Provincial Housing Minister Josephine Pon, Deputy Ministers, and the Chief of Staff recently came to Airdrie.
During their time here, they took some time to tour the Airdrie Housing Limited Project at the old Super 8 across from Genesis Place as well as the Hampton Inn Project.
Mayor Peter Brown says “Hopefully the message that resonates with the minister is that Airdrie needs provincial support”
Brown believes that the message was echoed throughout the several hours long visit quite well, and remains hopeful that the province will help support the city.
Brown followed up by saying “The cities invested, Rocky View foundations invested, and the province hasn’t in a significant way. To be honest with you we haven’t had an investment in affordable housing in 16 years”
16 years ago, Airdrie had around 30,000 people, now it has nearly 80,000 people.
With the increase in people, it has seen an increase in the number of seniors which could greatly benefit from affordable rent, Brown states.
“It's not just housing that the city needs support in, its health care, transportation, and emergency services as well” Brown says.
Brown says they will see a lot more information coming in on the city on provincial responsibility and municipal responsibility.
The Mayor states “that we need citizens help to take action, get involved, and make sure that these shortfalls that are happening through provincial funding do not continue, that the city, the businesses and our citizens have had enough.”
The province is looking at revamping the way they distribute and facilitate money flowing into different municipalities.
Which Brown commented on saying “right now, there's no accountability. Theres no real process. No clear understanding, if you and I are competing for the same dollars, why those dollars went to you and why they didn't come to us or vice versa. But again, the Deputy Minister repeated to us that it could take up to 10 years to develop that process. So, it's not anytime soon. So, in the immediate, you're going to see a lot more coming from myself on behalf of Council, in educating our citizens as to what we are responsible for as a municipality, and what our MLAs and what the provincial government is responsible for. And we need to hold them to account period.”
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