‘Wave of the future’

New housing collective seeks group approach to affordability issues

Billed as the first of its kind in Alberta, Calgary’s Community Housing Affordability Collective (CHAC) launched earlier this month as a collaborative engine for improving housing affordability in the city.

While a number of local organizations already exist to address barriers to shelter, CHAC is unique is its collaborative approach, said Kim O’Brien, executive director of Horizon Housing Society and co-chair of the CHAC steering community.

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Over-under

Housing officials cite increasing rates of overcrowding in Calgary’s housing market

Housing experts say a soft labour pool brought upon by weak economic conditions is partly to blame for increasing rates of overcrowding, or “underhousing” in Calgary homes.

RESOLVE executive director Sheryl Barlage – whose organization is made up of nine partner agencies aimed at building affordable and supported rental homes for 3,000 homeless and vulnerable Calgarians by March 31, 2018 – says about 3,500 Calgarians were considered homeless in a recent Homeless Foundation survey, with about 14,000 at risk of homelessness – and that doesn’t include people “couch-surfing.”

With the economic downturn, “we know fundamentally that number is up. It’s hard to get a handle; people are one paycheque away (from homelessness) or aren’t in appropriate housing. And the current economic climate (as well as) social issues are impacting the need. But the need has always been urgent.”

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RESOLVE’s Stepping Stone Manor nears completion

Beltline assisted-living building first for campaign

Calgarians at risk of homeless will soon have added housing options, with the news that Stepping Stone Manor, a 30-unit assisted-living apartment building in Calgary’s Beltine, is near completion.

Representing the first new construction project to be completed through the RESOLVE campaign, the building has funded by donors, provincial grants and built by Cedarglen Living Inc.

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Five things about affordable housing

Several recent events have highlighted the need for increased awareness for affordable housing in Canada. Along with National Housing Strategy Day, which took place on Nov. 22, 11 local homebuilders and developers were recently recognized for their contributions to the Resolve campaign, which helps house those in need.

To help shed some light on the need for more affordable housing, CREB®Now examines some of the numbers surrounding efforts to combat homelessness in Calgary and Canada.

3,500
According to the Calgary Homeless Foundation, the city’s homeless population numbered 3,555 in October 2014, with a further 15,600 households defined as being at extreme risk. Of that 3,555, the number of those ages 17 and under was 434, with nearly half of those (198) under the age of five.

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A city in need

Stampede event highlights continuing urgency to house Calgarians in need

With the Calgary Stampede shining a spotlight on our city’s sense of community, an event held during this year’s Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth highlighted the continuing needs of some of our community’s most vulnerable citizens.

As part of Stampede Week, Horizon Housing – one of several local organizations dedicated to housing the city’s most vulnerable residents – held a barbecue, with residents on hand from the organization’s properties.

Serving tenants with a variety of special needs – including those with mental health challenges, physical disability, families and seniors living below the poverty line and the working poor – Horizon Housing executive director Kim O’Brien said while the current state of Alberta’s economy is debatable, it hasn’t changed the willingness of Calgarians to give to a good cause.

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