Stronger Foundations affordable housing strategy

Affordable Housing Asset Management Framework

Making the most of government-owned housing assets to best meet the needs of low-income Albertans now and into the future.

Overview

The Affordable Housing Asset Management Framework outlines the process and decision-making criteria for a 10-year review of all government-owned affordable housing real estate assets.

The framework sets clear, transparent criteria for evaluating which assets will be kept by government, redeveloped, transferred to affordable housing providers or sold with proceeds reinvested back into affordable housing.

This is part of our commitment through the Stronger Foundations affordable housing strategy to help those most in need by improving and expanding Alberta’s affordable housing system.

Housing needs have changed as Alberta's population continues to grow and becomes more diverse. By taking a renewed, people-first approach, we can protect vulnerable Albertans, get the best value for taxpayer dollars and increase the long-term sustainability of the housing system.

Putting people first

We will work closely with housing providers to minimize impacts to tenants as properties are redeveloped, transferred or sold. No Albertans will lose their place in affordable housing because of this process.

Pillars

As part of Alberta’s 10-year strategy, the Affordable Housing Asset Management Framework focuses on 4 pillars.

Pillar 1 – Transfer

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Government may transfer ownership to a local housing provider or municipality to operate as affordable housing.

  • Criteria to transfer

    • Assets must currently be meeting the community need.
    • Assets must be in fair or good condition.
    • The local municipality or housing provider must have the capacity to own, operate, and leverage the equity in the property.
    • The new owner must agree to maintain a set number and type of affordable housing units.
    • The property must continue to run as affordable housing for a minimum of 20 years.
  • Additional info

    • No current tenants will lose access to affordable housing as a result of a transfer.
    • Transferred buildings will continue to operate with minimal disruption to tenants.
    • Building condition assessments, appraisals, discussions and agreements with stakeholders will be required before a transfer proceeds.

Pillar 2 – Sell

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Government may sell real estate assets on the open market. All revenue from the sale of assets will be reinvested into the affordable housing system.

  • Criteria to sell

    • Assets must be in an area of high supply or low demand for affordable housing.
    • Assets must be vacant, significantly underused or not functional for affordable housing.
  • Additional info

    • No current tenants will lose access to affordable housing as a result of a sale.
    • In 2022-23, government will focus on the sale of vacant properties.
    • Government will not sell an occupied property without first discussing options with the local housing operator.
    • If a single-family home is identified for sale, it will only move forward once tenants have moved out or are provided with alternate accommodations.
    • Rent-to-own opportunities may be explored for single-family homes.

Pillar 3 – Retain

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Government will continue to own assets and operate them as affordable housing in partnership with local housing providers.

  • Criteria to retain

    • There is sufficient demand for government-ownership and it best addresses the local need.
    • The demand for affordable housing is decreasing in the community and there is no requirement to leverage assets.
    • There are opportunities to use the property for other government programs.
    • There is no local capacity or willingness to own and manage the property.
    • There is no other benefit to selling or transferring the asset.

Pillar 4 – Invest

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Government may expand existing properties and build new affordable housing units.

  • Criteria to invest

    • Assets are located where there is low supply and/or high demand for affordable housing.
  • Additional info

    • Funding for new projects will be available under the Affordable Housing Partnership Program, which is expected to launch in Fall 2022.
    • Additional redevelopment grants may be available to revitalize, densify, or repurpose existing housing with below-market units.
    • Investments will help increase the number of affordable housing units available through mixed-income and/or mixed-use developments using a partnership approach.

Outcomes

The Asset Management Framework provides a renewed solution to delivering affordable housing that will:

  • ensure affordable housing is located where the need is highest
  • unlock the value of assets to re-invest back into the affordable housing system
  • focus government’s role on oversight, funding and partnerships to increase access to housing
  • make the affordable housing system increasingly financially sustainable