Alpha House celebrates opening of affordable housing building in Hillhurst-Sunnyside
Unit inside Aurora on the Park, an affordable housing building in Hillhurst-Sunnyside
Aurora on the Park, a new apartment building in a northwest neighbourhood, will soon welcome formerly homeless Calgarians and tenants identified as vulnerable.
“We’re really delighted to have this opportunity to move people in really quickly,” said Kathy Christiansen, executive director of the Calgary Alpha House Society.
The 25 unit building, located in the 800 block of 10 Street N.W., is set to open on Friday and its barrier-free design will ensure access to tenants with mobility issues.
“We operate on a housing first philosophy,” explained Christiansen. “The premise of that is we house people first and then we deal with some of the challenges that they may be facing.”
Christiansen says the permanent tenants will receive assistance related to basic needs, addictions, mental health issues and physical health issues.
“The support we will provide to people in this building will be fairly intensive. We’ll have staff on site 24 hours and we also work with healthcare providers and home care providers. We’re dealing with people who I think are some of our most vulnerable Calgarians.”
The Hillhurst-Sunnyside location, which was once the site of a 100-year-old home turned art installation, provides easy access to public transportation.
Tenants will sign a lease with HomeSpace and will pay rent each month. “For those who may need some assistance with their rent, if their income may not be sufficient, Alpha House provides housing supplements.”
Christiansen says knowing they’ll have a safe place to stay can change a person’s outlook. “The amount of dignity, the ability to have your basic needs met, is a huge thing,” said Christiansen. “People are really, really delighted and really, really excited to move in here.”
Alpha House has been providing housing to its clients since 2008.
Aurora on the Park is the latest addition to Calgary's 10 year plan to end homelessness.