ALBERTA CARES about Housing and Homelessness! That care can be seen in the thousands of volunteer hours given to preparing meals, the millions of donations of food to food banks, and the millions of dollars in donations to local shelters and emergency efforts. But after decades of showing up, it seems like no real change is taking root.
Today homelessness is surging across the province, and rents continue to rise faster than wages! It is time our government took this seriously. 2023 is a big election year for our province, let’s make this a top priority in the new legislature! To be heard, we need thousands of Albertans of every age, faith, culture and ability to stand together in rallies taking place across the province. Click here to find a rally near you!
Please note that Edmonton is going to kick things off with a first rally on March 24 at 2 pm at the Legislature. If you’re in the area, come join us if you can!
We also have a petition in play for people to sign, even if you can’t make in person to a rally in your area. Click here to sign.
#AlbertaCares2023. We firmly believe that IT IS TIME for Alberta to build a wise, well-resourced, and well-constructed long-term plan to address housing and homelessness challenges in Alberta.
What does a strong and wise plan look like?
- Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH)—These are homes for people who have built-in supports that enable people to work through trauma, stabilize their mental health, and begin to recover from addictions
- Rapid Rehousing—A long wait for help means those in need can fall deeper into health-related or addiction issues which makes recovery more challenging
- Reduce emphasis on emergency services in favour of both prevention and recovery—making the shelters we do need small, safe and well-woven into the local fabric of communities all over our cities.
- Affordable Housing—There are many possible approaches to weigh as part of the solution, including rent assistance, rent controls, affordable housing run by non-profits, cooperative housing, and embedding affordable units inside market rentals…
- Enabling community care—Albertans want to help in real, impactful ways. Bridging professional and natural community support will help us truly care for each other in deeper ways. (Wraparound structures are great for this!)
- Questions that we will need to ponder with care:
- The big question: How do we really help people heal, stabilize, recover, and get stronger?
- How do we care for people who say no to help?
- How do we care for people who turn violent in psychosis?
- How do we care for people who struggle with life-long addictions and mental health challenges?
- How strong should police and bylaw responses be when responding to a person in crisis?
Here is a big idea that will kickstart the effort! We recommend the Province of Alberta to set up (in 2023) a capital fund of $3 billion for new-build Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) and recovery centres throughout the province broken down as ONE BILLION DOLLARS EACH for…
- the rest of the province
These funds can be provided as interest-free loans to qualified operators with all funds to be repaid in full over time.
Structuring these loans this way will allow the funds to keep building housing and recovery centres into the future and reduce further capital investments from either the Province or Municipalities. This will greatly reduce costs to taxpayers over the long term!
IN THE END…
Politicians get behind what will get them elected.
Together we can make the housing and homelessness issue a top priority.
To be successful, the plan must be pro-active and collaboratively designed with broad buy-in and participation across the political spectrum, making it resilient to disruptions and changes in ideological currents.
Let’s stand together and make it clear that all Albertans care about getting this right!
To find a rally taking place in your area, click here!