Some of the Asooahum Crossing units on Riverside Drive in Red Deer are empty. Photo via Facebook.

Council turns down rent subsidies

Request for $50,000 to help fill 12 empty suites in Asooahum Crossing affordable living complex

Red Deer city council reluctantly turned down a $50,000 rent subsidy request to help tenants in Asooahum Crossing affordable housing complex.

Twelve of 16 units in the sober-living facility operated by Red Deer Native Friendship Society remain empty because of the difficulty in finding qualified tenants. Red Deer Housing Authority joined forces with the society to ask council for $50,000 as a one-time grant to help subsidize rents for new tenants.

Related:

Subsidy sought

First tenants

Many councillors expressed their support for Assooahum Crossing on Tuesday but were concerned what would happen in a year if other funding support did not come through. The city has not previously provided this sort of financial support, which is a provincial and federal government responsibility.

Coun. Vesna Higham was concerned what would happen if a family that found a space with the city’s subsidy and then did not qualify for ongoing financial help through other programs and had to leave.

Mayor Tara Veer said she has spoken about the problem with Red Deer MLA Kim Schreiner, who is looking into what can be done at the provincial level.

There are provincial programs that are geared towards providing the sort of financial help needed in this situation.

Veer said there are other groups in the city which would also benefit from city rent subsidies but offering that support is beyond the city’s “operational capacity.”

The mayor was also concerned about the impact if the city had to turn down a request to extend the one-year subsidy.

Coun. Lawrence Lee said the city was being asked to fill a service gap left by another level of government. If the city steps in this year, there will be expectation that the support continues.

City manager Craig Curtis also cautioned council about the likelihood that further funding help would be requested after a year.

“It becomes institutionalized,” he said.

Coun.Vesna Higham said she was turning down the request with a “lot of reluctance and reticence” and hoped that the province was paying attention.

“For me, this is a critical piece of advocacy. I hope the province is listening right now.”

Only Coun. Ken Johnston voted in favour of the subsidy. Since it was the first request, he said he was willing to try it for a year.



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Maskwacis RCMP seeking suspect in fatal hit and run

A Maskwacis man was fatally injured after being hit early Saturday morning on Hwy 611

Red Deer to get new a plan to end homelessness as the problem persists

Despite some successes there’s ‘a long way to go,’ says manager

Many Red Deer-area farmers deal with a disastrous year

Dought in the spring, snow at harvest creates bad yields, sends hay prices soaring

Photos: Part of downtown Red Deer covered in trash over the weekend

Downtown businesses deal with trash, needle debris, graffiti

Delburne man’s reckless driving led to fatal crash: Crown prosecutor

Jury began deliberating in manslaughter trial on Monday afternoon

Speaker at rally says Alberta oil ‘puts tofu on the table in Toronto!’

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — A rally in support of Alberta’s oil industry… Continue reading

Moneywise: Canadian workers unhappy with pay, want pension plans

Many working Canadians are feeling underpaid and are so worried about their… Continue reading

Brazil police say faith healer has turned himself in

RIO DE JANEIRO — A celebrity faith healer accused of sexually abusing… Continue reading

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

VANCOUVER — Nicola Froese says she has always loved playing sports, but… Continue reading

Canada’s Kim McRae finishes seventh at luge World Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y.

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Canada’s Kim McRae finished in seventh place at… Continue reading

Jeff Bridges to receive Cecil B. DeMille Award at Globes

LOS ANGELES — Jeff Bridges may have once been considered as one… Continue reading

Top of mind: ‘Justice’ is Merriam-Webster’s word of the year

NEW YORK — Racial justice. Obstruction of justice. Social justice. The Justice… Continue reading

Man who demolished landmark house ordered to build replica

SAN FRANCISCO — A man who illegally demolished a San Francisco house… Continue reading

Giuliani: ‘Over my dead body’ will Mueller interview Trump

WASHINGTON — With a number of probes moving closer to the Oval… Continue reading

Most Read