More Affordable Housing Options in Calgary

CALGARY, ALBERTA, September 17, 2010 — The Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta celebrated the official opening of a 150 unit affordable housing project today. The project is supported by $7.5 million in funding under the Canada – Alberta Affordable Housing Program.

The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and the Honourable Jonathan Denis, Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, were present at the grand opening ceremony today.

“The Government of Canada is helping to make safe and affordable housing available to those who need it most here in Calgary and across the country,” said Minister Prentice. “The completion of Willow Park on the Bow will allow more people to remain in communities they call home. This is great news for the seniors who will live here and their families.”

“Alberta is committed to providing safe and affordable housing to seniors of modest means,” said Minister Denis. “By partnering with the federal government and the Metropolitan Calgary Foundation, we will leverage taxpayers' dollars to bring us another step closer to our goal of supporting the development of 11,000 affordable housing units by 2012.”

MCF Housing for Seniors has been providing safe and affordable housing for low and moderate income seniors since 1962.Through a variety of independent and supportive living accommodations, MCF currently provides homes for over 1,500 seniors in Calgary. Building on the legacy, Willow Park on the Bow offers an independent living environment along with support services, a unique combination and a first in Calgary for low and moderate income seniors.

“As our population ages, the demand for affordable, independent and supportive living options is rapidly increasing,” said Judy Birdsell, Board Chair, MCF Housing for Seniors. “MCF is proud to work with all levels of government as well as the community to bring a modern and economical housing alternative to Calgary seniors through Willow Park on the Bow.”

The Canada – Alberta Affordable Housing Agreement is comprised of a commitment of $98.62 million from each of the two senior levels of government. In total, the federal and provincial governments have invested some $197.24 million in the program, which provided over 3,600 affordable housing units in Alberta.

In 2008, the Government of Canada committed more than $1.9 billion over five years to improve and build new affordable housing and to help the homeless. Canada’s Economic Action Plan builds on this with an additional one-time investment of more than $2 billion over two years in new and existing social housing, plus up to $2 billion in low-cost loans to municipalities for housing-related infrastructure. Most of this funding is being implemented through amendments to the agreements for the Affordable Housing Initiative (AHI). In Alberta, this brings a further $119 million in federal funding to the province.

The Government of Alberta has a clear plan for a strong economic recovery. The Way Forward will bring Alberta back into a surplus position in three years by trimming government spending; using cash reserves to protect key programs; continuing to invest in public infrastructure; and ensuring that our province's industries are competitive and continue to attract investment to provide jobs and prosperity.

The Alberta government is on track to reach its goal to create 11,000 affordable housing units by 2012 with 8,700 units being supported during the first three years of the provincial affordable housing initiative. For more information on affordable housing support, visit

To find out more about how the Government of Canada and CMHC are working to build stronger homes and communities for all Canadians, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 or visit For more information on Canada’s Economic Action Plan, call 1-800-O Canada or visit

Media contact:

Kimberlee Jones
Prairies and Territories

Michelle Bakos
Press Secretary
Office of Minister Finley

Donna McColl
Alberta Housing and Urban Affairs

Bobbi Turko
Communications Advisor
MCF Housing for Seniors

See related speech

The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment, addresses residents and their families at the official opening of Willow Park on the Bow, a new 150 unit affordable housing project for seniors in Calgary.
The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment, addresses residents and their families at the official opening of Willow Park on the Bow, a new 150 unit affordable housing project for seniors in Calgary.


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