As part of the budget discussions this November, Calgary City Council will meet to decide how much money they plan to invest in affordable housing in 2024.
For anyone concerned about Calgary’s housing affordability crisis, it's important to remember there are two paths forward. Read on to find out what those two paths look like.
What kind of investment is necessary to address Calgary’s housing crisis?
To begin with, let’s make sure we have a clear understanding of how much investment is necessary to make a meaningful impact on Calgary’s housing affordability crisis.
In September 2023, amidst a swell of public advocacy from concerned citizens like you, Calgary City Council voted to implement a set of recommendations made by the Housing Affordability Task Force. Those recommendations specify investing $100 million per year in new affordable housing projects.
With more than 80,000 Calgarians in need of affordable housing right now, it’s clear that $100 million dollars per year is the bare minimum investment needed to address Calgary’s housing crisis.
The first path: Adequate investment
Looking down the first path, we see a future where City Councillors live up to their commitment and invest at least $100 million per year in new affordable housing projects.
This path leads to a future where Calgary’s skyrocketing housing prices might actually level off, and the supply of accessible housing in our city might actually move toward meeting the demand. Our city begins to look more affordable, fewer families are at risk of homelessness, and younger generations have a semblance of hope for building a future in Calgary.
It’s worth noting that investing $100 million per year only begins to address Calgary's housing affordability crisis. Supply is way behind demand–each year in Calgary, 2,000 more renters are in need while only 300 new units are built annually.
We need more affordable housing and we need it fast.
The second path: Failure to invest
Looking down the second path, we see a future where City Councillors choose not to invest in the affordable housing projects that Calgary desperately needs. Decades of underinvestment have already put us in a tough spot, and failing to act now will make the situation even worse.
In this world, Calgary’s housing affordability crisis continues to escalate. Our families, friends, and neighbours are priced out of our communities. More and more of us become vulnerable to homelessness, and many of us slip through the cracks and fall into poverty.
If this path is chosen, it will be extremely difficult to backtrack. Calgary is playing catch up at a critical time. If we don’t invest now, we can expect a future that is simply not liveable for many hardworking Calgarians.
Which path do we choose?
We know which path we want to go down, and Calgary City Council knows what they have to do to take us down that path. But it's up to us to show them we won't accept anything less than the investment in affordable housing that they promised.
When Calgary City Council voted to implement the Housing Affordability Task Force recommendations in September, voices of Calgarians like you made all the difference. Now, we need to keep that momentum going and hold our leaders accountable.
Ready to take action to make sure that Calgary City Council invests adequately in affordable housing?