Media Coverage

"‘Home is here’: Hundreds seek to be heard about housing at Calgary city hall"

Ryan Andersen with the Calgary Alliance for the Common Good recognized that elements of the recommended housing strategy, like removing parking minimums and going to one common land-use designation, became politicized before Thursday’s meeting.

“What we expect from our leaders is to cut through that politicizing and actually address the needs of Calgarians. They’re real and so real leadership addresses the real needs of communities,” Andersen said.

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"Dozens of Calgarians speak on housing as Ottawa pledges funding with conditions."

A rally of about 200 people over the lunch hour also came to city hall in an effort to urge council to act.

"The message that Calgarians have sent to councillors today is that they need them to take action immediately," said Becky Best-Bertwistle, an organizer with the group Calgary's Future.

The public hearing is expected to continue into Friday evening. A council meeting has been called for Saturday for debate on the strategy.

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"Calgary housing strategy talks kick off Thursday amid 'crisis' situation"

Over 100 people have registered to share their stories and concerns as the committee tackles the problem, ahead of a decision by council on a new strategy by the weekend.

“It is a crisis, and city council just has to act,” said Elizabeth McLennan with the Calgary Alliance for the Common Good, a non-profit, non-partisan group of unions, schools, and community groups in Calgary representing more than 35,000 people.

For people looking for a place to live, it’s been a dire situation.

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"'These rent increases are out of control': Calgarians rally amid housing crisis"

Many organizations, such as Hillhurst United Church, the University of Calgary Student Union, and the Calgary Alliance for the Common Good, were leading chants, which they hope will echo through chambers as council undergoes the several-day process of choosing a housing strategy.

Many attendees pushed for rent caps, while others sought more affordable housing units in and around the city.

One attendee, David, had a pretty clear message for council.

“Just listen to your experts,” he told CityNews.

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"Calgary housing strategy Day 1: Overall support, stories of hardship without a home"

"Calgary Alliance for the Common Good gathers to protest for action to be taken on affordable housing, at City Hall on Thursday, September 14, 2023. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY"

"Alberta NDP MLAs from across Calgary, along with the caucus’ housing critic Janis Irwin, attended the Alliance for the Common Good’s non-partisan protest for affordable housing over the noon hour.

"Irwin said that the party was there to support the demands for action on affordable housing, and to urge all orders of government to work together to tackle the crisis."

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"Calgary Transit plans to double number of transit ambassadors."

Critics pleased with decision that avoids using peace officers, security guards

Christine Laing, a board member with the Calgary Alliance for the Common Good, said her group is pleased to see Calgary Transit staffing the CTrains with helpers who are not peace officers or security guards.

“This is an excellent start,” said Laing. “It gives you good information about what the needs of the people using transit really are. And you can deploy it in a variety of ways to improve services across the board.”

Laing said security guards and peace officers have compliance and enforcement as the central part of their job, and that changes the relationship between the transit user and the officer they’re speaking with. She said it’s better if people can interact with someone who is not in uniform and is there to assist and help.

Laing had previously raised concerns about an added police presence on CTrains last spring as a way of dealing with increased social disorder on the system.

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