Overview

The Affordable Housing Review Panel was appointed to review Alberta’s affordable housing system in July 2020. This review explored ways to improve affordable housing. Nearly 500,000 Albertans spend more than 30% of their before-tax household income on housing, which is unaffordable according to the standard for affordability. Waitlists for affordable housing get longer each year. Currently, more than 110,000 Albertans live in affordable housing, while 19,000 more households are on waitlists.

The panel’s recommendations will be used to transform how Alberta’s affordable housing system is delivered so it is financially sustainable and able to address growing demand.

Timeline

  • Open

    July 9 to August 31, 2020

  • Results under review

  • Completed

    December 11, 2020

Who is listening

Ministry of Seniors and Housing

Input received

From July 9 to August 31, 2020, the panel sought the perspectives of stakeholder organizations representing groups most in need of affordable housing, including housing providers, private companies and civil society organizations.

The panel heard from participants through virtual engagement sessions and written submissions that a single approach will not work in every situation. Participants suggested that housing solutions can be found through a variety of locally-developed approaches.

Outcomes

The Affordable Housing Review Panel used feedback from participants to create the Final Report of the Affordable Housing Review Panel. The panel submitted this report to the Minister of Seniors and Housing on October 5, 2020.

Panel recommendations

  • develop a provincial strategic plan for housing
  • create a plan to manage and transfer provincially owned land and buildings
  • build capacity of housing providers
  • provide a rent subsidy for Albertans who need temporary support but are not eligible for existing programs
  • simplify how income is calculated for affordable housing programs
  • support innovative approaches to housing such as mixed-income, mixed-use, tiny homes and secondary suites
  • encourage municipalities to develop local affordable housing plans
  • update regulations and streamline planning and approval processes for capital projects
  • simplify processes for applicants, tenants and housing operators

In general, recommendations focused on:

  • shifting government’s role from owner and controller to partner and funder
  • changing programs to support Albertans not buildings
  • drawing on local and private sector expertise to provide more housing options
  • updating regulations to encourage innovation and reduce administrative red tape

Next steps

Based on the panel’s advice, we will take action to:

  • redefine government’s role
  • tap into community expertise
  • expand partnerships
  • reward innovation
  • simplify the system

Panel mandate

The panel was asked to identify ways to make affordable housing more efficient and effective, including examining legislation and how housing assets are funded and operated.

The panel:

  • considered the supports required for Albertans in critical housing need
  • analyzed economic factors and housing market trends
  • compared the approaches other provinces and territories are taking to affordable housing

Read the full terms of reference (PDF, 41 KB)

Panel members

The Affordable Housing Review Panel included the following members:

  • Mickey Amery, MLA Calgary-Cross, chair
  • Paul Boskovich, president, Genstar Developments
  • Lauren Ingalls, chief administrative officer, Westwinds Communities
  • Jeff Johnson, consultant and former provincial MLA and cabinet minister
  • Sam Kolias, co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer, Boardwalk REIT
  • Jerry Naqvi, founder and chairman, Cameron Development Corporation
  • Marcia Nelson, executive fellow, University of Calgary
  • Raymond Swonek, chief executive officer, Greater Edmonton Foundation
  • Dr. Sasha Tsenkova, professor, University of Calgary
  • Rachelle Venne, chief executive officer, Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women

News

Last updated: December 11, 2020