New affordable seniors housing announced for Lethbridge

This funding was made possible thanks to a 10-year bilateral agreement signed under the Alberta NDP in 2019.

Earlier this week, the Alberta government, along with the federal government, announced a new housing complex for seniors in Lethbridge.

Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s minister of families, children, and social development, and Josephine Pon, Alberta’s minister of seniors and housing, jointly announced that the two governments will fund $3.4 million towards the project, about a quarter of the total project cost.

Half of the development’s 64 units will be rented out at 20% below market rates, while the other half will be rented at market rates.

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According to Robin James, the chief administrative officer of Lethbridge Housing Authority, this “cottage-style project will provide seniors with safe, affordable, barrier-free living while addressing social isolation by providing a pet-friendly property with outdoor common space and walking paths.”

The $3.4 million that the provincial and federal governments will provide is made possible through a bilateral agreement under the National Housing Strategy. This agreement was signed in 2019 by Alberta NDP minister of seniors and housing, Lori Sigurdson, and committed Alberta to providing $339 million over 10 years to fund social and community housing in the province.

Since both governments agreed to fund half of the $678 million made possible through the bilateral agreement, I assume the provincial government is providing half of the $3.4 million for this specific project, or $1.7 million. The feds will contribute $1.7 million as well.

The remaining $9.1 million in funding needed for the project has yet to be secured, but the provincial government claims they’ll work with the City of Lethbridge, the Lethbridge Housing Authority, and “other contributors” to find the remaining dollars.

In a tweet sent out the same day as the announcement, Pon indicated that private financing would be involved in the project.

There was no word on where in Lethbridge the new complex would be built. Construction should begin early next year.

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By Kim Siever

Kim Siever is an independent queer journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He writes daily news articles, focusing on politics and labour.

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