This week St. Albert city council threw its support behind a housing project that would bring 196 affordable housing units for seniors to the area.
Homeland Housing, which formed when Sturgeon and Westlock foundations merged earlier this year, is proposing a $61.9-million project with 80 per cent of the funding wanted from the province.
More affordable housing is long overdue. There is already a three-year waiting list for seniors to get into affordable units in our area.
Councillor Wes Brodhead, who sits on the Homeland Housing board, said the need is high in the area, but even more acute in St. Albert.
A rapidly aging population in Alberta, a pattern across the country, means the need will grow more urgent as time goes on.
The 2016 census data showed for the first time the number of seniors outnumbers the number of children in Canada. This is not a total surprise. In 2008 an Alberta Demographic Planning Commission Report projected the senior population would more than double by 2031 with an estimated one in five people being over 65. While not every senior citizen will require affordable housing, the numbers are expected to increase. St. Albert now has 10,065 residents who are 65 and older, accounting for 15.3 per cent of the city’s population.
St. Albert Gazette August 24, 2017
City supports bid for seniors housing
City council has thrown its support behind a housing project that would bring 196 affordable care spaces for seniors to St. Albert.
The project, which is being developed by Homeland Housing, comes with a $61.9-million price tag, 80 per cent of which would need to be funded by the province. That includes $6.5 million for six acres of land required for the project.
Homeland Housing was formed earlier this year when Sturgeon and Westlock seniors foundations merged. The foundation jointly manages more than 700 units of seniors housing in St. Albert, Sturgeon and Westlock county areas.
Coun. Wes Brodhead sits on Homeland Housing’s board on behalf of the City of St. Albert and was responsible for bringing the motion forward on Aug. 21.
He said seniors in St. Albert currently wait up to three years before they can get into an affordable housing unit.
“There is a need within the region served by Homeland Housing, and quite honestly the need is acute in St. Albert,” Brodhead said.
St. Albert Gazette July 15, 2017
Municipal Governance Decisions Define our Life Experience
“To me the municipal governance decision is the one that most closely affects the lives of our community members,” Brodhead said. “It is the decisions that are made at a municipal level that truly define what the life experience of the residents is going to be about.”
Brodhead brings a passion for public transit from his former job with the City of Edmonton. He said he wants to ensure that people in the region who do not have their own reliable form of transportation are still able to attend appointments and engage with the community through public transportation.
“I have a real heart for providing services to those who don’t have transportation links themselves to services that they require,” Brodhead said.
The father of two also has a focus on economic development, regional collaboration and affordable housing. He wants to see a variety of housing types being built within the city.