We are in a housing crisis like nothing we have seen before. At Inn from the Cold, we’re witnessing firsthand the impact of soaring living costs and the lack of affordable housing.
Demand for services at Inn from the Cold is through the roof, with more and more Calgary families turning to us for support. Emergency shelters like ours play a critical role in the community’s homelessness response system: We provide an immediate and safe place to stay while families reconnect with housing and supports. Shelters work best when people can enter and exit rapidly, with wraparound services for their needs.
However, given the ongoing affordability crisis, families at The Inn are not exiting rapidly, and our shelter is bursting at the seams. We are seeing the average length of stay increase to 70 days, a steep increase from the 36-day average in previous years. There are no homes for families to move into, let alone affordable ones. With our shelter running over capacity and no available housing, demand outweighs the supply of local resources.
At Inn from the Cold, we’re witnessing firsthand the impact of soaring living costs and the lack of affordable housing. The rent surge has left numerous families in a tough spot, struggling to find a home that fits within their budget.
Our upcoming Community Report is almost here, revealing some eye-opening stats. Over the last year, we have seen a staggering 94% increase in the number families that reach out to use as a result of housing affordability issues. This is no surprise when you see the numerous headlines that Calgary is seeing some of the highest rent increases in the country.
Families that come to Inn from the Cold, on average, have a monthly income of $3,000. According to Rentals.ca, the average price today for a two-bedroom is $2,121. If a family can find housing, they are spending over 70% of their income on housing, leaving a thin margin on which to survive and raise a family.
The pressing need for affordable and diverse housing is evident. With every rent increase, more and more people risk becoming unhoused.
In response to the growing housing problem, there are efforts across the country at the both the national and local level to address the lack of affordable housing. For these initiatives to be successful, we must rally together and use our collective voices to motivate the government into swift and meaningful action.
So what can you do? YOU can make a difference in the lives of people in our community by making your voice heard.
City of Calgary Housing & Affordability Task Force Recommendations
*Content below shared from Vibrant Communities Calgary
The City of Calgary’s new Housing Strategy will go a long way in closing the affordable housing supply gap and towards fostering more inclusive communities. We’ll be showing our support on September 14 when their recommendations go to Calgary City Council’s Community Development Committee and we hope you will join us.
How can you help? Tell your City Councilor that you support the Housing and Affordability Task Force’s recommendations (include your address so it’s clear you are a constituent in their ward) or share your experiences in a submission by 4 p.m. on September 5.
- Speak at the Community Development Committee meeting talking about your experiences renting.
- Spread the word that you support creating a city with more affordable housing by posting these social media cards with the hashtags #YYCHousingNow #VoteYesYYCcc to raise awareness.
National Housing Accord A Multi-Sector Approach to Ending Canada’s Rental Housing Crisis
As Canada’s housing crisis worsens, a group of housing sector organizations – non-profit and for-profit housing providers, developers and investors – have put forward a plan to restore affordability, protect Canada’s most vulnerable, and build at least two million new affordable and market rental units by 2030.
We encourage you to consider sending a letter to your MP and the Prime Minister in support of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness campaign for the creation of 2 million new housing units, including over 600,000 units of affordable and deeply affordable housing.
By clicking the button above, you will be helping the National Housing Accord by automatically emailing your MP, the Prime Minister, Minister of Housing and Minister of Finance and demand they support this new housing initiative.
The time for action is now.
We know the best way to end the cycle of homelessness is to divert as many families as possible from experiencing it. Affordable housing is the foundation for effectively and efficiently preventing children from experiencing the trauma of homelessness. Once families have a home, service providers like Inn from the Cold can provide holistic and wrap-around programs and services in their residences, saving the public system’s resources.
We cannot afford to turn a blind eye to this crisis any longer. We need action. Please share your voice and together, we can make a meaningful impact in our community.