CALGARY—Affordable housing advocates in Calgary hope a new downtown housing complex will offer a place to land for people falling through the cracks in the city’s housing network.
Construction is set to start next month on a 74-unit building on the west end of downtown. By fall 2020, charitable developer HomeSpace hopes that the empty lot near the CTrain’s red line track on 5 Ave. S.W. will offer affordable rental spaces for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Calgary Centre Liberal MP Kent Hehr announced Tuesday that Ottawa would contribute $9.77 million toward the project as part of the federal government’s National Housing Strategy.
Calgary Homeless Foundation president and CEO Diana Krecsy said she hopes to see the development become a place where people can get access to services they need where they live. Her organization wants to co-ordinate different agencies to provide health services or financial supports for the people who eventually move in.
Krecsy sees the housing as a place for people who don’t necessarily need 24/7 supportive care, but who also don’t have quite enough stability to live somewhere without close access to help.
“They might be cycling through unstable housing over and over again. The support model and the housing just isn’t getting the right mix for them — that group that circulates through, that’s the group we’re targeting here,” she said.
“We saw the gap and now we’re going to build to it.”