For many newly minted Albertans it's fairly obvious that the affordability shortage/ridiculously high priced housing market here in Alberta is causing quite the challenge for many residents of Canada's wealthiest nation. But what are folks to do?
Kevin Taft's Alberta Liberals have released a policy paper detailing their plans for an Affordable Housing Strategy. Calgary Currie MLA Dave Taylor, the Official Opposition Critic for Municipal Affairs, announced the Liberals policy paper this week. In brief, the Affordable Housing Strategy recommends:
- changes to provincial regulations concerning secondary (e.g. basement) suites so that they can be quickly used as affordable housing units, while meeting strict provincial health and safety standards;You can also fill out an online survey.
- portable housing allowances and rent supplements for low-income and fixed-income Albertans;
- giving cities and towns the authority to mandate percentages of affordable housing in new developments;
- incentives to developers to build affordable rental units, and to make home ownership possible for more Albertans;
- providing land through provincial donations and land swaps to make it more financially feasible for local groups to build new affordable housing;
- enacting a Reasonable Rent Increase law to protect tenants from rent gouging.
The Alberta NDP have also released a point pamphlet on Affordable Housing and Poverty calling for the creation of a Ministry of Housing. On Affordable Housing, the NDP are advocating that this new Ministry:
* Build 6000 affordable housing unitsSoon-to-be-newly-minted-Premier-designate-of-Alberta Ed Stelmach released a two-paragraph statement on affordable housing for Albertans with Special Needs during the recent Alberta PC leadership campaign. It looks like Albertans will just have to wait and see where Premier-designate Stelmach stands on this issue.
* Pressure the federal government to increase funding
* Commit to helping municipalities meet targets
UPDATE: Stelmach has four more paragraphs on homelessness.