The Importance of Affordable Housing
Housing provides stability, both economically and socially, and is integral to human well-being. Affordable, safe and suitable housing for individuals and families is integral to supporting the lives of all Edmontonians.
Edmonton has one of the fastest growing economies in Canada. It is largely dependent on the broader Alberta economy, and is subject to cycles of growth and prosperity.
Edmonton is also home to many newcomers, attracted to the city from other parts of the province, the country and the world. Language and culture can be barriers to gainful employment and to finding safe, suitable and affordable housing.
For many Edmontonians, our prosperous economy has meant greater job prospects and higher wages. For others, it has resulted in an increasing inability to find affordable housing due to higher rents and lower vacancy rates.
The City of Edmonton has a strong history of supporting affordable housing provision and development.
1960 - The City of Edmonton supports the establishment of the Greater Edmonton Foundation, an organization which operates subsidized senior citizen lodges throughout Edmonton.
1969-1974 - The City of Edmonton develops over 1,000 units of family housing through the Edmonton Community Housing Organization.
1977 - The City of Edmonton Non-Profit Housing Corporation (HomeEd) was created to provide affordable rental units throughout the City, including accessible units for those with mobility challenges.
2003 - The Edmonton Task Force on Affordable Housing was established to undertake an analysis of affordable housing need in Edmonton and to develop a strategy to respond to the limited supply of affordable housing.
2006-2010 - The City of Edmonton was given a mandate to collaborate with governments, the private sector and the community to provide an additional 2,500 units of long-term housing between 2006-2010. To date, the Cornerstones program has planned funding commitments which will help create over 3,000 housing units.
2007 - The City of Edmonton presented a number of recommendations to the Premier's Task Force on Affordable Housing.
Edmonton and Area Community Plan on Housing and Supports 2011-2015. This is the third community plan to be developed over the past decade. However, it is the first plan to address housing and support needs in the broader Edmonton area, which includes not only the City of Edmonton, but also the other municipalities in the region.
A Place to Call Home: Edmonton's 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness (2009). Focusing on the Housing First principle, this document outlines five goals with targets and strategies to work towards ending homelessness in Edmonton.
Key Connections: Affordable Housing and Land Use Planning (2006). This document examines the relationship between affordable housing and land use planning and suggests projects to maintain and increase the amount of affordable housing through the creative and effective use of land use planning measures.
Building Together: The City of Edmonton Low-income and Special Needs Housing Strategy 2001-2011. This document outlined principles and strategy statements for the further formation of detailed strategies and actions over the following 10 years.
Improving Opportunities for Affordable Housing in Edmonton: Background Report of the Edmonton Task Force on Affordable Housing (2003). This document summarizes the findings and recommendations of the City of Edmonton Task Force on Affordable Housing in order to stimulate the market and non-profit sectors to build modest rental units.