Notifications

COVID-19 Updates: State of public health emergency declared.

Stronger foundations affordable housing strategy

Overview

Transforming Alberta’s affordable housing system so it is financially sustainable, accessible and equitable now and into the future.

Strengthening Alberta’s housing system

Stronger Foundations is Alberta’s 10-year strategy to improve and expand affordable housing, while building a sustainable system that provides flexible, fair and inclusive housing options well into the future. It outlines the bold and thoughtful changes needed to provide safe, stable, affordable housing for an additional 25,000 households to increase the total served to 82,000 – an increase of more than 40 per cent.

As of April 2021, more than 110,000 low-income Albertans live in affordable housing and more than 24,000 are on a waitlist. The last figure has doubled in the past decade and action is required now to address the growing demands for safe, affordable housing.

The strategy was informed by recommendations provided by the Affordable Housing Review Panel and provides a 10-year roadmap outlining key actions needed to transform the current housing system. These actions include increasing the number of affordable housing units, improving access to housing for Albertans in need, creating innovative and collaborative partnerships with governments, organizations and communities, and enabling more non-government investment.

Vision

Albertans have access to safe, affordable housing that meets their needs and promotes quality of life.

The housing system that delivers innovative and sustainable affordable housing options to Albertans in need through partnerships with other orders of government, non-profit and private housing providers, and communities.

The housing system serves Albertans now and into the future.

Key goals

Stronger Foundations identifies 5 key themes to be achieved over the next 10 years. The strategy’s actions under these themes will make the housing system more accessible, affordable and sustainable.

  • Grade 1
    Support Albertans most in need

    Continue to protect the most vulnerable and ensure affordable housing eligibility is fair, clear and equitable.

  • Grade 2
    Improve access

    Make it simpler for Albertans to access affordable housing supports, and easier for housing providers to deliver those supports.

  • Grade 3
    Increase planning and governance

    Enable more collaboration and local decision-making with partners, and provide more flexibility and capacity to meet local housing needs.

  • Grade 4
    Enhance sustainability and efficiency

    Make the affordable housing system more sustainable by enabling innovative operating approaches, such as expanding mixed-income developments.

  • Grade 5
    Enable growth and investment

    Use innovative partnerships with the private and non-profit sector and communities to help grow the supply of affordable housing.

Next steps

The 10-year strategy provides a roadmap to improve the housing system, cut red tape and build collaborative relationships with partners. Next steps include:

  • Clarifying and standardizing the income verification process so eligibility, priority and rent settings are more equitable and simplified.
  • Continuing to invest in the Find Housing online tool to make it more comprehensive and easier to find and access affordable housing options.
  • Continuing to work with housing management bodies and operators to improve efficiency, increase capacity, and expand local decision-making.
  • Creating an affordable housing partnership framework and program.
  • Developing and implementing an affordable housing asset management framework, which will optimize government-owned real estate assets by identifying properties for sale, transfer, retention or redevelopment. Proceeds will be reinvested into the affordable housing system.
  • Expanding the use of rent supplements to better use existing rental market capacity.

How we got here

The Affordable Housing Review Panel was formed in July 2020 to review the affordable housing system and provide recommendations for much needed short- and long-term improvements.

The expert panel met with stakeholder organizations including affordable housing providers, private companies and civil society organizations representing groups most in need of affordable housing.

Feedback collected was used to create a report that was submitted to the Minister of Seniors and Housing. The report outlined 19 recommendations needed to transform Alberta’s affordable housing system, including the first recommendation to develop a provincial strategic plan for housing.