Kathleen Ganley Commits to Major Affordable Housing Investment, Housing Co-Ops & Caps On Student Rent

“Young people today tell me that they don’t believe they will ever be able to afford their home — we need to change that"

Alberta NDP Leadership candidate Kathleen Ganley has announced a series of commitments to address Alberta’s housing crisis.

Ganley said Alberta has fallen behind the rest of the country due to a series of UCP cuts that started five years ago.

“We see the devastating effects of those cuts every day, on our streets and in our communities,” Ganley said. “My plan would reverse that trend. Currently, Alberta’s social housing stock makes up only 2.9 per cent of total housing in the province, when that figure is 3.5 per cent nationwide. I think we must do even better than that over time, as we know OECD countries are targeting seven per cent of social housing stock.”

Ganley is committing to a major investment in affordable housing when the Alberta NDP forms government in 2027, including different sizes of units to accommodate families of all types.

“This will come with an initial cost upfront; however, it saves so much money in the long run when it comes to social programs, crime reduction, the impact to our healthcare and so much more,” Ganley said.

She also said she would make necessary changes to regulations and create programs to encourage the development of housing co-ops, that is joint-owned residential developments where members have equal control over decisions related to the property. Co-op models have proven very successful in large cities due to the flexibility they provide people with varying income levels, family sizes and other needs.

The third plank of Ganley’s plan is a commitment to invest in student housing and specifically the development of on-campus housing. Ganley said once that development occurs her government would set a cap for the monthly rent Alberta students pay.

“The cost of housing should not ever be a barrier to students getting the education they deserve,” Ganley said. “Capping the rent they pay provides stability and predictability so they can focus on their studies.”

Ganley said she would consult broadly on further measures to address the housing crisis. 

“Young people today tell me that they don’t believe they will ever be able to afford their home — we need to change that,” she said. “This is a complex problem that has multiple solutions but this plan I’m putting forward would begin to address the crisis facing so many Albertans.

"This is critical to building an economy that works for people."