The Rundle Manor residential complex in northeast Calgary has taken a beating over the last 40 years and now it’s set to be torn down.
The complex houses low-income families but is continually deteriorating, with siding coming off units, doors and windows being left broken and decks that are well out of date.
The Calgary Housing Company (CHC) says it isn’t feasible to continue funding Rundle Manor, adding it would be more reasonable to use that money to fund a new affordable housing complex.
The site meets key criteria for affordable housing in Calgary, including nearby amenities like groceries, transit, schools, parks and recreation areas.
With one in five households in Calgary struggling to pay for their housing costs, the CHC says this redevelopment is part of Calgary’s direction to ensure low-income families have a safe, stable place to call home.
“It was thought by the department that it would be easier to knock them down and add more to it,” Ward 10 Coun. Ray Jones said. “Affordable housing is something that is drastically needed in this city.”
CHC has plans for those who currently live in the complex to ensure they have options come 2021.
For some of the tenants, a reduced rent — beginning in January 2020 — will allow residents to save some additional money for 18 months to give them breathing room when they move out.
CHC will also provide tenants with housing options to lessen the impact when they move off-site.
“We are providing access to information to them through a monthly newsletter, through an online web access that actually directs to them to opportunities for support,” CHC’s John Veenstra said. “Those types of opportunities could be where else housing in the area is or within Calgary Housing Company.”
The CHC said it also wanted to ensure residents knew that the current complex is still being maintained and has no significant issues with it, even though continuing to fund it was not seen as reasonable.
“We are anticipating significant investment requirements to continue to maintain the capital asset,” Veenstra said. “Those investments include roofs, doors, windows, those sorts of things. Investing those sorts of capital into this site is not viable.”
The community will be consulted on Sept. 25 as the city undertakes a feasibility study to determine the best way to design and operate the new affordable housing in Rundle.