CALGARY -- A brand new, nine-storey affordable housing development has officially opened its doors in downtown Calgary.

The building, which carries the name Legacy on 5th, will provide a home for 74 vulnerable Calgarians who are experiencing, or at-risk of, homelessness, including those with cognitive challenges, autism and vulnerable seniors.

Bernadette Majdell, HomeSpace Society CEO, says a project like this is needed in Calgary

"We talk about in Calgary that we are short about 15,000 units of affordable housing, (and) it seems like 74 is just a drop in the bucket," said Majdell. "When you have a very extended cold spell like we just came out of, and you got COVID where people are self isolating, every unit helps."

Liam Gossen a 24-year-old living with autism, moved out of his family's home for the first time to live independently with community supports.

"It was mixed emotions," said Gossen. “I totally was excited, I get to learn to practice being much more independent."

There are nearly 3,000 Calgarians who are living homeless on any given night and upward of 100,000 households are believed to be at risk of potentially losing their housing.

Patricia Jones, Calgary Homeless Foundation president and CEO, says this project is extremely important.

"Our purpose is to guide the fight against homelessness," explained Jones. "This actually helps toward guiding that fight, to ensure that the people that maybe are experiencing homelessness have the places they need and the supports to thrive."

Legacy on 5th was made possible through the joint collaboration between Calgary Homeless Foundation, HomeSpace Society, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, City of Calgary and the commitment of RESOLVE Campaign donors.