CALGARY — Horizon Housing has broken ground on its new development in Pineridge that will create additional affordable rental housing options for Calgarians.
With the support of the Rental Construction Financing initiative (RCFi) through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and City of Calgary Housing Incentive Program (HIP), Horizon Housing has broken ground on the project.
The emcee of the event, former resident Robert (Bob) Patrick, told the small crowd of his experience facing homelessness and what affordable housing options have meant to him.
“I lived at Horizon for ten years as a tenant and those ten years allowed me to heal,” said Patrick. “It allowed me to function in society and to get on a good path in life.”
Patrick says having access to an affordable home is “huge.”
“You have a mailing address. You have neighbours- people you can rely upon. Each tenant is on their own journey and the stories I’ve heard while living with Horizon is truly amazing.”
According to Horizon, over 17,000 Calgary households earned less than $30,000 per year before the pandemic. Having to spend more than half their income on rent put them significant risk of homelessness.
“While staying home has been the prescription for health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, over 44,000 renter households are overspending on housing in Calgary,” said Horizon officials in a statement. “Creating more affordable housing has never been more important to ensuring people have appropriate housing options.”
Horizon says rents at the Pineridge development will be at least 10 per cent below average market rates for the area and more than 15 per cent of the homes will be accessible or universally designed.
“Over the past seven months, we’ve seen just how critical housing is to the wellbeing of people in general, vulnerable people in particular,” said Martina Jileckova, Horizon Housing CEO. “Thanks to investment of CMHC and the City of Calgary, we are excited to get started on quality homes that will offer more sustainable and affordable options for Calgarians of all ages and life circumstances.”
Horizon Housing is celebrating the start of construction which will create homes for over 120 people. The mixed-income development is scheduled to be completed in late 2021.