Editor:

Our government has been clear from the beginning: we are committed to living within our means, while maintaining the critical services Albertans rely on.

As I have said before, that means doing things differently, finding creative solutions, and being more efficient.

Albertans elected us with a sweeping majority in 2019 to deliver on our commitments to make housing more affordable and accessible. Right now, nearly half-a-million Albertans spend more than 30 per cent of their household income on rent – the standard for affordability. Currently, around 110,000 Albertans live in affordable housing.

My ministry will spend $389 million this year to build, operate and maintain the current affordable housing system. Our three-year capital plan will invest $417 million in new and regenerated housing. Yet the demand continues to increase. More than 19,000 households are currently on waiting lists for subsidized housing.

It is clear we are spending money on a housing system that is not fully meeting the needs of Albertans. We know that to succeed, Alberta’s affordable housing system needs to be financially sustainable and able to address growing demand.

As Minister of Seniors and Housing, I am committed to continuing to support vulnerable Albertans while transforming our affordable housing system to be more efficient and effective.

The Affordable Housing Review, led by our independent Affordable Housing Review Panel, will set us on a path to rethink our approach to housing delivery.

The panel will consider the supports required for Albertans in critical housing need, analyze market trends and projections, and compare approaches to housing in other provinces. The panel will also engage the perspectives of housing providers, private companies, and civil society organizations, to identify innovative solutions for Albertans in housing need. I look forward to sharing the results of this critical review with Albertans this fall.

Josephine Pon, Minister of Seniors and Housing

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