A new affordable housing facility opened in southwest Calgary on Tuesday.
Wildwood’s three-storey stacked townhomes at 4012 Bow Trail S.W. feature high-efficiency windows, water heaters and Energy Star label appliances for sustainability’s sake. All but one of its 48 units have already been filled.
The Alberta government provided a $10.9-million grant for the project’s construction, which started in May 2017 and concluded in October 2018.
Sarah Woodgate, director of Calgary Housing and president of Calgary Housing Company, said the building came in under budget.
She said $4.4 million came from housing capital initiative funding, $4.9 million was through the Municipal Sustainability Initiative, and $1.5 million was from the Affordable Housing Municipal Block Funding Program.
Woodgate added that seed money came from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
“Affordable housing is so important and it’s so much more than bricks and mortar,” she said. “It’s about changing lives.”
Mayor Naheed Nenshi said Calgary is working step-by-step to address that it has the least amount of affordable housing out of Canada’s big cities. He said there is up to 5,000 people on wait list for Calgary housing on any given day.
The push for more housing requires money, support from all levels of government and the industry and policy changes such as inclusionary zoning, Nenshi said.
“When safe, affordable housing is available, we’re able to address so many of the problems in our community,” Nenshi said. “Not just homelessness, but we can provide secure refuge for those fleeing domestic violence, we can create safe spaces for those who need a place to restart their lives, we can provide homes where families can establish themselves.”