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'Unavailable or unaffordable': Banff looks to tackle housing crisis


The Town of Banff is hoping a new affordable housing strategy can make a dent in the community's housing crisis.

"Housing is either unavailable or unaffordable," said Mayor Corrie DiManno.

"It's absolutely heartbreaking when there are people in your community who are struggling to just survive," she said.

Town officials say the current shortfall for housing is about 700 to 1,000 units.

The project recommended by town staff is located at the Tatanga Ridge Benchlands site and would provide more than 250 units, with a mix of rentals and for-purchase housing.

It sits on 5.8 acres of land and would not have to be rezoned as it's designated for residential use.

Officials say apartments, row homes and townhomes could all be built at the site.

"We need to be making bold action. We need to be taking innovative approaches," DiManno said.

Shawayne Dunstan moved to Banff in May of 2021.

"That was due to an internship because of Humber College and I was very fortunate to have the Fairmont hire me and offer me affordable housing necessarily," he said.

"I can only imagine how it is for many members of the community to be in search of that and in need."

Dunstan says he has seen a drastic change in the cost of living.

"Living has definitely gone up with inflation," he said.

"It's been very hard and definitely an impact between whether you want parking or whether you want housing, and then also the cost of like groceries and all. Hard decisions are needing to be made."

Council was tasked on Monday to amend the capital budget for 2023 through 2032 by an additional $300,000 through the Community Housing Reserve to allow for a site analysis, including a geotechnical investigation, slope stability analysis and site pre-designs.

The total cost of the project -- if approved -- is not known, but town officials are hopeful for funding from all levels of government. Top Stories

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