Council commits $3M for affordable housing

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Funding for St. Albert Housing Society, Sturgeon Foundation subject to provincial approval

City council committed more than $3 million in grants to two affordable housing projects on Tuesday night.

The commitments would see the city spend $2.3 million to purchase land for the St. Albert Housing Society’s proposed 96-unit apartment complex for low-income families. Council also upheld a previous $750,000 commitment to the Sturgeon Foundation for the second phase of redevelopment at North Ridge Lodge.

“Affordable housing needs to be a priority and this is an opportunity for us to take a huge step forward,” said Coun. Gareth Jones.

Both commitments hinge on the projects qualifying for additional provincial grant dollars. Neither made the short list last year, resulting in both organizations changing their grant applications.

The housing society’s project — Big Lake Pointe Affordable Housing — would be located on 3.2 acres in North Ridge. The land is currently zoned for medium-density apartment buildings but the exact location is confidential pending a successful sale.

In a letter to council, housing society executive director Doris Vandersteen said the project would make a “significant difference to families with low to moderate incomes in our community.”

The two commitments completely exhaust the city’s remaining affordable housing grants.

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