City Council unanimously approved a recommendation for Administration to prioritize zoning and permitting processes for affordable housing and permanent supportive housing options at their regular meeting today, aiming to assist applicants seeking funding from either Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) Rapid Housing Initiative or Government of Alberta’s Affordable Housing Partnership.
The recommendation stems from a request from Council in 2022 for the Housing and Homelessness Integration Committee (HHIC) to actively work to expedite permanent supportive housing development and to explore funding options and recommendations for local government assistance. While this work continues, the HHIC identified the need for interim actions to support time-sensitive community applications for recently announced CMHC and Government of Alberta affordable housing streams. While The City provides timely support with relevant zoning and permitting processes already, permits and applications were completed on a first-come, first-served basis. Direction to prioritize processes specific to permanent supportive and affordable housing ahead of other applications may increase the likelihood of meeting timelines for the CMHC and Government of Alberta funding programs.
“CMHC receives applications from across the country and has identified permitting as a major barrier in many municipalities. This decision confirms The City’s commitment to affordable and supportive housing options for residents and is a positive step towards reaching our goal that safe, accessible, and affordable housing is available to all and everyone is appropriately housed,” said Ryan Veldkamp, Safe & Healthy Communities Supervisor. “Applicants who are seeking funding from either CMHC or Government of Alberta for affordable and supportive housing development are encouraged to reach out to The City for support as needed.”
In addition to prioritizing applications, City Administration supports HHIC’s recommendation in the following ways:
- Providing dedicated staff for application support, and a multi-department team to review applications
- Sharing relevant data for applications and facilitating a lived experience knowledge transfer
- Providing letters of support outlining community need and describing available City supports
These are initial steps towards supporting and prioritizing affordable housing projects, and the HHIC anticipates making additional recommendations to Council in 2023.
Potential applicants are encouraged to email their intent to firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on Housing & Homelessness efforts can be found at: https://www.reddeer.ca/about-red-deer/social-well-being-and-community-initiatives/housing-and-homelessness/.