Land in Banff released by federal government to ease town's affordable housing crunch
A dozen more lots to be eligible for development, with a plan to build multi-unit rental housing
The federal government has released more land to the Town of Banff in order for affordable housing to be built in the accommodation-strapped community.
The land includes six lots on Cave Avenue and six lots on Deer Street that will be leased to the Banff Housing Corporation.
The plan is to develop the lots into affordable multi-unit, rental housing, pending approval from the Banff municipal council.
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"We recognize the long-term sustainability and vitality of the community in Banff National Park is dependent on access to affordable housing," Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, who is also responsible for Parks Canada, said in a statement.
"We hope that the release of these federal lands to the Town of Banff will improve the housing situation for those who live and work in Banff National Park."
Banff Mayor Karen Sorensen said she is "grateful" for the additional developable land, which will mitigate the "deficiency of appropriate housing" in the town.
The town of Banff has been administered by the federal government for more than a century, and was incorporated as an Alberta municipality in 1990.
Still, the town remains a part of Banff National Park, meaning the federal government retains ownership of all land and the municipality is subject to the National Parks Act.