by Stephen Dafoe
The Government of Alberta says its new online tool will “make it easier and faster for Albertans to find affordable housing that meets their personal needs and budget.”
The Find Housing online tool is now live at https://findhousing.alberta.ca . The tool guides potential applicants through an eligibility process, connecting them with housing option providers depending on their situation.
Currently, 2.5 per cent of Alberta’s population (110,000) live in more than 57,000 government-subsidized housing units. There are currently 24,000 eligible Alberta households on waiting lists for affordable housing programs. The province says that number is double what it was a decade ago.
The online tool was created with the input of current tenants, housing operators, and social service agencies and will ultimately streamline the application process.
The government says the online tool can also be used by family members, nonprofit organizations, and social service agencies to help others access housing information and affordable housing solutions.
“Searching and applying for housing support can be a difficult task, which is why Alberta’s government made it a priority to streamline this process,” said Minister of Seniors and Housing Josephine Pon. “Thanks to input from tenants living in affordable housing and the agency staff who support them, the new Find Housing online tool is an easy, effective way for Albertans to access the housing they need.”
Alberta’s NDP Official Opposition is critical of the tool, saying it does nothing to help the 24,000 Albertans waiting for affordable housing.
“Instead, Albertans will simply find out there is still no housing available for them and they will continue to sit on a waitlist,” said NDP Critic for Housing Lori Sigurdson in a media release Tuesday, adding the UCP have just revived a program they cut and adding more steps and layers to find housing.
“If the UCP stopped attacking low-income Albertans with budget cuts and clawbacks, we could address the root of the problem by investing in more affordable housing stock and getting Alberta families into a home,” Sigurdson said.