The Town of Okotoks, in partnership with Westwinds Communities (Westwinds), has purchased approximately 3 acres in the D’Arcy neighbourhood for affordable housing. The land was purchased for $2.6 million with an official possession date in December, 2019.
“This is an important step towards becoming a more inclusive community for all residents,” said Mayor Bill Robertson. “By investing in innovative financial models to support non-profit organizations, Council is meeting our priority to build diversified and progressive neighbourhoods.”
One of the priorities in Council’s Strategic Plan is the need to increase affordable housing options. On of the Affordable Housing Task Force’s initial recommendations to Council included securing land opportunities for affordable housing. In response, administration has been working with Westwinds and Rowan House Society on partnership opportunities to support both organizations’ missions in providing different forms of affordable housing.
Westwinds is proposing to build a 60-unit facility with 45 units allocated as affordable housing and 15 units as market housing. Westwinds has agreed to reimburse the Town for all land costs for the market units, and has capacity to reimburse up to 50 percent for the remaining units.
“Westwinds is thrilled to partner with the Town on this critical development,” said CAO Lauren Ingalls. “We are excited to work with the community to develop affordable housing in Okotoks as quality affordable housing is critical to the health of individuals, families and communities.”
Westwinds Communities is a not-for-profit organization that provides quality housing and supportive services for seniors, as well as subsidized housing and services for individuals and families in the Foothills region. Westwinds works with community, government and other partners to fund local seniors’ supportive living and affordable housing initiatives.
The Rowan House Society is keenly interested in developing in Okotoks; however, it has postponed its proposed development due to the current economic climate in Alberta.
The Affordable Housing Task Force will also be presenting an affordable housing strategy to Council later in January, which will provide a framework to advance more inclusive, diverse communities as part of Okotoks’ future growth.
The Town of Okotoks and Westwinds Communities are committed to engaging the community in this important development. Opportunities will be shared through local media and community members are invited to contact either group with questions at any time.