The opening of a new permanent supportive housing project in Edmonton means more people experiencing chronic homelessness have a safe, stable place to call home and support to address their needs.
The Alberta government provided $4 million in 2016-17 to help construct Balwin Place. The building includes 25 self-contained one-bedroom suites, with two common spaces for residents to gather. Three units are barrier-free for accessible use and a unique rooftop common area will house a garden and provide social space for residents.
The project is a partnership between the province, the City of Edmonton and Homeward Trust Edmonton. Homeward Trust is one of seven community-based organizations in Alberta’s major centres that works with communities to plan and administer provincial Housing First funding and helps coordinate local plans to end homelessness.
“All Albertans deserve a safe and affordable place to call home. We are proud to work with community partners like Homeward Trust to improve access to supports for people affected by homelessness. Our ongoing commitment to affordable housing and supports is a key way our government is making life better for all Albertans.”
~Irfan Sabir, Minister of Community and Social Services
The funding is part of the government’s ongoing $1.2-billion commitment to the provincial affordable housing strategy. In addition, government is committing more than $1 million annually to support the operation of Balwin Place.
“Everyone should have a safe and affordable home. This much-needed project is providing accessible and supportive homes for Albertans who need it the most. Our government will continue to make life better for Alberta families by building affordable housing across the province.”
~Lori Sigurdson, Minister of Seniors & Housing
Balwin Place follows a Housing First model which provides individuals with housing and wraparound support services, such as rent supports, mental health services, addictions treatment and employment skills, so they can regain their independence. More than 15,000 Albertans have been helped by Housing First programming, including about 4,300 people in Edmonton.
“This much-needed Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) is helping our community move forward to achieve our collective goal of ending homelessness in Edmonton. This project is an important contribution towards the 916 units of PSH that we urgently require as identified in A Place to Call Home: Edmonton’s Updated Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness.”
~Susan McGee, Homeward Trust Edmonton CEO
In 2018-19, the province is investing nearly $191 million into community-based programming that addresses the needs of those experiencing homelessness, and women and children leaving family violence.