I am committed to pursuing the expansion of affordable housing stock within St. Albert.
The need for affordable housing in our community is acute.
Seniors wishing to downsize from their current home to a smaller, more manageable residence, or affordable “senior lodge” or assisted living facility, face a bleak housing environment in St. Albert. The need to advocate for more seniors affordable housing has never been more urgent.
At present, seniors represent 15.3% of St. Albert’s population. The waiting period to enter affordable seniors housing in our city can be up to three years. Unless we make a concerted effort to implement strategic plans to build affordable accommodations for our aging population, St. Albert will face increased shortages in affordable seniors’ accommodation and care facilities in the near future.
Emerging Family Units:
Housing costs continue to escalate. Young people ready to “leave home” and young families seeking to purchase their first family dwelling require affordable housing options. Despite the recent developments, St. Albert’s apartment and affordable condominium options are limited.
Why is this so? Until recently, lot mix ratios, lot sizes, engineering standards and land servicing costs have led to the current poverty of entry-level or affordable homes. Even pre-owned homes are more expensive in St. Albert than in nearby communities, due to land values.
Some new and innovative housing is starting to emerge in our community. However, much more work needs to be done.
So how is this need addressed?
- Work with Sturgeon County to address a boundary adjustment to keep off-site levies competitive within the region.
- Provide utility infrastructure to allow for a larger serviced land inventory to ease the pressure on land supply.
- Allow for innovative housing styles to be constructed in St. Albert.
- Stipulate through the Area Structure Plan process a certain percentage of “affordable housing.”
- Allow a measured introduction of “lane product” homes in St. Albert.
- Advocate with the other orders of government to support seniors and community affordable housing projects in St. Albert.
- Introduce a second round of the “basement suite” grant program.
These seven strategies must be examined and pursued if we are to provide housing options that meet the needs of many of our residents.
I believe that with care and planning, we can introduce housing changes within our community that will preserve and maintain the desired “look and feel,” and the quality of life within St. Albert that we all know and love.