'This offers hope': Affordable housing complex breaks ground in Banff
A new affordable apartment complex in Banff will do a lot to alleviate the community's housing crunch, officials say.
Municipal and provincial politicians broke ground Thursday for the $24-million Deer Lane project, which will add 131 rental units in a town with a zero-per cent vacancy rate.
"So, this offers hope, it offers optimism," said Connie MacDonald, head of the Banff YWCA, which has an affordable housing program with a wait list of 35 to 75 people at any given time.
"And not only for the people that are moving into this kind of building, but also just from an employer perspective being able to hire people and recruit people to come, who will actually stay because they can afford to make their lives here."
The province and the Town of Banff will each put $12 million toward the Deer Lane complex, which is expected to be finished late next year.
Parks Canada is providing the land at below-market value.
Ericson Dizon with the Filipino-Canadian Association of Bow Valley is also applauding the development. He says for those working in the hospitality industry, affordable rental units are badly needed.
"This gives us an opportunity to stay here and live our life and make Banff our home," he said.
"I think this is good for everyone. This is a win-win situation for everyone, for the businesses and for us — those who are working in the hospitality business."
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