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Council conditionally approves funding for housing projects

The City of Lethbridge continues to make efforts in supporting housing project proposals to leverage the funding opportunities from other orders of government.

At Tuesday’s Lethbridge City Council meeting, Council members voted in favour of conditionally supporting two capital funding requests for affordable and social housing projects:

  • $560,000 to Streets Alive Mission for a recovery-focused supportive housing project located at 925, 15 Street South
  • $1,295,000 to Concept Investment Partners Ltd. for an affordable housing project located at 1730, 10 Avenue South (the former Seasons Lethbridge Retirement Community building)

The funds being requested are intended to support capital development of the proposed projects. No operational funding is being requested from the City of Lethbridge. Presently, the City of Lethbridge has $5.9 million of funding available to support social and affordable housing projects.

Both City funding approvals are conditional to the securement of at least the same amount in Provincial or Federal funding (to match the proposed Municipal amounts), the securement of the balance of project funding on or before December 31, 2024, and the successful acquisition of development permits.

“Everybody knows we are in a housing crisis right across Canada. We need all types of housing and this may provide, between the two projects, more than 80 housing units in Lethbridge,” says City Councillor Belinda Crowson. “Certainly, there are more steps going on and more public engagement that can happen but we know housing is needed and we want to get it as soon as possible. With the crisis, we are trying to move quickly. We are also trying to be effective listeners to the community and find that appropriate balance. I hope to see a lot more housing projects in front of us.”

Upon announcement in July of the provincial Affordable Housing Partnership Program (AHPP) funding application deadline, the City’s Community Social Development (CSD) team reached out to 17 local partners to determine which groups were positioned to apply and how the City could support application.

“We are very excited to be able to support opportunities as they present themselves, especially those that allow us to leverage municipal money with other orders of government,” says Matthew Pitcher, the City’s Housing Solutions Coordinator. “We are putting in the time and effort to make these projects a reality. The housing crisis is happening at a national level; it’s not just Lethbridge that is experiencing this. So, we want to put our best foot forward so when we do face these competition-style opportunities, we are as well positioned as we can be to receive the housing we need.”

The proposed Streets Alive project would include:

  • Purchase of the property, the rezoning/permit process and fees and the renovation/retrofit
  • Following project completion, the facility would include a total of eight two-bedroom units on the second floor, and 16 one-bedroom units in a communal living setting on the main floor, for a total of 32 program spaces
  • All program spaces would be considered as affordable by the City’s definition (30 per cent or less of a household's pre-tax income) based on the most recently released Income Thresholds
  • The proposed project is intended to be supportive housing, so a separate rezoning process with engagement requirements and public hearing would be required
  • Further background on this project proposal is available here and here

The proposed Concept Investment Partners Ltd. project would include:

  • The completed purchase of the property and the renovation/retrofit to include a total of 50 units
  • 37 of the units would be considered as affordable by the City’s definition
  • Further background on this project proposal is available here and here.

The City’s Affordable and Social Housing Capital Grant (CC49) is closed until a comprehensive review has been completed. However, with an opportunity to leverage the provincial AHPP, these funding requests were proposed to support project viability. The AHPP has an application deadline of October 16, 2023.

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