2020/08/10 | News – sector growth

Converting the Community Housing Sector: One Hotel Space at the Time

The Elan, Calgary, Alberta

It is with great enthusiasm that the Centre shares positive news for the community housing sector from Alberta. More community housing stock will be available to vulnerable tenants by Horizon Housing’s recent acquisition: The Elan!

“The Centre has funded two of Horizon Housing projects with our STFLP (Sector Transformation- Local Projects) Grant Program because we believe they are uniquely placed to transform the community housing sector in Alberta,” says Stéphan Corriveau, Executive Director at the Centre. “Their latest acquisition continues to reinforce their mission to offer adapted homes in an integrated environment for people with mental health challenges or other special needs.”

Known for hospitality and exceptional quality, the building used to be a hotel and now serves Horizon Housing’s mission. As a registered charitable organization, over 700 residents live in Horizon’s 16 residences, 8 supported homes and 8 apartment buildings, in Calgary.

“Our vision is to create a connected community built on positive energy and respect where our residents enjoy a safe, affordable place to live and contribute to the vibrancy of our neighbourhood,” says Martina Jileckova, chief executive officer at Horizon Housing. The Elan, formerly a very popular hotel, now offers 62 homes and community spaces. Through a combination of studios, 1- and 2-bedroom units, residents benefit from a central location with on-site community spaces and many quality amenities.

“We are also celebrating a generous private donor and his family who made the Elan’s purchase possible. We are humbled by this donor’s belief in our vision and energized by the tremendous opportunity to create housing solutions and make our community more inclusive for everyone,” concludes Martina Jileckova.

Acquisitions of existing rental apartments and conversions to residential uses from hotels or offices have been on the agenda during discussions with federal, provincial, and municipal partners. The Centre has played an active role in highlighting benefits of purchasing vacant buildings and convert them into community housing stock and we hope to see this acquisition inspire many other initiatives in the community housing sector.

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