It’s understandable that large “social housing” projects can raise serious concerns within a community. However, far better examples of new, effective housing developments now exist.
In planning this project, several cities were researched to craft a solution unique to the needs and demands of Calgary. The example studied was the Portland Model.
THE PORTLAND MODEL
The Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness in Portland, Oregon is one of the most successful initiatives in North America. Four of its key success factors are:
- Commitment to "Housing First"
- Emphasis on permanent solutions (as opposed to temporary shelters or transitional housing)
- Increasing the supply of permanent supportive housing through creative partnerships
- Providing consistent sustained support
This initiative has amply demonstrated that diligent building management, strict maintenance and adequate security will avoid the pitfalls of the developments of earlier generations of housing developments.
The Mustard Seed's initiative has been widely endorsed as a progressive approach toward relieving the affordable housing crisis for homeless people in Calgary's inner city.
Those endorsements have come from provincial and international authorities on homelessness and affordable housing; and by local organizations including the Calgary Homeless Foundation, the Calgary Police Service, the Beltline Communities Association, Victoria Crossing BRZ, the Salvation Army, and by the local member of Calgary City Council, Alderman John Mar.
The Mustard Seed has a long and proud history of providing shelter, housing and support to clients in desperate need of housing. We particularly want to applaud the Mustard Seed’s public engagement process and your willingness to adapt the proposed facility to address community concerns. Your Good Neighbour Agreement will be a model others will hopefully follow.- Tim Richter,
President & CEO, Calgary Homeless Foundation