New affordable housing in Bowness ends homelessness for 30 Calgarians

About 30 Calgarians who’ve struggled with homelessness will soon start moving into a new affordable housing project in the city’s northwest this summer.

The Clayton on Bowness Road 'will provide a stable place of belonging'

There are 30 single-room units with three that are accessible for people with reduced mobility. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

About 30 Calgarians who've struggled with homelessness will soon start moving into a new affordable housing project in the city's northwest this summer.

Federal and provincial officials teamed up on Thursday to announce the completion of the Clayton, a $5.7-million new facility located on the 7000 block of Bowness Road.

Phil Burke was homeless for 25 years. He had a look at the new space and liked what he saw.

"They are not just experimenting. This is the result of studies, a culmination of years of what works and what doesn't work," he told CBC News.

Phil Burke used to be homeless. He liked the look of the Clayton project. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

John Almas lives close to the Clayton and said that he welcomes his new neighbours.

"It is needed. It is needed everywhere in the city actually, not just Bowness," he said.

"We are all human and everybody is good to start with, until proven otherwise and I think that everybody who moves in, is going to be good. Simple as that. They have got everything they need here, grocery store, library. They even have a skateboard park, Bowness Park, you have got everything you need and it's a nice quiet neighbourhood."

The units are furnished with the basics. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

Calgary Centre Liberal MP Kent Hehr said affordable housing is important.

"The Clayton is more than just a safe and affordable place to spend the night, it is a key to a better life for the vulnerable individuals who come here when they have nowhere else to go," he said.

The Clayton is designed to meet the needs of people who have experienced long-term or frequent bouts of homelessness. It has 24-hour support services including trauma-recovery programs.

Here's a washroom at the Clayton affordable housing project in Bowness, Calgary. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

There are 30 bachelor (single-room) units and three are accessible for persons with reduced mobility.

"This building will provide a stable place of belonging from which the 30 future tenants will build a better future," said Diana Krecsy, president and CEO of the Calgary Homeless Foundation.

The Calgary Homeless Foundation collaborated with the HomeSpace Society, Jayman BUILT, the RESOLVE Campaign and Calgary Alpha House Society on the project.

The governments of Canada and Alberta jointly contributed approximately $4 million toward the Clayton under the Investment in Affordable Housing Agreement.

The project is part of the Ottawa's National Housing Strategy (NHS), a 10-year, $55 billion plan to create 100,000 new housing units and meet the housing needs of 530,000 families, as well as repair and renew more than 300,000 housing units to reduce chronic homelessness by 50 per cent.

With files from Terri Trembath