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Calgary adopts new land sale policy for affordable housing providers

JOC News Service
Calgary adopts new land sale policy for affordable housing providers

 CALGARY, ALTA. – Calgary city council has adopted a new policy to allow for the sale of up to 10 parcels of city land every two years starting in 2019.

The new policy is intended to help non-profit housing providers develop capacity for more non-market housing, a city of Calgary release stated.

The plan was tested in 2017 and 2018 when the city released six parcels of land to non-profit development planners. The pilot program saw all six sites undergo development with 160 new units planned, half of which are planned for Calgary’s vulnerable populations. The land sold through the pilot program was at a combined $6.4 million discount with which developers leveraged over $30 million in funding including through private philanthropy.

“This is a historic milestone. We’re proud of our success in engaging the non-profit sector to increase production of new housing in Calgary. We have a real need for more affordable housing in this city, and we have organizations with development pipelines ready to partner with us to help fill that need. We’re very excited to make more of these developments a reality, we’re thrilled to have found a cost-effective way to do it,” Calgary Housing director and Calgary Housing Company president Sarah Woodgate said.

“The lack of affordable housing in Calgary is consistently among our citizens’ top concerns. This policy supports The City’s strategy to get our non-profit housing partners building more units more quickly. Contributing surplus City land is part of The City’s commitment to supporting shovel ready projects, along with the provincial and federal governments, to improve the lives of Calgarians,” Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said.

The new land policy streamlines the process created in the pilot project, which the city said will allow for potential partners to plan ahead for new developments and reduce the amount of approvals needed for future sales as well as the wait time for new homes.

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