Westwinds Communities has long been dedicated to providing quality housing solutions to individuals and families in the Foothills of Alberta. We believe that everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. As part of our ongoing commitment to serving our community effectively, we’d like to share some important updates and changes that have recently taken place within our housing programs.
One significant change that has come about recently is the Province’s requirement for all waitlisted applicants to reapply for affordable housing, effective July 1, 2023. To meet this mandate, Westwinds initiated a process to purge our waitlists and reinvigorate our affordable housing waitlist with updated information from those who wish to continue their housing journey with us. As a result, only those who have reapplied have been entered into our waitlist system.
The transition period following the reapplication requirement has led to a reduction in affordable housing waitlist for seniors independent living and family affordable housing. The reduction in our waitlists allows us to streamline our processes and better serve those who are committed to securing housing with us. Our waitlists for the retirement living lodges and near market housing programs remain unchanged.
Less than a year ago, we implemented a new residency requirement – stipulating that all applicants for Seniors Independent Living and Family Affordable Housing must reside in our region for at least six months before applying. This change has resulted in a substantial decrease in eligible households, as we now primarily focus on the needs of our local community – no longer accommodating residents from Calgary. This adjustment helps us address the specific housing needs of the Foothills Region and area more effectively. The residency requirement does not apply to the retirement living lodges which allows local families to have their loved one move closer and to our near market housing program.
We are pleased to announce that we have secured additional funding from the Province for our Rental Assistance Benefit Program. This funding boost has had a positive impact on households in Okotoks, with over 100+ new households being admitted to the program since April 2023. This increase in support has successfully alleviated the demand on our housing programs.
As of September, we are proud to report that we have 263 households receiving rental assistance benefits, representing a remarkable 62% increase in just under six months. The program currently has available capacity, with no waitlists, and is open to new applications. Our primary challenge now lies in clients finding suitable rental housing.
Our commitment to providing safe and affordable housing solutions remains unwavering. We understand the challenges our community faces when it comes to securing housing, and we are dedicated to addressing these needs with efficiency and compassion.
The recent changes in our waitlist process, residency requirements, and increased funding for rental assistance are all steps toward improving our services and better serving our local community. We look forward to continuing our mission to provide quality housing solutions to those in need in the Foothills Region and surrounding areas.
If you have any questions or wish to apply for our housing programs or rental assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Together, we can make a positive impact on housing in our community.