The purpose of the AUMA’s Housing Hub is to serve as a central source of information, resources, and strategies that can assist elected officials and administrators of Alberta’s small and mid-sized municipalities to address issues of housing affordability.
Information is current as of: September 8, 2016
Provincial Affordable Housing Strategy
The Government of Alberta should develop a provincial housing needs assessment process that is more holistic and relevant than the current point scoring system.
Source: 2016 AUMA submission to the Provincial Consultation on an Affordable Housing Strategy
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Government of Canada
The Government of Canada invests in affordable housing through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH) program. In most cases, federal funding is delivered indirectly through each province/territory based on a cost-matching agreement. The approach allows each province/territory the flexibility to design and deliver affordable housing programs that respond to local needs.
It is important to measure the performance of non-market housing projects or a municipality’s overall housing strategy to understand if past initiatives are meeting the intended targets and what improvements need to be made. The following offers suggestions for how to measure the performance of local initiatives.
Change can be a challenge for many people. When change is proposed in a neighbourhood or community, residents can be skeptical of, or even hostile towards, a new development. This phenomenon is often referred to as NIMBY, which is short for “not in my backyard”. The NIMBY phenomenon can be common for non-market housing developments due to some societal beliefs that non-market housing will have a negative effect on the character, socioeconomic status or quality of life in a neighbourhood.
Strategies to support the affordability of housing will generally fall into one of two categories. A municipality can build a regulatory environment that supports the long-term development of a diverse supply of housing types and/or it can invest financial resources to create incentives and partnerships that will lead to the development of dedicated non-market housing.
Know your target audience
One of the first steps a municipality can take is to understand its community in terms of the demographics that are in core housing need. It could be any number of groups such as youth, seniors, single parents, refugees, immigrants, or households with physical or mental disabilities that are struggling to maintain stable permanent housing. Knowing this information is important, as a municipality’s approach to housing support will be different depending on the target audience.
There are a variety of approaches that a municipality can take to address issues of housing affordability. Some municipalities may choose to invest their resources by advocating for support from the provincial and federal governments, others may focus their efforts on their local development policies, others may offer financial incentives to developers, or others may choose to build and operate their own housing facilities.