Government funding to help upgrade affordable housing units in Red Deer

By Josh Hall (Twitter: @Vancan19)
March 3, 2017 - 3:31pm

Eleven affordable housing properties in Red Deer are set to receive a slew of safety upgrades with the help of government grant funding.

Alberta Seniors and Housing Minister Lori Sigurdson was in Highland Green on Friday to make the announcement, which will see $800,000 divvied up between buildings operated by Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter, Parkland Community Living and Supports Society, Piper Creek Foundation and Red Deer Housing Authority.

Renovations will include furnace upgrades, hot water tank replacements and new windows, with $500,000 coming from the Province, and the rest being contributed by the federal government.

“In a tough economy, everyday Albertans deserve a government that makes life better. That’s why our government is investing in upgrades for affordable housing in Red Deer that are much needed,” Sigurdson said at the home on Hepworth Close.

“For seniors, it means aging in a community close to family and friends, and for others, it’s making sure you have a safe and affordable place to call home.”

Sigurdson admitted there are other properties in Red Deer in need of similar repairs, but at this time didn’t rank high enough on the priority list.

“Unfortunately our government did inherit a billion dollars in repairs needing to be done, so that means there’s a lot of need in the community. This is certainly a really good step forward,” she said. “I know there’s more to be done and certainly we work with the housing management bodies to ensure that they are done.”

Elena Salikhov, Affordable Housing Consultant with the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, said housing is vital when it comes to building an inclusive society where all Canadians have an opportunity to succeed.

“That’s why CMHC is working on a national housing strategy, its first in 40 years,” she said.

“Last year we completed an extensive consultation process in which we reached out to Canadians, housing experts and stakeholders, Indigenous communities, municipal leaders and others to learn how we can achieve better housing outcomes for all Canadians.”

Salikhov added the CMHC’s national housing strategy will be released later this year.

Scott McKee, past board chair with the Red Deer Housing Authority, says the funding will help his organization realize improvements to 24 separate units.

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