Here's what the latest budget means for affordable housing and other important issues for Calgarians
On Nov. 22nd, Calgary City Council approved adjustments to next year’s budget and committed to investing $171 million in affordable housing for 2024.
It’s an important step in the right direction, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the time and effort of many community-driven Calgarians who spoke up for our communities. But there’s still a lot to do to ensure that Calgary is an affordable and accessible city for everyone – read on to learn more!
How much did City Council need to invest to start fixing Calgary’s housing crisis?
In response to the advocacy and efforts of Calgarians like you, City Council budgeted $144.5 million for Affordable Housing projects in 2024.
While $144 million is awesome for 2024, Council only committed $27 million towards ongoing funding for affordable housing projects. On the one hand, it means that Council’s total investment for 2024 is $171 million, but it also means that the City’s investment in affordable housing could dwindle very quickly after 2024.
What does this mean for affordable housing in Calgary?
By adjusting the budget to reflect more than a $100 million investment in affordable housing projects in 2024, City Councillors followed through and even went beyond their commitment to the Housing Affordability Task Force’s recommendations.
Not only that, the City of Calgary received an additional $228 million from the Federal Government’s Housing Accelerator Fund. Combined with the investment the City is making with their adjusted budget, this funding might actually enable the City of Calgary to increase our supply of accessible housing towards meeting the demand. But that’s only a short term game plan!
Is the latest budget adjustment enough?
Each year in Calgary, 2,000 more renters are in need of affordable housing. The current funding for affordable housing projects only begins to address Calgary's housing affordability crisis. It would be all too easy for this initial investment to simply slow Calgary’s affordability crisis without setting our communities up for success in the long term.
Clearly, there is more work to be done. But the good news is that we can make an impact on the housing affordability crisis when we all take action together. Over the past year, we sent hundreds of emails, made dozens of calls, shared powerful stories and made compelling presentations to City Council — and the result is more than $290 million going straight towards fixing Calgary’s housing crisis. That’s worth celebrating!
What about other important investments for our City?
The newly adjusted City Budget also commits $6 million in annual ongoing funding towards the City’s Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, $3.4 million in annual ongoing funding for the Calgary Fire Department’s improvements to emergency response, and sizeable investments in public transportation too.
With the latest budget adjustments for 2024, Calgary City Council have taken important first steps towards fixing the housing affordability crisis.
But it's still up to us to make sure that City Council follows through on their commitments to invest in affordable housing. It was us who emailed, called, and spoke up to ensure these investments in affordable housing were possible.
As we wrap up another great year of advocacy, let’s celebrate what we’ve accomplished together and look forward to more opportunities to make our city better for everyone in 2024!