee, CEO of Homeward Trust. “Supportive housing is a proven cost-effective model that provides long-term, sustainable housing for community members who have otherwise been trapped in a cycle of homelessness.”
The City-led proposals replicate a model used during the first round of the federal Rapid Housing Initiative, when the City oversaw the construction of five supportive housing sites on municipally owned land. The five sites were transferred in late 2022 to Homeward Trust, which has selected operators and welcomed the first residents of the 210 new units. A new tour video
has been developed to give Edmontonians a first look at what the finished sites look like.
King Edward Park: Operated by the Bissell Centre’s Hope Terrace program, which specializes in supporting people born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
Inglewood: Operated by Native Counselling Services of Alberta, an Indigenous-led organization that specializes in fair and equitable treatment for a population overrepresented in housing need and homelessness.
Westmount: Operated by the George Spady Society, which provides a continuum of support services to people with complex life circumstances associated with substance-related and concurrent disorders.
Terrace Heights: Operated by Boyle Street Community Services, an organization dedicated to eliminating homelessness and building strong, accepting and respectful communities.
Wellington: Operated by NiGiNan Housing Ventures, an Indigenous-led non-profit housing provider specializing in a range of supportive housing options for Indigenous people.
In the coming days, residents living near the completed developments will receive welcome letters from Homeward Trust and the new operators, including plans for open houses and community events.
Details of the newly submitted proposals, including locations, size and organizations, will be made public when funded by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, and will be subject to additional Council decisions.