On Thursday, Dec. 14th, 2017, the Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) voted unanimously in support of YWCA Banff’s proposal for the Courtyard Housing Project. The MPC’s approval of our landmark housing development was the best way to close off a year of incredible community support for our organization’s programs and projects.
Individuals across a spectrum of financial and social circumstances will experience the stress that comes with housing insecurity. In Banff, housing vacancy hovers consistently around 0%. This can present insurmountable barriers to those looking to build a life in an otherwise welcoming, highly-appealing mountain community, and force some long-term residents to move out of the Bow Valley. For a town with a thriving tourism sector, a lack of affordable housing can hinder opportunities for businesses to develop a sustainable workforce of permanent residents of Banff.
We are thrilled that the MPC and residents of Banff have rallied behind the Courtyard Project’s plan to create a housing solution for vulnerable residents struggling to find a suitable home in our community. The Courtyard Project will add 33 self-contained units (a mix of studio, one, two and four-bedroom spaces) to Banff’s inventory.
The apartment units will be geared towards those who fit criteria including (though not exclusively); new and extended families, women, and individuals with accessibility needs, with the common thread of being lower income earners. Extensive research and planning determined that an integrated, active modular design was the right approach for the Courtyard Project, with the development striving for a net zero energy footprint. Units will have a strong commitment to connectivity, functionality and livability standards for residents, with a clear mandate to a sustainable, affordable and suitable unit mix.
We look forward to making our community proud through the development of a highly-functional, innovative housing solution for Banff residents, and hope to break ground for the Courtyard Project in summer 2018.