74 affordable housing units announced for downtown Calgary

Artist rendering of Calgary's 5 Avenue S.W. affordable housing building. Funding for it was announced on April 23, 2019. Courtesy: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

The federal government announced $9.77 million in funding for a new affordable housing facility in downtown Calgary on Tuesday.

The site at 9 Street S.W. and 5 Avenue S.W. will have 74 subsidized suites for people who are homeless or at-risk, 16 of which will be accessible, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

“From a location point of view, we’ll be providing housing for vulnerable populations in the heart of downtown where they can easily access services,” said Bernadette Majdell, the CEO of HomeSpace Society.

The City of Calgary donated the site area through its non-profit land sale program.

“This site, at a discount valued at $3.8 million, is one of six initial properties sold through the program, which altogether will provide an additional 160 units committed to affordable housing for 40 years,” a CMHC news release said.

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Local philanthropists David and Leslie Bissett have contributed $8.9 million to RESOLVE, a development partner, in recent years, according to HomeSpace Society and CMHC.

David said it feels good to donate and be involved in projects like this.

“I was very fortunate that the community was extremely good to me, and can’t take it with me, so I have to give as much of it back as I can,” he said.

HomeSpace estimates the apartment building will open in fall 2020.

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