August MLA Report

36

All Albertans deserve a safe and affordable place to call home. As the MLA for Banff-Cochrane, I know that access to affordable housing is a serious issue in the Bow Valley. There are significant waitlists for people and families who need help finding a home. That’s why our government is taking action to make life better for Albertans on low-income.

Our new Provincial Affordable Housing Strategy goes beyond the bricks and mortar of a house – it puts people first, ends backward measures, and helps Albertans achieve their dreams. The purpose of this strategy is to give Albertans in government-supported affordable housing the tools they need to build better lives for themselves and the people they love.

Tenants shouldn’t be kicked out of their home because they get a better job and their income increases slightly above the low-income limit. This is still happening in Alberta and we want to put an end to it.

For this reason, we are exploring mixed-income models in affordable housing and creating options for tenants to stay in their existing home if they choose to pay an adjusted rent. We are also increasing the asset limit for tenants in affordable housing from $7,000 to $25,000. This will support people and families saving for goals like education, a down-payment for a house, or even just having more of a safety net.

Individuals need support over time to achieve greater financial stability and these measures will provide greater stability for people as they work to improve their finances. We are also making it easier for Albertans to transition into stable, affordable housing. Graduates of the Housing First program, a program that helps Albertans facing homelessness, will have more opportunities to get back on their feet with good housing.

On top of these measures, we are making a capital investment of $1.2 billion over five years to build, renovate and modernize affordable housing across Alberta.

Thank you to the more than 1,800 Albertans who took part in surveys and public engagement sessions that helped to develop the Provincial Affordable Housing Strategy. Your feedback was instrumental.

Affordable housing makes life better for people, especially in the Bow Valley. Our new strategy will lead to many more Albertans having safe, stable places to call home.

Sincerely,

Cam Westhead

MLA for Banff-Cochrane

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Cameron Westhead was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, representing the constituency of Banff-Cochrane, on May 5, 2015. He holds a bachelor of science in nursing from the University of Toronto and a bachelor of arts from Nipissing University. Mr. Westhead and his wife call Bragg Creek home