$2 million announced for senior and affordable housing in Calgary with more expected

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The chair of the Calgary Housing Company is cheering new provincial money that will help plan new affordable and senior housing units, but his eyes are squarely focused on what could be in the provincial and federal budgets. 

The province announced $5.7 million on Wednesday to help with planning for 14 projects across Alberta, five of which are in Calgary and will receive $2.15 million.

"We are expecting more, both in the provincial budget, but I think even more so in the federal budget next week," said Ward 11 councillor and CHC chair Brian Pincott. 

"This is certainly something I've been working on for quite a while in my lobbying work in Ottawa with the federal government, to get that significant commitment in their infrastructure dollars for affordable housing."

The provincial budget will be announced on Thursday afternoon.

Planning and redevelopment

Pincott said the money announced on Wednesday is great news, allowing CHC as well as other affordable and senior housing providers to prepare for much needed projects. 

"Not only Calgary Housing, but I think a lot of the housing providers are looking at opportunities with stock as it ages and gets older, at how we can redevelop sites and make them considerably better," he said. 

Last year, $18 million flowed into the city from the provincial and federal governments to help refurbish older social housing complexes. 

Housing crisis

Pincott said the housing situation in Calgary has been in crisis for some time, with close to 4,000 people on the city-owned company's waitlist. 

"So, we need new buildings, we need to expand what we're doing, we need to make sure that we're getting the supports for people in place," he said. 

"We've been ready. Calgary Housing Company, I think probably all the housing providers, have been ready. We are ready for the planning money, we are ready for the construction money. We need the other orders of government to be ready with us."

The money is part of the provincial government's $1.2 billion Alberta Jobs Plan, which the government said will help renew or build more than 6,000 affordable housing units over the next five years.

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