City building more supportive housing
April 23, 2024

City Council has approved plans for two new supportive housing sites that will provide nearly 100 homes for Edmontonians at risk of homelessness.

The City will lead construction of two purpose-built supportive housing developments using City-owned land in Garneau and Canora and funds from the existing affordable housing budget. The sites will be transferred to Homeward Trust Edmonton when they are complete, anticipated for 2026.

“The solution to our houselessness crisis is building more housing. By providing more supportive housing, the City is taking concrete action toward addressing one of its biggest challenges,” said Mayor Amarjeet Sohi. “These new homes will take us one step closer to creating an Edmonton for all of us.”

Since 2020, the City and Homeward Trust have partnered on six supportive housing developments throughout Edmonton, creating 275 new homes for Edmontonians in need. Homeward Trust works with specialized social service agencies to operate supportive housing, tailoring each site to meet the distinct needs of residents that need supports to maintain housing.

Both buildings will be designed by GEC Architecture, the local design firm behind earlier City-led supportive housing. Garneau’s building will have 34 suites, including five barrier-free units for people with disabilities. Canora’s building will have 63 suites, including nine barrier-free units.

“Supportive housing ensures vulnerable members of our communities have access to a safe, stable place to call home while they receive the supports and services they need.” said Minister of Seniors, Community and Social Services Jason Nixon. “I am glad to see that city council is moving forward with the Garneau and Canora projects which Alberta’s government funded through our Affordable Housing Partnership Program. We will continue to work with our partners, like the City of Edmonton, to get these much-needed projects underway.”

The City will use $33.4 million from its affordable housing budget to construct the buildings. The Government of Alberta is also providing $6.59 million toward construction.

“Supportive housing isn't just about providing shelter; it's about offering a pathway to stability, wellness, and community integration. By combining housing with wrap-around supportive services, we're not just preventing homelessness; we're restoring hope and empowering individuals to thrive," said Susan McGee, CEO of Homeward Trust.

The updated Affordable Housing Strategy projects the need for an additional 1,400 to 1,700 new units of supportive housing over the next five years. Supportive housing is a type of affordable housing that offers below-market rents as well as wraparound support services and a community. Residents sign a lease and pay rent, while also receiving support with life skills and health and wellness support services. Since 2019, the City has invested a total of $63.9 million to help create 783 new units of supportive housing across Edmonton.
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