Okotoks has negotiated an offer to purchase a three-acre parcel of land in the D’Arcy neighbourhood, at the corner of Sandstone Gate and Northridge Drive, which will be used to increase the diversity of housing supply in Okotoks. The future project is a partnership with Westwinds Communities and the Rowan House Society, who will be responsible for constructing and managing all properties on the site.
“Securing this land was an important step to ensuring Okotoks can offer more housing diversity and accessibility options to our community,” said Mayor Bill Robertson. “Both Westwinds and Rowan House are well-established organizations with significant knowledge in addressing affordable housing needs.”
The cost for the D’Arcy site, which will be released when all conditions have been met, falls within Council’s current budget allocation for affordable housing. Both organizations have agreed to repay approximately 50 percent of the land costs.
“Providing for a variety of housing options that seamlessly integrate with the community is key to our vision for a vibrant and connected neighbourhood in D’Arcy,” said Anthem United Development Manager Steve LePan. “Anthem United is a supporter of Rowan House Society and welcomes Westwinds Communities as the developer of the site.”
Westwinds Communities is proposing to build a 60-unit housing complex with 15 units allocated as market housing and 45 units allocated as non-market (affordable) housing..
“Westwinds genuinely appreciates Council’s partnership in helping to increase diversity and housing choices for Okotokians requiring affordable rental housing options,” said Chief Administrative Officer, Lauren Ingalls.
The Rowan House Society plans to build 16-units for transitional housing support, which will provide families with local access to services rather than having to travel to Calgary.
“The Town’s support is instrumental in making it possible for us to expand our services in Okotoks,” said Rowan House Society Chair, Chris Tulloch. “A Second Stage Shelter provides a longer-term option for families with continued access to Rowan House staff and programming.”
Council’s 2018-2021 Strategic Plan has identified the need to create diversified and affordable housing options as a priority to fit all lifestyles at all stages of life. This project also fits with the recommendations made by the Affordable Housing Task Force to guarantee that affordable housing is integrated into the community.
While there are still conditions to be met to finalize the land purchase, the Town and Anthem United will be proceeding with zoning amendments on the land. Rowan House and Westwinds can also move forward with pursuing the funds to begin construction on their projects.