Alberta affordable housing funding boost helps with much needed upgrades

Click to play video: 'Lethbridge sees more affordable housing funding'
Lethbridge sees more affordable housing funding
Affordable housing in our city continues to be an issue all levels of government are working to address. Last week, the province announced they will be investing an additional $16 million toward renovating and repairing affordable housing units. As Jaclyn Kucey reports, the Lethbridge Housing Authority is among the long list of recipients – Nov 27, 2023

It’s an effort to address the growing need for affordable housing in Alberta.

“This investment will now bring approximately 100 affordable homes back online and will keep another 300 available through preventative maintenance that would have come offline without this investment,” said Jason Nixon, Minister of Seniors, Community and Social Services, at a press conference on Wednesday.

Lethbridge Housing Authority (LHA) is part of 30 affordable housing organizations across the province receiving an additional $16 million dollars in funding from the Alberta Government.

The LHA is receiving $400,000 of that.

“It would likely renew 15-20 suites within our portfolio and we’re putting some new roofs on some community housing complexes,” said Robin James, CAO of the Lethbridge Housing Authority.

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This funding is for social housing, James explains is deep subsidy housing where the minimum rent per unit is $128 dollars.

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“Being able to keep those up and running in great condition is a priority for our city, because we do see a lot of people on the income support system and the AISH (Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped) system in our community, and we also see a lot of low-income seniors that just rely on those basic seniors benefits,” said James.

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Gord Johnston, CEO of Civida, explained this funding will help ensure access to safe homes across the province.

“Affordable housing is not just a roof and walls,” said Johnston. “Having a safe and affordable place to live allows people and families to thrive, stay employed, do better in school, and access community services.”

James assured residents will be able to continue living in their units while roof construction is happening.

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“As for as the suite renewals go, they will be renewed as tenants move out, as people transition, we’ll be able to get some new kitchens, new flooring in there refresh the paint and have a nice little unit for the next person that comes,” explained James.

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The LHA has been part of the annual capital maintenance and renewal funding since 2018.

The 2023 Alberta Budget included $94 million over three years for capital maintenance and renewal funding and this $16 million investment is in addition to that amount.

“Our units are actually really in quite good shape, we’ve been able to take fairly good care of them,” said Robin

The wishlist of updates for LHA continues with hopes for new windows at other units soon.

Construction in Lethbridge is expected to be complete by March 2024.

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