Community Conversation: YWCA Banff Sustainable Courtyard Project

On Thursday, November 23, 2017, the YWCA invites Bow Valley community members into the Great Room for a conversation on the proposed YWCA Banff Courtyard Sustainable Housing Project.


Project Overview

The YWCA has been the leading provider of managed, affordable housing in the Banff community for over 25 years. We are proud to accommodate 103 residents, while simultaneously delivering programs and services that help make our community a safe and healthy place to live. The YWCA Courtyard Project is an opportunity to expand the inventory of affordable rental housing in Banff. Our goal is to create a thriving neighbourhood by offering suitable, affordable housing and relevant supports that together foster a sense of belonging, security and community pride.

The Plan

The Courtyard Project will add 33 affordable housing units to our inventory, designed for residents who face barriers to finding suitable rental accommodation in Banff. Criteria for potential residents would include (though not exclusively); new and extended families, women and individuals with accessibility needs, with the common thread of being lower income earners. The 2012 Banff Housing Study identified a shortfall of between 450-730 housing units in our community, with the lack of available lands being a key deterrent to overcoming this shortage through traditional supply avenues. The Banff Community Housing Strategy identifies affordable rental housing as a key priority in addressing our housing shortfall.

Creating a home is more than having a physical space in which to live. The YWCA has spent years researching and brainstorming housing innovations with a focus on active modular and functional spaces, light, walkability, relevant supports, neighbourhoods, durability, along with other ways of establishing a highly functional product while maintaining affordability.

Rents

Rents for the Courtyard units will be influenced by the expectations of our funders. We estimate this to mean approximately 10-20% below market rates, similar to the formula for our existing housing program. The terms and conditions of rental rates are being determined, and will be communicated at a later date.

Finances

Estimated Total Project Cost: $7.7 million (including land)
YWCA Contribution of Land: $1.6 million.
The YWCA is seeking the majority of funding from both the Federal and Provincial governments.

Next Steps

We welcome community members to review our preliminary designs and conceptsfor the Courtyard Project and encourage you to share your impressions and comments by filling out this Survey by August 1st. As we finalize details and secure the necessary funding, we will continue to share relevant updates with our community.