Program boosts affordable housing units

Affordable housing projects in Central Alberta will receive $5.6 million out of a total grant package worth more than $90 million.

Affordable housing projects in Central Alberta will receive $5.6 million out of a total grant package worth more than $90 million.

In Calgary on Friday, Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Jonathan Denis announced that 27 projects in 13 different municipalities have been approved, including four in the Central Alberta region.

Along with those four projects is a total grant of $11.4 million to be shared by Habitat For Humanity projects throughout the province.

Grants for specific projects within the Central Alberta Region include the following:

• Hafso Investment Ltd. of Red Deer will get $1.349 million toward the $2.075 million projected cost of building Acadia House, a multi-family complex including 23 low-cost rental units.

• An unnamed numbered company in Innisfail will receive $937,872 toward the $1.442 million total cost of building a multi-family complex with low-cost suites for 16 families.

• Studios Alberta Ltd. will receive $1.639 million of the total $2.522 million needed to build a multi-family project in Three Hills that will provide 18 low-cost suites.

• The same numbered company named in the Innisfail grant will also receive $1.74 million toward the projected cost of $2.677 million to build the Innisfail Affordable Housing project, which will provide 16 low-cost units in a multi-family building.

Province-wide, the program will provide 1,080 new affordable housing units, said Denis.

There are safeguards in place to ensure that these projects do not repeat Red Deer’s Monarch Place boondoggle of 2007, when tenants of an housing project that had received city funding were kicked out after their building was sold to a private investor.

There will be agreements in place for each project to ensure that suites funding for low-cost rental will be used for the purpose for which they are being funded, said Dan Laville, communications director for Housing and Urban Affairs.

If the builders wish to sell their projects later on, they would have to repay the grants at a pro-rated value or the buyer would have to enter an agreement with the province to retain those suites that were funded, said Laville.

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com

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