Shovel Ready

Affordable housing for 5000 Edmonton families
in the next 5 years

The Edmonton Non-Profit Housing Provider Working Group has a plan in place to build 5000 new units of affordable housing in the next five years. The City of Edmonton has committed major funding. With the support of Canada and Alberta, we’re ready to put shovels in the ground right now.

The Need

Nearly 50,000 Edmonton households are still in core housing need, including families with children.

  • A household is in core housing need when it takes more than 30% of its income to maintain adequate housing.
  • Of the 48,550 families in Edmonton currently in core housing need, 22,350 spend more than half their income on shelter.
  • On any given night, 1,800 Edmontonians experience homelessness. More than 1000 of these people are chronically homeless.

To address all current housing needs in Edmonton, we would need:

  • 916 Permanent Supportive Housing units for people with complex needs.
  • 25, 484 Social/Community Housing units, deeply subsidized for citizens with low income.
  • 21,550 Near-Market Affordable Housing units.
  • Our plan will provide 5000 of these units in the next five years.
For more information, please visit:
Our Proposal

To help fill this need, Edmonton’s non-profit housing providers and the City of Edmonton plan to build 5,000 new units of affordable housing in the next five years. Edmonton City Council has committed $140 million to this initiative, but we need $1.127 billion in provincial and federal investment to make it happen.

What we'll build
180 Secondary Suites
233 Seniors Houses and Apartments
3,667 Houses and Apartments
920 Permanent Supporting Housing Units

Here in Edmonton, we are ready, willing and able to build 5000 new affordable housing units in the next five years.

Why it Fits

Our plan contributes to the fulfillment of federal and provincial affordable housing commitments.

For Canada:

  • 5000 units toward the target of constructing 100,000 new units in the next 10 years (as per Canada’s National Housing Strategy)
  • Will include housing for the chronically homeless, contributing to the desired 50% nationwide reduction in chronic homelessness (as per Canada’s National Housing Strategy)
  • An opportunity to meaningfully invest in a municipality, collaborate with other orders of government, and empower a community to address housing needs (as per Canada’s National Housing Strategy)
  • Supports the municipal construction of new affordable housing units (as per Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Mandate Letter)

For Alberta:

  • An opportunity to fulfil the government’s promise to invest $1.2 billion in affordable housing.
  • Progress toward Alberta’s promise to provide 4100 new or renewed affordable housing units in the next three years

Affordable Housing Saves Money

Building affordable housing requires investment but maintaining the status quo costs more. Leaving just one person to fend for themselves on the streets can cost taxpayers up to $100,000 a year in emergency room expenses, law enforcement, and other preventable costs. On top of the cost to taxpayers, the strain on our healthcare and justice systems caused by unmet housing need makes it harder for those systems to work as they should.

Providing affordable housing is not only the most appropriate and effective way to address housing need – it’s also the most cost effective.  An affordable home for one person only costs between $5,000 – $8,000 annually (Gaetz, 2012) and helps to reduce their reliance on emergency services and other public institutions.    

Affordable Housing Boosts the Economy

Supporting affordable housing developments isn’t a handout – it’s an investment. According to the Government of Alberta’s economic multiplier analysis, every $1 invested in building affordable housing creates $1.74 in total economic output.

Edmonton’s plan to create 5,000 new affordable housing units will create 6,400 jobs, put $412 million into the pockets of working Albertans and contribute nearly $2 billion to Alberta’s GDP in the next five years.

The Relative Costs of Homelessness (annually)

Institutional responses (e.g. hospitalization) $66,000-$120,000
One emergency shelter bed $13,000-$42,000
Transitional housing unit $13,000-$18,000

Building Affordable Housing is the Right Thing to do​

In a country as prosperous as Canada, no one should be left without adequate housing. Regardless of income, everyone deserves a safe place to call home.

We believe that people looking after one another is the mark of a strong community. We believe everyone has a right to safety, dignity and stability. We see those same values reflected in our provincial and national housing strategies, and look forward to working with the provincial and federal governments to make housing attainable for all Edmontonians.  

About the Edmonton Non-Profit Housing Provider Working Group

We are leading providers of non-profit housing in Edmonton – and we’ve learned we’re most effective when we all work together. We formed our working group to tackle Edmonton’s urgent need for affordable housing and improve housing services for people and families in Edmonton who need them.

Our group is comprised of primary players in affordable housing provision in Edmonton. We have been collaborating and working hard together for many years to get to this position – and we are ready to go. We aren’t talking about years of planning and consultation – we’re talking about 5000 new affordable housing units in the next five years. With the support of Alberta and Canada, we will make this happen.

Contact Us

We need your support to address the housing crisis in Edmonton.

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