Alberta will soon be home to a new shipping container community, designed to address the need for more affordable housing in rural communities. There are plans in place to roll out these shipping container communities in other areas across the country.
Through the National Housing Strategy Affordable Housing Innovation Fund, the Alberta Rural Development Network is receiving $10 million for the Sustainable Housing Initiative.
“Over the past three years, our Sustainable Housing Initiative team has been working hard to break down barriers and support the efforts of organizations and municipalities who want to increase their community’s inventory of affordable housing,” says Joshua Bénard, Director, Sustainable Housing Initiative ARDN. “Through our understanding of rural needs, we have created a process that will help rural communities successfully develop affordable housing while saving time and money. 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.”
There will be at least eight energy efficient affordable shipping container projects rolled out. Phase 1 features up to 467 affordable rental units over the next two years.
“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,” says The Honourable 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 first shipping container project is the YWCA Banff Courtyard Project, a 33-unit, three-storey rental project that will meet net-zero targets and house up to 78 residents. There will be at least four barrier-free suites to accommodate accessibility needs, and the community is designed specifically to cater to women, extended family, and individuals.
“Everyone should have access to a safe and affordable home. I am proud of our government’s investment in much needed affordable housing across the province. These new homes for women and their families will help those who need it the most,” says The Honourable Lori Sigurdson, Minister of Alberta Seniors and Housing.