A new scheme aims to create affordable rental housing in Alberta with plans for similar projects nationwide.

The Alberta Rural Development Network’s (ARDN) Sustainable Housing Initiative (SHI) will see the development of at least 8 energy-efficient affordable housing shipping container projects with the first phase seeking to create up to 467 rental units over the next two years.

Funding will come from the National Housing Strategy’s Affordable Housing Innovation Fund which will provide $10 million for the initiative.

“If you don’t have a home, it’s very difficult to build a life. Investment in affordable housing is critical to ensuring that Canadian communities continue to thrive,” said Kent Hehr, Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre. “Our Government is proud to support innovative organizations like ARDN as they work to design efficient, forward-thinking housing solutions that not only work here in Alberta, but could easily be replicated in rural communities across the country. Cultivating bold new ideas like this is exactly what the Affordable Housing Innovation Fund is all about.”

The YWCA Banff Courtyard Project is the first under this new initiative to be announced. The 33 unit, 3-story cost effective project will meet net-zero targets for energy efficiency and provide affordable rental housing for up to 78 residents who face barriers to finding suitable accommodation. The Courtyard will be ideal for women, new and extended families, individuals, and with a least four suites that are barrier free, people with accessibility needs.

“I believe the YWCA Banff Courtyard project will act as a landmark development that will redefine how affordable housing is built in rural communities across Canada,” said Joshua Bénard, Director, Sustainable Housing Initiative ARDN.

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