Development Announcement
Affordable Housing Announcement
Ray Watrin, Deputy Mayor of Okotoks announces the official launch of the D’Arcy Affordable Housing project.
Brenda Strafford CEO, Linda McLean

Partnering with the Town of Okotoks and the Brenda Stafford Society for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (BSS), we are pleased to participate in the D’Arcy Affordable Housing project. The project was officially launched in September, 2021 – and will be built in the newly developed D’Arcy neighborhood. The Brenda Stafford Society, a registered charitable organization, provides safe housing and comprehensive support services for women and children impacted by family violence.

The development will add more purpose-built rental units in Okotoks, filling a gap that has existed for years. The additional affordable and diverse housing options in our community will fit our residents’ needs at every age and stage of their lives.

Westwinds is planning to build 50 below-market rental units in two buildings, which will be completed in two phases, and provide housing primarily for families, couples, roommates and seniors who are currently on housing waitlists in addition to a housing program for youth. The first phase of construction includes 20 units and the second phase would add 30 units as a stacked townhouse development.

An additional acre is available to develop market-rate rental units, which could potentially be owned and operated by a private builder. The Town will recoup a portion of the cost for the land through this development.

The vision of this project is to create a complete and welcoming community for all. By aligning with the Town’s new Municipal Development Plan and Land Use Bylaw, and through this partnership and future relationships, long-term affordable housing will be supported, resulting in diverse neighbourhoods and an inclusive community. It will enable Okotoks residents to remain in the community throughout their lives as they transition through the continuum of their housing needs.

For more information about the project and affordable housing in Okotoks, visit

Why is the Town providing land for this development?

Adding more purpose-built rental units in Okotoks will fill a gap that has existed for years. This aligns with Council’s strategic priority to provide affordable housing and diverse housing choices to fit all of our residents needs at every age and stage of their lives. It also reflects the recommendations in the Affordable Housing Strategy to maintain and establish new partnerships that will get affordable housing built. The Strategy was developed by the Affordable Housing Taskforce, which was composed of volunteer community members.

Why was this location selected for affordable housing?

This property is zoned Neighbourhood Core District (NC) under the Town’s Land Use Bylaw and dwelling units are listed as a permitted use in this district. The proposed development for the site is aligned with the intent of the NC district to provide for a variety of housing options where dwellings are primarily attached and multi-unit dwellings. 

The Location is excellent with access to the D’Arcy pathway system, local schools, shopping and downtown amenities ensuring the residents can be an active part of the local community.

What will the buildings look like?

Detailed design of the buildings has not yet commenced; however, development of the site will be subject to the architectural controls for the D’Arcy neighbourhood and design standards in the Land Use Bylaw.  Through the development permitting process the layout and design of the buildings will be evaluated to ensure they are integrated with the surrounding community and align with the architectural controls.

Westwinds Communities anticipates building stacked townhouses with balconies on the upper units.

Who will be responsible for the development and building permits?
Both Westwinds Communities and Brenda Stafford Society will assume all costs for site development, permitting and construction costs for their portions of the site.

What is application and approval process?

The Land Use Bylaw stipulates the rules of development that must be followed. Development proposals will be reviewed by the Development Authority and the development partners will share information on the site’s design and building architecture with the public.

When will construction begin?

For six years, Westwinds Communities has been exploring land in Okotoks for affordable housing.  The designation of 1.08 acres to Westwinds means we can finally start site design and seek funding from provincial and federal governments for the construction.  Westwinds will be dependent on government grant to advance both projects.  Our goal is to complete phase one of 10-20 units in 2023.

As the newest partner in this development partnership, The Brenda Stafford Society is in early stages of securing seed funding to support servicing ad design costs. This will position The BSS to be eligible for capital grants to advance construction. Our goal is to raise funds to begin construction in late 2022 – early 2023.

Who will be eligible to live in the units? How can you apply for a unit?

Westwinds Communities provides housing to low and moderate income households.  Families, single, couples, roommates and seniors will be eligible for consideration.  Westwinds anticipates two of the units in phase one to be barrier free.

Qualifying households will have assets less than $60,000 and annual combined household income below $46,000.  Westwinds will start taking applications when construction commences to avoid the requirement for annual application to the program.

The BSS serves women and children impacted by family violence. This includes single women (ages 18+) and women (ages 18+) with child dependents. Residents will receive affordable housing complimented by in house wrap around supports designed to support each family to transition to successful independence in the community. Supports include counselling, case management, child and youth development, respite care, employment prep, and life skills training. Potential residents may be referred from a women’s emergency shelter, a community agency, a church, a family member/friend. We also accept self-referrals. Intake is based on availability and alignment with applicant needs. Intake is ongoing with no deadlines or application periods. Length of stay is up to 24 months.  Applications may be submitted by contacting The BSS directly by phone or email.

What will it cost to live here?

Westwinds Communities rental rates are based on being 20% below market rent for Okotoks.  Projected rental rates are anticipated to be in the range of $900 to $1,100 per month plus utilities.  Lower income households may also apply for the rental assistance benefit to further reduce the monthly rent but availability will be based on provincial funding and the program waitlist.

The BSS – Rent is based on income and capped at 30% max of gross income. This will vary for each resident dependent on income source.

Who is building the market rental units?

The selection for a developer to build the market rental units will be determined through a RFP process. All costs for this portion of the site will be covered by the developer. This will provide an opportunity for the Town to recoup a portion of the land and development costs for this property.

When will the market rental units be built?

This will be determined once a private sector partner has been selected

 Who will manage the properties once they are built?

A bare land condominium is proposed that would allow for shared on-site management for snow clearing, landscape maintenance, parking lot maintenance, and other site matters between the two non-profit organizations and private developer and would not require Town involvement.