News: City will get 62 new homes for needy

Published in the May 11th issue of The Edmonton Sun. News

City will get 62 homes for needy

Edmonton Sun

Built it when costs are down — and more can come.

That is the rationale behind the province’s new investment of $6.4 million into the development of 62 affordable rental homes for low- to moderate-income Edmontonians.

The three buildings — which will be located in the McCauley, Parkdale and Prince Charles areas — are part of the government’s goal to build 11,000 affordable housing units by 2012 and will be built during a time when construction costs are down.

“This absolutely is planning for the future,” said Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Jonathan Denis.

“The next boom that we have may be sooner to us than we actually think and it’s important to us that when we have construction costs that are low and construction costs that are reasonable, that we take advantage and we seize the day now.”

The McCauley area’s Hotel Grand Apartments will accommodate 18 bachelor and studio suites.

The Parkdale Apartment Building will feature 40 one and two bedroom suites while Closing the Circle — the Prince Charles neighbourhood Native Counselling Services of Alberta project — will have four, three bedroom units.

The three complexes are expected to house about 160 tenants in total and be ready by next spring.

The Hotel Grand Apartments at 10768 98 St. will cost no more than $550 per month. The historic building is being gutted and re-done to suit a younger, downtown-working demographic.

“We have done affordable units in the area and there is a tremendous demand for them for young people who work downtown and can’t afford a car,” said Gene Dub, president of Five Oaks Inc., the company in charge of the apartment unit.

Parkdale Apartments, which will be built near the Stadium, will have rent geared to tenant-income, estimated to be around $350 per month.

Alberta’s Budget 2010 includes more than $234 million going towards building affordable housing units.

In the first two years of the province’s affordable housing initiative, 6,000 units have already been built, with about 2,500 more currently in progress.

“I’ve met some of the families that we’re helping and to some people who say we can’t afford to do these programs, I challenge them to meet one of these families and the conclusion would be that we can’t afford not to,” Denis said.

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