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Rosedale now home to 16 innovative affordable housing units

Click to play video 'New affordable housing units in Rosedale nearing completion' New affordable housing units in Rosedale nearing completion
The City of Calgary has installed the last of 16 new affordable housing units in the community of Rosedale. Doug Vaessen has details on the unique project. – Jan 28, 2020

The last of 16 affordable housing units destined for the community of Rosedale has been put in place.

The units sit on eight previously unused parcels of city-owned land between 4 Street Northwest and 10 Street Northwest along a sound wall on 16 Avenue.

The City of Calgary took an unusual approach to the homes, which it started building in July 2019.

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“These are unique in that they are prefabricated units built off-site and brought into this location,” manager of affordable housing Bruce Irvine said. “That helps us reduce the construction impact on the neighbours, and it was also useful for this site, which was quite narrow and tough to get big equipment into.”

READ MORE: Affordable housing project in Rosedale sparks complaints and questions

The developments were delivered in one piece with the use of a crane that lifted them over a sound wall.

Irvine said each home was specifically designed to be “consistent” with the character of that neighbourhood — something he thinks the community appreciates.

An artist’s rendering of one of eight new houses in Rosedale that will contain affordable housing units. City of Calgary

“Each of the homes looks like one single home, but actually has one or two different units inside of them,” he explained.

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“We worked with the neighbours… They were very influential in the design. We’ve actually had this project be nominated for a national architecture award already.

“The secret is it fits an old-looking community, an existing community, in its character so they don’t stick out.”

An artist’s rendering of one of eight new houses in Rosedale that will contain affordable housing units. City of Calgary

The delivery of the homes began in October 2019 and wrapped up this week.

The units are designed for individuals or families living on lower incomes, which Ward 7 Coun. Druh Farrell said initially upset some members of the community.

“Disappointingly, we did get some correspondence that were saying: ‘We don’t want those people in our neighbourhood,’” Farrell said. “I don’t think that represents the majority of the community.

“Every community has a responsibility to incorporate some affordable housing.

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“This is a beautiful neighbourhood,” Farrell added. “There is a really wonderful school. It’s walkable, it’s close to the downtown, it’s close to the bus rapid transit, so there are so many amenities for the new residents, and I am hoping — and I am fully expecting — that they will be welcomed as a part of the community.”

A look inside one of 16 new affordable housing units in the community of Rosedale. Global News