The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says some people making good salaries are living in subsidized housing in Calgary.


CTF Alberta director Derek Fildebrandt says his organization has discovered that many tenants of affordable housing units in Calgary are far from poor. (CBC)

The lobby group released results of its investigation using Freedom of Information inquiries of the Calgary Housing Company (CHC).         

There are 18 tenants living in subsidized housing who make from $120,000 to $172,000 per year, according to the federation.

Another 123 people who make more than $80,000 are also renting subsidized homes, the group said.

"People with enough money to support themselves shouldn’t be the beneficiaries of taxpayer subsidized housing," said CTF Alberta director Derek Fildebrandt.

"Taxpayers pay good money to help house the poor and this money is clearly going to people who don’t need or deserve it."

CHC officials said there are a number of reasons that medium to high income earners are living in its units, according to CTF.

Not all tenants subsidized, says housing chair

Ald. Gael Macleod, who chairs CHC, says one-third of their clients are paying market rates — so most higher-income tenants are not subsidized.

She says the profit from those is used to help low-income Calgarians with subsidized rents.

The Landlord and Tenancy Act also prevents CHC from kicking these tenants out if their income increases.

"If the CHC isn’t just passing the buck then it’s time for the provincial government to do the right thing, change the necessary legislation, and kick these people out," said Fildebrandt.

The provincial government guidelines regarding income thresholds also needs to be updated, he said.

The federation also filed information requests about subsidized housing in Red Deer, Edmonton and Lethbridge.

Edmonton’s Capital Housing Corporation has blocked those requests so far by demanding exorbitant search fees, the CTF said.