A $100,000 batch of funding approved by Sexsmith council will allow the Grande Spirit Foundation to add eight new affordable and social housing units in the municipality.
Mayor Kate Potter says the decision follows months of conversations between the municipality and non-profit organization, with both sides pushing for a solution to help as many people as possible. She adds, the decision to split up the units between social and affordable housing is brand new in the region.
“We had a conversation about social and affordable housing, and we said it was a critical part of our community that everyone feels welcome in our community, and economic status should not determine that,” she says.
“We will do six social housing, and two affording housing units for that, and that’s new for the province.”
Potter says they’re still waiting on provincial financial support to add more units to the plan, however, she believes that the willingness shown to try out a new plan is one they hope will draw the attention of the provincial government.
She says the fourplexes are already existing, so the costs are far less than they would be if they had to source land, and a construction contract. Potter adds it will hopefully also add to a seamless transition for new tenants.
“We have some fourplex units there, so it actually works out really well for Grande Spirit because when they come to do things like maintenance, it’s all right in the same location,” she says.
“It’s right in the heart in residential areas, which was also important if we have social housing, [we want them] to feel like part of the community.”
No timeline as to when the units will be handed over to the Grande Spirit Foundation has been determined.