After just 12 months of renovations, Calgary has one less vacant office tower and 82 more affordable homes. The 10-storey office tower formerly known as Sierra Place, located at 706 7th Avenue SW, has been completely renovated into 82 units of affordable housing for vulnerable Calgarians, including Inn from the Cold emergency shelter and transitional housing for families facing homelessness.
Three floors of the Neoma building will be home to Inn from the Cold’s program and administration space that includes family emergency shelter, offices, transitional shelter, and wrap-around supports for families facing a housing crisis. With six floors of permanent supportive housing and amenities for residents, grand opening of Neoma will be held on September 29 with Inn from the Cold’s operations moving into the facility in October, followed by residents in affordable housing units in the coming months.
The conversion of Neoma would not have been possible without the Government of Canada’s $16.6 million investment from the Rapid Housing Initiative, as well as $2 million from the province and federal government through the Canada – Alberta Bilateral Housing agreement under the National Housing Strategy, and $5.5 million from the City of Calgary as part of its downtown revitalization initiative. Private donors also raised nearly $6 million toward this $30 million project, which was delivered on time and on budget.
“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Thanks to the Rapid Housing Initiative, our government is making this a reality by rapidly providing affordable homes for the most vulnerable individuals across Canada, including right here in Calgary. This is one of the many ways our government’s National Housing Strategy continues to ensure no one is left behind.”
“Through the Rapid Housing Initiative, our Liberal Government is investing in affordable housing here in Calgary and across Canada because every Canadian deserves a safe place to call home. Today’s announcement is a great example of how our Government’s housing funds are having a tangible impact on Calgary communities. Having access safe and affordable homes is key to a healthy life.”
“Neoma is a great example of strategic partnerships, community expertise, and innovative thinking in action. Alberta’s government is proud to support this community-driven project and help Calgarians find stability and get back on their feet.”
“By investing in projects like Neoma, we're creating a downtown where low-income families, seniors and newcomers can build their lives with access to key amenities just a short walk away. The City, in partnership with HomeSpace, private donors and the federal government, provided significant investment to convert a vacant office building into affordable housing units, which is the first conversion of its kind in Canada. Calgary is proud to be leading the country with this project that will serve as a blueprint for cities looking to address both the housing crisis as well as downtown revitalization.”
“It took the support of the entire community to make this first-of-its-kind project a success. Calgary has demonstrated that vacant office space can be repurposed to help address the housing crisis in Canada. Together, with support from all levels of government and several generous private donors we have created a space that offers families a pathway to stability through safe housing.”
“The way the community has come together to support families facing a housing crisis and make our new home possible has just been incredible Our new purpose-built space allows us to better serve families in need and we are confident the unique holistic approach facilitated by this building, will help break the cycle of family homelessness.”
- The Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) is a $2.5 billion program under the National Housing Strategy (NHS) to help address the urgent housing needs of vulnerable Canadians, especially in the context of COVID-19, through the rapid construction of over 10,000 units of affordable housing.
- The RHI takes a human rights-based approach to housing, serving people experiencing or at risk of homelessness and other vulnerable people, including women and children fleeing domestic violence, seniors, young adults, Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, people experiencing mental health and addiction issues, veterans, LGBTQ2S+ individuals, racialized and Black Canadians, recent immigrants, and refugees.
- Budget 2022 proposes to provide $1.5 billion over the next two years to extend the RHI and create 6,000 additional affordable housing units across Canada, with at least 25% of funding going towards women-focused housing projects.
- The Government of Canada’s National Housing Strategy (NHS) is an ambitious, 10-year plan that will invest over $72 billion to give more Canadians a place to call home.
About HomeSpace Society:
HomeSpace is a charitable developer, rental housing owner and property manager. HomeSpace provides safe, appropriate and affordable housing for the most vulnerable Calgarians and owns a portfolio of more than 765 units in 25 communities across the city. For more information visit our website.
About Inn from the Cold:
For over 25 years, Inn from the Cold has been helping vulnerable families find stability in times of crisis. As the largest organization in the Calgary region that is dedicated solely to families experiencing a housing crisis, we believe that a community where no child or family is homeless is possible. To help bring our vision to life we provide three main programs: homelessness prevention and diversion, emergency family shelter, and supportive housing. Visit innfromthecold.org for more information.
- As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. CMHC’s aim is that by 2030, everyone in Canada has a home they can afford, and that meets their needs. For more information, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.
- Check out the National Housing Strategy Housing Funding Initiatives Map to see the affordable housing projects that have been developed across Canada.
Office of the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Inn from the Cold