Steering Committee report, December 2016

A Steering Committee meeting was held in December to discuss the action plan and sector updates. Below are highlights from the discussion.

Creating a consistent, centralized housing intake process that is coordinated across providers:

A review of proposals for the “one window” project has been completed and the successful proponent is KPMG. The City of Calgary, the lead facilitator, now has a contract in place and the consultant is beginning a planning and scoping exercise to determine the best approach to creating a single point of entry to non-market housing in the city. This is a critical project in the CHAC action plan and its success relies on participation and collaboration amongst collective members and the broader sector. For more information, please contact the project lead, Katherine Plotnick.

Ensure that residents are appropriately housed and can access the full range of housing options that meet their needs:

The Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies at the University of Calgary recently completed a set of planning workshops to produce a framework for collaborative research projects related to housing affordability. These projects will contribute critical information to CHAC’s action plan. Kristen Desjarlais De Klerk of Medicine Hat College will be tackling the question: “How do we engage in effective prevention to prevent people at risk of losing their housing or slipping into an unaffordable situation?” Katie MacDonald from Capital Region Housing will be tackling the question: “What are all of the policies and regulations that come to bear on building and development, what are their effects, and how do those effects happen?” Each of these projects will require a co-lead. If your organization is interested in participating, please contact Gary Barron and for more information, click here.

Housing Incentive Program (HIP):

The collective was notified that 40% of The City of Calgary’s $6.9 million HIP fund has now been allocated, contributing to 970 units. HIP is a limited-term project that was approved by Calgary City Council in February 2016 and ends December 31, 2017. Subsidizing development fees was one of the recommendations of the collective. The program is funded by the Community Economic Resiliency Fund and has two components: a rebate on all City development fees related to an affordable housing project; and a grant of up to $50,000 to cover pre-development activities associated with an affordable housing project. Several members of the collective have accessed and benefitted from the fund. For more information, visit this link.

Point-in-Time Count of Homelessness:

The Steering Committee was notified that the second bi-annual province-wide Point-in-Time Count of Homelessness (Count) was recently completed and the number of people in Alberta staying in emergency shelters, short term supportive housing and hotels used as emergency shelters as well as correctional facilities was down 19% compared to October 2014, and down 31% from 2008. A roundtable discussion revealed that lower rents and a higher vacancy rate have been temporarily relieving some pressure on non-market housing providers. However, there was consensus that many Calgarians are overleveraged and at risk of needing housing support in the short- to medium-term. Visit this link for more information on the Count.

The CHAC Steering Committee meets a minimum of ten times per year. For more information about the committee, visit this link: http://www.chacollective.com/steering-committee

CHA Collective