Four affordable housing projects totalling 124 units approved in Edmonton through $10.4-million grant

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Four affordable housing developments consisting of 124 units will be built in Edmonton thanks to a $10.4-million investment from the city’s grant program.

Council’s executive committee unanimously approved the grant applications Thursday morning to cover 25 per cent of capital construction costs of the planned developments.

The proposed developments will provide affordable housing options for Indigenous families, newcomers, women and children and people with disabilities. With the 2022 deadline for the city’s goal of 2,500 affordable housing units closing in, these four projects bring the total across the halfway point to 1,406 units since 2018.

Christel Kjenner, the city’s director of affordable housing and homelessness, said the $133-million affordable housing investment plan is providing below-market affordable housing choices to those who need it.

“The city is investing in much more than just buildings. The future residents will not only have a safe, stable and affordable place to call home but also a network of support to foster their long-term success,” Kjenner said in a Thursday statement. “Developments like this will help fill the affordable housing gap while also addressing some of the root causes of homelessness and housing insecurity.”

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The four developments are spread out across Edmonton and will be focused on specific communities needing housing. Avana Rentals Alberta Inc. is working with YWCA Edmonton to provide family-sized rental units for women and women with children in the southeast community of Maple. The planned Maple Crest 12-building development will be making 30 of the 96 available units into affordable housing and offer on-site counselling and psychological services.

Right at Home Housing Society is responsible for two of the developments, one in Beacon Heights that will include 21 units all offered at 80 per cent or less of average market rents. This development will be targeted toward large families, particularly newcomers. A second development, dubbed the St. Paul Legacy Project, plans to reuse the existing St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in King Edward Park to build 11 units of housing.

Lastly, Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta Holdings Ltd. is planning to build a 30-unit family reunification centre and a 32-unit First Nations lodge in northeast Belvedere. The reunification centre is intended to provide accommodations to First Nations band members while receiving family and child support onsite in an effort to reduce the growing number of Indigenous children in care. Each suite will cost about 49 per cent of average market rents.

Treaty 8 First Nations chief administrative officer Margo Auger said this grant funding will allow the project to proceed and assist Indigenous families in need of health-care and social supports.

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“It’s an important initial funding commitment that will leverage other needed funds to build the Fort Road project. Upon completion, these facilities will create Indigenous affordable housing opportunities linked to health-care access and child and family supports,” Auger said in a statement. “Long-standing systemic Indigenous social and health-care inequities can now be addressed in Edmonton. This project has been a Chief’s vision for over 10 years.”

This is the second year of the city’s affordable housing grant program, with only one application accepted in 2020.

duscook@postmedia.com

twitter.com/dustin_cook3

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