I am grateful that Council came around to forwarding the six recommendations and 33 actions related to the Housing and Affordability Task Force to administration for further discussion and action at committee and council.
The journey to approval was bumpy. Council initially voted down the Task Force recommendations in a 7-8 vote on Tuesday, leading to shock and outrage from Calgarians, and garnering condemnation from the public, housing advocates, and federal MPs.
Yesterday the original motion was brought back for reconsideration and approved with a new set of recommendations. The recommendations are almost identical to the original, though lay out more clearly the next steps and opportunities for engagement by both the public and council.
The actions we undertake with future decisions of council can move our city forward in retaining critical talent, attracting new Calgarians, and maintaining our competitive advantage in a time where worldwide movement is an option for many.
I want Calgary to be the city of opportunity for the over 100,000 people in the next four years who will choose Calgary to build their lives and livelihoods. We want to be a city that allows our talented youth and students to create lives and livelihoods of their own because we have homes for them to grow and flourish into the next generation of leaders.
The recommendations are about more than an increase in non-market housing, though absolutely a critical component. The recommendations of the task force will improve the access to housing at all levels in the market for individuals and families across the income spectrum.
Housing in Calgary is and will continue transforming. Creating a regulatory framework that enables us to respond in a timely manner to the pressures facing the need for homes is critical and we need to support all Calgarians to address what can quickly become a crisis without this swift action.
Thank you to the many Calgarians for raising their voices to correct our course. I look forward to the ongoing conversation with my colleagues, experts in housing, and Calgarians about the future we must build together.