Having a home is an important part of feeling a sense of belonging, but it is also something some people are not able to afford. Affordable housing provides a solution, but there are some common misconceptions about that type of housing, including our third housing initiative.
Our third housing initiative is another emergency homeless shelter Reality: Our next housing initiative is not an emergency homeless shelter, the building will be used as an apartment building that will provide permanent supportive housing, as well as units that will be rented at market value. The building will be fully accessible for seniors and people with disabilities, and staff will be present 24/7 to support the residents. This project will build on the success of our other affordable housing buildings located in Bridgeland and downtown Calgary.
The people living there will be drug addicts and criminals Reality: A variety of tenants will be welcomed, including families, seniors and people with disabilities. All prospective residents will go through our standard residential building screening process and will agree to a defined code of conduct.
This will increase the crime in the neighbourhood Reality: There are no studies to back up this common myth about affordable housing, in fact, most studies show that affordable housing ‘increases neighbourhood cohesion and encourage cooperation in ridding communities of criminal activity.’ Our next housing initiative will be filled with people who want to be a part of the community and belong once again.
It will drive down property values Reality: Research in Alberta has shown that affordable housing does not have a negative impact on home prices and property values do not vary over time due to the presence of affordable housing. Diverse housing in a neighbourhood has been shown to increase sustainability of ‘schools, businesses and community organizations.’
The community has not been consulted Reality: We are committed to engaging and listening to the community and over the last three years, we have initiated and participated in more than 70 community engagement activities. We have adjusted the plans for our third housing initiative based on feedback from the community and working with community partners.