Our editorial was admittedly quite critical last week of the recent provincial budget, and the lack of attention the UCP's fiscal update paid to the needs and wants of Airdrie, particularly in the realm of public education and health care.
While those criticisms remain warranted in our opinion, we do want to applaud the province for including two affordable housing projects in Airdrie on a list of 17 around Alberta that will receive government support.
Around the same time last week's newspaper landed on Airdronians' door steps, we learned the Alberta government was dishing out $54 million to 17 affordable housing initiatives around the province. The funding comes from the Alberta Affordable Housing Partnership Program, and will support the creation of 600 new affordable housing units.
Locally, the Rocky View Foundation's Abrio Centre and Airdrie Housing Ltd.'s project at the former hotel on East Lake Boulevard will both benefit from the program, with the Rocky View Foundation receiving $4 million and Airdrie Housing Ltd. receiving $1.4 million.
It's great news for two facilities that are both sorely needed in Airdrie. As we've reported on previously, there is a severe shortage of below-market housing options in Airdrie, which is pushing many people in vulnerable situations outside of the community.
Given inflation and overall cost-of-living increases, it's fair to speculate the lack of affordable housing in Airdrie will continue to be a worsening issue in the years to come.
While the completion of the Rocky View Foundation's and Airdrie Housing Ltd.'s facilities won't solve Airdrie's affordable housing problems overnight, the addition of dozens of units will add considerably to the city's existing below-market housing stock, which is important. And they will hopefully pave the path for future affordable housing projects, as the city's population continues to increase.
Kudos to the province for recognizing the need for these funds in Airdrie, and kudos to the Rocky View Foundation and Airdrie Housing Ltd. for continuing to bang the drum on the city's affordable housing issue.