Wildwood residents fight affordable housing proposal

A group of people in the southwest neighbourhood of Wildwood is fighting a proposed affordable housing project.

Residents say they are worried about increased traffic in older community

Residents of Wildwood are opposed to building an affordable housing project on this lot at Bow Trail and 38th Street S.W. (Google Street View)

A group of people in the southwest neighbourhood of Wildwood is fighting a proposed affordable housing project.

The city is proposing to build a three-storey, 48-unit building at the corner of 38th Street S.W. and Bow Trail.

The site currently houses a liquor store and empty lot and residents opposed to the proposal say it would bring increased traffic into the older community.

"It's not that we are against affordable housing," said Jim Henderson, who works with the Wildwood Citizens' Coalition.

"If you were to take a look at the Wildwood community development charter, it's trying to keep Wildwood as a single-dwelling community, which is what it has been since it was first populated in the '50s."

Henderson says the building, which would house about 140 people, is too big and that residents are circulating a petition against the proposal to give to the city.

Ward 8 Coun. Evan Woolley says it's still early in the process and there's still lots of consultation to do.

Andrea Radson with the Homeless Foundation says the best way to win over a community is to invite them into the process.

According to a recent poll the foundation commissioned, she says attitudes are changing in Calgary.

"[They are] becoming more supportive of projects in their neighbourhoods," said Radson. "I know there are one offs where people don't like specific ones, but our experience — and the data shows — Calgarians are becoming more positive."

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