At the request of the Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative’s Stewardship Committee, the Affordable Housing Working Group was convened to develop a strategy focused on the issues of housing and homelessness in the context of poverty reduction. The proposed strategic direction was presented to key stakeholders for further refinement and submitted to the CPRI for incorporation in the final Poverty Reduction Plan.
An “Affordable Housing Charter”
The working group’s recommendations center on the concept of an Affordable Housing Charter. Affordable housing is a critical issue in ongoing discussions between Alberta’s major urban centers and the Government of Alberta regarding city charters as it presents a key opportunity to deliver more streamlined services for the benefit of our communities. Within this shifting context where the provincial-municipal roles and responsibilities are being re-considered, a locally-driven affordable housing development and management model could be implemented where leadership and service delivery is coordinated at the community level. The roles of federal and provincial governments would be to support local leadership through enabling policy and resources.
Local Affordable Housing Coordinating Body
With this approach, Calgary would have the capacity to implement measures that ensure appropriate affordable housing stock is being delivered in sustainable, economically viable ways that meet constantly changing and unique local needs. A lead implementing body can play a key role by bringing together stakeholders, including municipal, provincial and federal partners, as well as a myriad of housing providers (private and non-profit) to maximize existing resources and coordinate delivery city-wide to meet Calgary priorities and targets. A lead organization is necessary to drive local community goals in implementation, ongoing planning and strategy development, while ensuring alignment towards broader provincial and federal goals.