Métis organization first recipient of Indigenous-led affordable housing grant
April 4, 2024

A new seniors housing development in northeast Edmonton will be the first project supported by the City of Edmonton’s new Indigenous-led affordable housing grant. 

Métis Capital Housing Corporation will receive $2.29 million for a new seniors lodge in the Montrose neighbourhood. The new lodge includes 36 affordable suites, a common dining area for sharing meals and on-site social programming. It replaces the former Nihgi Seniors Lodge that closed in 2021 after 54 years. The site is within walking distance of grocery stores, pharmacies, transit and other amenities along 118 Avenue. 

"Our seniors and knowledge keepers have been stewards of the land, raised our children, passed the history of our ancestors down and taught us so much,” said Andrea Sandmaier, President of the Otipemisiwak Métis Government. “With culturally-appropriate programming in our senior’s lodge, we will be able to take great care of our seniors and ensure their later years are enjoyable, surrounded by community.”

“Housing need is a huge concern for many Edmontonians, and Indigenous seniors are particularly at risk,” said Mayor Amarjeet Sohi. “Métis Capital Housing Corporation has a long track record of supporting Métis families, not just in housing, but in fostering vibrant communities and a high quality of life.”

The City’s Affordable Housing Needs Assessment found that nearly 1 in 4 renters in Edmonton (32,525 households, or 23 per cent) are in core housing need. Multiple factors – including age, race, physical health or mobility challenges – often compound the need for affordable housing. For Indigenous renters, that number increases to 27 per cent, while 41 per cent of senior renters are in core housing need. 

“As Edmonton grows, the need for affordable housing options will continue to grow too,” said Hani Quan, Director of Affordable Housing and Homelessness. “By being an early and consistent supporter of affordable housing providers – in this case, an Indigenous-led organization – the City of Edmonton can help attract investments that make a lasting impact.” 

Since 2018, the City’s Affordable Housing Investment Program has offered affordable housing providers up to 25 per cent of construction costs for new or renovated affordable housing. Over the past five years, the City has invested $67.8 million through the Affordable Housing Investment Program, which led to 1,426 new or rehabilitated units and $432.2 million in affordable housing infrastructure.

In April 2023, a new stream was added for Indigenous-led organizations. The new stream provides up to 40 per cent funding, aligned to meet the needs for multi-bedroom units, energy efficient features that reduce operating costs, and deeper subsidies for priority groups, such as families fleeing domestic violence.  

The City’s new affordable housing strategy is targeting support for another 2,700 units of affordable housing by 2026. The affordable suites will be offered at a maximum of 80 per cent of average market rents for the next 40 years. 

The announcement was made at Renaissance Lodge, a Métis Capital Housing Corporation seniors’ development built in 2013, partly funded by a City of Edmonton grant of $5 million. 
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