More affordable housing will soon be available in Edmonton.

The Alberta government announced Monday it is spending $6.4 million to build 62 affordable rental units in the city. The province said an estimated 160 tenants will be housed in the units that will be rented at below market rates.

Housing Minister Jonathan Denis said it makes sense to build affordable housing now.

"We can stretch taxpayers' dollars further by actually constructing and engaging in these affordable housing projects now for when the boom hits, whenever it does," Denis told CBC News.

"When the boom does hit, we won't have the time. And this is part of our government's plan."

Three community partners - Capital Region Housing Corporation, Five Oaks Inc., and Native Counselling Services of Alberta - will share the funding, Denis said.

The City of Edmonton is also contributing $240,000 toward the Five Oaks Inc. development.

 "I would like to commend the provincial government for their commitment to tackling the issue of affordable housing," Mayor Stephen Mandel said in a statement Monday.

 "This funding will make a tremendous difference in our citizens' lives and in our communities. I look forward to continuing to work together with the province and partners to make sure that all Edmontonians have a safe and affordable place to live."

It's expected the units will be ready for occupancy by 2012.