City asking for feedback on housing options
Thursday, Feb 09, 2017 10:28 am
The City of Airdrie is asking residents to provide feedback on housing options and needs in the community. An online survey is available on the city’s website at airdrie.ca until Feb. 28.
“Given our growth rates, we want to test if there’s alignment (in) the marketplace, both in terms of the type of housing inventory that can be rented or purchased, to meet the needs in our community,” said Michelle Lock, director of community services. “In order to really build a strategy, you have to understand what really is the presenting need in the community at this time.”
According to Lock, the study is being conducted to help the city gain an understanding of what currently exists in terms of housing options and to identify any gaps in the types of housing available in the city. The goal is to create a housing strategy to aid in effective planning.
Lock said a steering committee has been established which includes representatives from organizations such as Airdrie Housing Limited (AHL) and the Rocky View Foundation, which deals with seniors and their housing needs.
Other methods of data collection are being undertaken, in addition to the online survey. According to Lock, the city will also conduct a number of key person interviews with organizations, which deal with housing for specific populations, as well as with real estate developers.
“The key person interviews will be with everything from AHL to Community Links to Habitat for Humanity to Alberta Health Services,” she said. “It’s very broad.”
Focus groups will also be conducted with some of the same organizations as well as with homebuilders, real estate professionals and health service providers, according to Lock.
“Very specific, the last focus groups will be with those families who may or may not be having problems finding affordable, attainable or even emergent types of housing,” she said.
“We will cover lone, single parents with children. We’ll be targeting persons with disabilities and just single individuals.”
The city has contracted with Calgary-based Housing Strategies Inc. to conduct the study, which is being funded through a mix of Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) grants and general operating funds.
The total cost of the study is $38,000, with 80 per cent being covered by FCSS funding and the remaining 20 per cent being covered by the city.
Lock said a final report should be complete by mid- to late-April and then presented to city council. The final report will include recommendations for strategies Airdrie can use to meet its housing needs now and in the future.