• Affordable Housing Condos
  • Affordable Housing Condos

Affordable Housing

What is Affordable Housing?

As a general rule, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation measures affordable rental accommodation to be  where monthly shelter, including rent, electricity, heat, water, and municipal services,  is less than 30% of before-tax household income. 

Okotoks, like many other towns and cities has a very tight rental market with low vacancy rates. Council has appointed an Affordable Housing Task Force to provide recommendations on a long-term strategy  to increase affordable housing and create a more inclusive community for Okotoks. 

The Task Force made a presentation at Council's November 13, 2018 regular meeting on the research they have conducted so far and made three recommendations based on their analysis:

Presentation:

Recommendations to Council

Okotoks affordable and subsidized housing options are administered by Westwinds Communities, a not-for-profit Housing Management Body that works with partnering municipalities to provide safe affordable housing opportunities and access to rent supplement programs.

For information about Westwinds Communities and other housing options in the area, please consult the Community Resource Housing Directory below. 

Affordable Housing Options in Okotoks

Housing
Main Street Village, Black Diamond 403-466-0203Website 403-933-5096
Skotoko Housing Cooperative 403-938-5520Website
Westwinds Communities (Affordable Housing Options) 403-652-8600Website
Heartland Retirement Residence
Senior
403-938-4448Website
Sandstone Lodge (seniors)
Senior
403-938-6404Website
Tudor Manor (seniors)
Senior
403-995-9540Website
Emergency Shelters
Toll Free Line (connects caller to closest shelter) 1-866-331-3933
Alpha House (detox also) 403-234-7388
Avenue 15 Youth Shelter 403-543-9651
Calgary Drop In Centre 403-263-5707
EXIT Youth Shelter 403-509-2323
Mustard Seed 403-269-1319
Rowan House Emergency Shelter 403-652-3311
Salvation Army Centre of Hope 403-410-1111
Wheatland Crisis Society 403-934-6634
YWCA (Sheriff King and Dover House) 403-266-0707
Seniors Property Tax Deferral Program

The Alberta Government has created this program for seniors in Alberta, who now have the option to defer their residential property taxes, in order to keep extra money in their pockets and enable them to stay in their homes longer. 

Through the Seniors Property Tax Deferral Program, homeowners 65 and older can defer all or part of their residential property taxes through a low-interest home equity loan with the Alberta government. The loans are repaid when the home is sold, or sooner if the senior chooses. The Seniors property Tax Deferral program is 100% voluntary. Eligible seniors interested in more information or applying should visit the Alberta Government’s Seniors Property Tax Deferral Program website.

Affordable Housing Frequently Asked Questions
Why does Okotoks need more affordable housing? Isn’t there enough already?

While there is some affordable housing options in Okotoks, it does not meet current demand. More than two-thirds of the housing stock is single-family homes and the average price is more than $450,000, beyond the reach of many people. The recent changes in mortgage rules have made it even more difficult for many people to own a home.

Diversifying the types of housing options is also important. Not everyone wants to live in a large single-family home, based on the stage of their lives. Ensuring that there is a variety of choices will decrease the number of people who need to leave the community to meet their needs. These include small homes (less 1,000 sq ft) and housing styles such as bungalows, town houses and duplexes.

Currently Okotoks has approximately 400 duplexes, 1,500 condos and 7 multi-family rental complexes with a mix of town homes and apartments.

Why is Council considering investing in affordable housing?

In order to access funds from provincial and federal governments to support affordable housing, municipalities must demonstrate a willingness to share in this investment. This could include providing existing land, purchasing land specifically for affordable housing, offering financial incentives to developers or offering in-kind services to assist in affordable housing development.

Through many public participation activities, the community has consistently indicated that providing diverse and affordable housing options is a priority to create an inclusive community. A recent report identified Okotoks as the fourth least affordable place to live in Alberta and most of the current housing stock is single-family detached homes that many people cannot afford. We must invest resources to achieve Okotoks’ vision of an inclusive community with diverse housing options and a place where everyone wants to live,

Who needs affordable housing in Okotoks?

A wide variety of people, income levels and life stages from senior citizens to young adults and young families.