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HomeNewsCouncil supports pair of affordable housing resolutions going to ABMunis

Council supports pair of affordable housing resolutions going to ABMunis

During Monday’s Grande Prairie City Council meeting, council voted in favour of seconding two Alberta Municipalities resolutions put forward by the City of Edmonton and the City of Airdrie focused on affordable housing, rent assistance, and temporary rent assistance benefits.

Airdrie’s resolution is aimed at rent assistance and temporary rent assistance programs. The resolution looks specifically to “establish predictable and long-term rent assistance funding to meet the needs of all low-income Albertans allowing them to access rent support for appropriate housing”, along with increasing the awareness of the programs and simplifying the application process.

Councillor Chris Thiessen, who is the city’s representative with the Grande Spirit Foundation, was one of the first to speak up and support the resolutions. Thiessen says one of the reasons he supported seconding the resolution is because, during this time of inflation, it will help support those who are on fixed incomes in the community.

“These rent subsidies will go a long way in ensuring that our seniors are well provided for, so that they can maintain their shelter, and they can afford a place they like to be in,” Thiessen says. “It is not just seniors though it is also families as well and everyone is sort of feeling the pinch; these rent controls and the rent supplement program goes a long way to ensuring that Albertans, and especially Grande Prairians have a safe place to call home every night.”

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The second resolution put forward by the City of Edmonton looks to see an increase to “capital and operating funds to address growing gaps in supporting affordable housing needs across Alberta,” while also increasing the housing supply in the province, and amending provincial legislation which exempts non-profit affordable housing providers from both municipal and education tax with a clear definition of who is exempt.

“As the cost of living and cost of housing goes up rental and otherwise, as well as to own, there are things we need to do was to step in as different levels of government to make this a possibility for people to keep their homes,” Thiessen says.

“What this will do now is it will send it to the Alberta Municipalities Conference in the fall, which all of the municipalities will have a chance to go over the resolutions and then vote upon it. Once that happens it gets brought up to [Alberta Municipalities] and then they take it and lobby it on all municipalities’ behalf for the resolution that is approved after that meeting.”

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