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A shortage of affordable housing affects people across Edmonton. Everyone deserves the opportunity to choose where they live and stay close to family, friends, and community.   

The City is committed to working with housing providers to help build non-market affordable housing in every neighbourhood across Edmonton by providing construction grants and land for redevelopment, including surplus school sites

Building Housing Choices

This program helps turn surplus school sites into mixed-market affordable housing. Explore the first two developments underway now.

Learn more about the development led by Civida (formerly Capital Region Housing). 

Learn more about the proposed development and public engagement opportunities.

Land Contributions

Learn more about current or future developments on City-owned land leased or sold to non-market housing developers. 

Riverdale

On November 9, 2020, Executive Committee approved a recommendation (item 6.18) to sell 5 City-owned surplus lots, located at 92 Street and 102 Avenue, to Right at Home Housing Society at a below-market rate. 

Right at Home Housing Society will lead public engagement on a Good Neighbour Plan and certain building design elements. The final design, rezoning (if required), construction and occupancy will follow. No timeline is available for these steps.

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Previous Public Engagement 

Evansdale

The City is leasing land in Evansdale to the Homes for Heroes Foundation for a tiny home village for military veterans who have experienced homelessness. Learn more.

Hollick-Kenyon

The City sold land to Habitat for Humanity at below-market value for the construction of six homes in the northeast neighbourhood of Hollick-Kenyon. Learn more.  

Lauderdale

The City renewed a land lease that will allow GEF Seniors Housing to redevelop a complex built in 1955, tripling the number of units for low and moderate income seniors. Learn more.  

Kilkenny

Civida (formerly Capital Region Housing) is leading the renewal of a City-owned housing complex in Kilkenny into new safe and affordable housing in a sustainable mixed-market development. Learn more.

Grants

Since 2020, the City has contributed capital costs toward the construction of nearly 300 new or refurbished units of affordable housing. Learn more about available grant programs

Grace Village

The Salvation Army received $2.5 million to help build 143 units of bridge housing and supportive housing in Baranow. Learn more

Westwood 

Right at Home Housing Society received $950,000 to help build 16 new units of non-market affordable housing in Westwood in partnership with Wings of Providence.

Maple Crest

Avana Rentals will receive $1.7 million to help build 30 rental townhouses offered at 50 to 80 per cent of average market rates in Maple. 

Beacon Heights

Right at Home Housing Society will receive $1.9 million for 21 units of non-market affordable housing for newcomer families in Beacon Heights

Legacy Project

Right at Home Housing Society will receive around $690,000 for 11 units of non-market affordable housing for families, youth and people with disabilities.

Family Reunification Centre and 24 Nations Lodge 

Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta Holdings Ltd. will receive $6 million for 30 units of family-oriented supportive housing for Indigenous parents and children and 32 “home away from home” studio suites for visiting community members receiving medical care in Edmonton. This development is part of the new transit-oriented redevelopment at Station Pointe. 




 

FAQs

What Is Affordable Housing?

Affordable housing is rental or ownership housing that requires government money to build or operate. Affordable housing has rents or payments below average market cost. It is targeted for long-term occupancy by households that earn less than median income for their household size. 

Most affordable housing is provided in multi-unit residential structures, including apartment units, row housing, triplexes and duplexes. 

In Edmonton, affordable rental housing is operated by the non-profit housing providers Capital Region Housing CorporationhomeEd, GEF Seniors Housing, Homeward Trust, Right at Home Housing Society, Northern Alberta YMCA, Métis Urban Housing Corporation of Alberta Ltd., Brentwood Community Development Group, Jasper Place Wellness Centre, and Vista Housing for Seniors.

Affordable home ownership is offered through Habitat for Humanity.


 

Who Lives In Affordable Housing?

There are Edmontonians of all ages, including low-wage workers, retirees, single-income families, newcomers, and people who need income support, struggling to cover their housing costs.

Nearly 50,000 renter households in Edmonton spend more than 30% of before-tax income on housing costs. Of those, 22,000 households spend more than half. 

