Shelter space for families hard to come by in Calgary

It seems shelter space for a large family is nowhere to be found in Calgary.

The Children’s Cottage told CTV Calgary it is currently turning away 60 families every month.

Families that do find shelter at the Children’s Cottage are staying an average of 68 days rather than the traditional 30, placing an extra burden on the facility’s availability.

Inn From The Cold, another family shelter in Calgary, is facing a similar space crunch.

“We’re seeing a lot of families that are struggling to make ends meet and to deal with the rising costs in the rental market. And as a result, when they aren’t able to stay in their homes, they end up showing up at our door at our emergency shelter,” said Nathaniel Miller, Inn From The Cold’s director of programming and operations.

“We try to help families get into housing as quickly as possible but with how tight the rental market is right now, and the lack of affordable housing that’s suitable for families, we’re seeing families stay in the shelter longer, which means we’re having to turn people away because we’re at capacity.”

The Children’s Cottage told CTV Calgary it is currently turning away 60 families every month.

Jason Nixon, Alberta’s minister of seniors, community and social services, says he hasn’t received his mandate letter yet from Premier Danielle Smith but expects affordable housing to be at the top of the list.

“We’re going to continue to prioritize affordable housing projects over the next three years. We are about to spend about a billion dollars over the next three years on affordable housing investments in Alberta,” Nixon said.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation data shows the vacancy rate in Calgary in 2023 sits at 2.2 per cent.

It is expected to decline over the next two years, to 1.2 per cent in 2025.

That’s expected to put upward pressure on rental prices. data shows the price of a studio apartment in Calgary in June was $1,230.

For a one-bedroom apartment, renters should expect to fork out about $1,687.

A two-bedroom apartment comes in around $2,086.

A three-bedroom unit, $2,549.

Despite the quickly rising rental rates, Nixon threw cold water on the idea of rent control.

“That’s the worst thing that we could do. Experts show us that would actually blow the entire market out. It would create less affordable housing units, and in the end, make life harder for Albertans,” Nixon said.

“We’re spending about a quarter-billion dollars over the next three years on rent supplements to help people be able to make rent payments in certain circumstances. But the No. 1 thing we need to do right now, again, is build more housing inside our province.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *