Construction is underway to convert an office building into permanent affordable housing units in downtown Calgary for families and individuals in need.
The project, located at 706 7th Ave. S.W., will add another 82 permanent affordable housing units to the city. The building will also be transformed into a multi-family hub with shelter and support services, transitional housing, permanent supportive housing and child-care services in one space.
The building will be operated by HomeSpace Society, a local affordable housing provider, and Inn from the Cold, an emergency shelter. The building is set to open by winter of this year, according to a press release from the City of Calgary.
“We all know that safe, stable housing is the foundation of a bright and prosperous future. There’s a need for affordable housing in Calgary and converting an existing building, working with local community experts and coming up with creative solutions is very important,” said Minister of Seniors and Housing Josephine Pon.
The federal government is investing $16.6 million into the project through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI), a $2.5-billion program that aims to create 10,000 new affordable housing across Canada. The project builds on the federal government’s previous investment of $24.6 million to support the creation of 176 housing units in Calgary through the first phase of the RHI.
The province provided $2 million through an agreement under the National Housing Strategy, a federal housing program that will invest more than $70 billion into affordable housing over the next 10 years. It is part of the province’s 10-year strategy to improve and expand affordable housing in the province, according to a Government of Alberta press release.
The City of Calgary previously committed $5.5 million towards the project as part of its downtown strategy to convert extra office spaces to housing.
“Revitalising the downtown area goes hand-in-hand with ensuring housing for all, which are both key priorities for city council and the city,” Mayor Jyoti Gondek said.
But more work needs to be done to make sure Calgarians have a safe place to call home. Existing housing issues have been exacerbated by the pandemic and all levels of government need to work together to find solutions for affordable housing, said Gondek.
Bernadette Majdell, chief executive officer of HomeSpace Society, echoed similar sentiments.
“Housing is one of the biggest factors that determines the health of Canadians, but there are many people in this city who do not have access to safe, affordable homes,” she said.
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
View original article here Source