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.”