Calgary sells land to non-profits for new affordable housing projects

The City of Calgary has sold six plots of land to local non-profits to create new affordable housing sites, the city announced Thursday.

It's the largest sale of city-owned land for affordable housing in Calgary's history

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi announced the city has sold six plots of land to be developed by non-profits for affordable housing. (City of Calgary)

The City of Calgary has sold six plots of land to local non-profits to create new affordable housing sites, the city announced Thursday.

"Calgarians have told us that affordable housing needs to be a major priority, and partnering with the community to deliver more affordable housing options is key," said Mayor Naheed Nenshi in a release.

"This historic sale is a great example of collaboration, and is the largest non-commercial land transaction in the City of Calgary's history."

Three development sites were sold to HomeSpace Society, two to Habitat for Humanity and one to the Homes for Heroes Foundation.

The proposed locations for the future affordable housing sites. One is in Hillhurst, one downtown and the others in Forest Lawn and Radisson Heights. (Mapbox/OpenStreetMap)

The non-profit organizations all met eligibility requirements to receive funding from the city's housing incentives program and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

The land was sold to the organizations at below-market values, the city said.

"Price was not a consideration. What we were looking for was to scale up non-profits in Calgary," said Sarah Woodgate, director of Calgary Housing and president of the Calgary Housing Company.

"So the criteria for the land selections were financial ability as well as experience in providing affordable housing. "

The non-profits now have to obtain approvals on development permits and land-use amendments, and consult with the community before starting construction. 

Sarah Woodgate, director of Calgary Housing and president of Calgary Housing Company, said the sale is a big step forward for the city's affordable housing. (City of Calgary)

The initiative is expected to lead to 165 new affordable homes.

Nenshi said the sale was an important step for the city toward creating better communities.

"When we talk about what my priorities and council's priorities are about stronger and safer communities, a better economy, a smarter city hall — affordable housing is really underpinning so many of these different things," Nenshi said.

"Not only because people deserve and need a safe and decent place to live, but because investments in affordable housing are investments in more vibrant neighbourhoods, they're investments in people being able to participate in the community more and they're investments in reducing our needs for emergency services.

"So all of those things put together mean that affordable housing is one of the best investments any city can make."

Here are the locations of the future affordable housing sites:

  • 902/912 36th St. S.E. (Forest Lawn)
  • 3725 10th Ave. S.E., 1104 36th Street S.E. (Forest Lawn)
  • 1305/1313 36th St. S.E. (Albert Park/Radisson Heights)
  • 1523/1527 36th St. S.E. (Albert Park/Radisson Heights)
  • 344 14th St. N.W. (Hillhurst-Sunnyside)
  • 933 5th Ave. S.W. (Downtown)