When housing costs are this high, it becomes difficult to afford other necessities, like food and clothing, or to save for the unexpected, like illness or job loss. This kind of housing insecurity puts people at risk of homelessness.  

 


 

How Much Do Residents Of Affordable Housing Pay?

There are different types of affordable housing to meet different needs. In near-market developments, residents pay 10-20% below market rent. In social housing, residents pay no more than 30% of their gross income on rental costs. 


 

How Are Residents Selected For Affordable Housing?

Anyone can apply for affordable housing if they are over 18, low-income, and capable of living independently. Applicants must provide proof of income and a written reference, preferably from a previous landlord.  

Why Is The City Trying To Put Affordable Housing Where It Hasn’t Existed Before?

There are many reasons why the City of Edmonton supports building affordable housing in every neighbourhood, regardless of average income. 

  • It allows lower-income households to choose where to live, without being forced to move away from family and friends to other neighbourhoods.

  • Diversity of housing types, including multi-family Affordable Housing, brings new residents to neighbourhoods, increasing the sustainability of schools, businesses, and community organizations.

  • Economic diversity within neighbourhoods increases social mobility and avoids intergenerational poverty. Social mixing increases health outcomes, increases access to networks of influence and employment, and decreases social inequality.

  • Research has shown that living in an economically diverse neighbourhood is associated with higher grades on standardized tests for all children.

  • The availability of suitably-sized, priced, zoned and serviced land is a prerequisite to the provision of Affordable Housing. Opportunities for the development of additional Affordable Housing units should be expected wherever those conditions exist.

How Are Affordable Housing Sites Selected?

The City of Edmonton is a limited funding partner, offering land or grants toward the construction of affordable and permanent supportive housing. Land selected for affordable housing developments must be suitably sized, priced and readily available for rezoning and servicing.

The City prioritizes projects located close to amenities and services for residents, like transit, grocery stores, child care, schools, and community recreation facilities and parks.


 

Myths & Facts

Myth: Affordable Housing Lowers Property Values

Fact: There is no conclusive evidence to suggest non-market housing negatively affects surrounding property values.  

Studies have consistently found that if non-market housing is well-designed, fits in with the surrounding neighbourhood, and is well managed, property values of neighbouring homes are not negatively affected. 

Residential real estate values, both for home assessment and sale value, are primarily driven by local and global economic factors, rather than the introduction of new non-market housing in the community. The same is true of commercial properties. 

 

Myth: Affordable Housing Increases Crime And Social Disorder

Fact: The City studied the impact of non-market housing on the safety of 5 core neighbourhoods and found there was no correlation between crime and non-market housing.

Using data and analytics support from the Edmonton Police Service, the City studied how many police events, including drug-related activity, violence, and property crime, occurred between 2011-2018 around non-market housing addresses in 5 core neighbourhoods. The number of events at these sites were then compared to the number of total events in the neighbourhood where the site was located. 

Non-market properties were responsible for just 4% of the total number of police events for the 5 neighbourhoods, despite making up 12% of the total housing.

The City also examined data pertaining to bylaw complaints, including noise and graffiti, and found that non-market housing properties were responsible for just 1.3 per cent of the total bylaw complaints in their neighbourhoods. 

Myth: Affordable Housing Is An Eyesore And Not Well Maintained

Fact: Affordable housing is developed and maintained by professional non-profit housing operators. 

The City has established design guidelines for new affordable housing developments. It prioritizes projects that demonstrate high quality architecture, environmental sustainability, accessible or adaptable unit design, family-oriented units and/or design principles, and innovative construction standards.

Affordable housing is sometimes confused with problem properties, market housing that is unsafe or not well maintained. If there is a problem property in your neighbourhood, call 311 or report it confidentially online

For More Information

Affordable Housing and Homelessness

Affordable Housing and Homelessness, Social Development Branch
18th Floor, Edmonton Tower
10111 104 Avenue NW
Edmonton AB  T5J 0J4

If you are calling from outside of Edmonton: 780-442-5311

Telephone

311

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