Monday, January 30, 2023

Lethbridge looking at how to assist applicants in getting rapid housing funds

Lethbridge city council will get a report in the fall on how the city could assist applicants in securing funds for rapid affordable and social housing initiatives. A motion brought forward by Councillor Belinda Crowson at the July 26 meeting carried unanimously. 

Crowson noted the city did not receive any money from the first two intakes of the Rapid Housing Initiative funds from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), even though several groups submitted projects.

“That is because projects that have municipal partnerships through approval process for land use and development, as well as had co-investment opportunities via contributions of capital funding, operating funding and land are the ones that received it,” she said.

The two rounds of funding, between October 2020 and March 2022, resulted in 1268 affordable housing units in Alberta, but none were in Lethbridge, Crowson said. 

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She pointed out the CMHC is looking to fund shovel ready projects and the city is looking for direction to create proposals that would include land-banking strategies and co-investment strategies.

”We talked about the need for housing. This is a way to support housing groups to help them be successful in the next round of RHI funding,” Crowson said. “It’s estimated to create 6,000 affordable units across Canada and I would love Lethbridge to be a part of that.”

Councillor Mark Campbell questioned if zoning bylaws contributed to the city not getting any funding. Crowson said the CMHC is looking for pre-zoned projects to fund, which the city is invested in.

The report is set to come back in September.

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