Enabling Housing Choice through Policy Refinement, Integration & Collaboration

Many rural Alberta communities have a critical shortage of housing options but building housing in these communities is a huge challenge. Without adequate housing of all types, many small communities cannot retain youth, attract new businesses, workers, and residents, or prevent homelessness. This negatively impacts communities’ ability to grow and prosper. Yet new housing development is continually hampered by inadequate, outdated, or just plain poor municipal policies. This happens in part because small municipalities usually rely on outside contractors to create their policies, and in part because councils lack the capacity and knowledge to accurately understand the big picture for their community. This creates a confusing, fractured policy system, and huge delays for development which severely limit the growth and availability of local housing stock.

This project will help address these challenges faced by REALTORS®, developers, municipalities, and other groups involved in housing and community development, thereby creating a greater diversity of housing choices within rural communities in Alberta, for both current and future residents. This three-year project will be completed in four phases: data gathering and project setup; partner collaboration and policy implementation; policy change guide development; and dissemination and promotion of the policy change guide. This project will help increase rural communities’ capacity through the creation of a guide and recommendations regarding policies that will promote housing development throughout rural Alberta, which all municipalities will be able to use to make their own policy changes.

As of April 2023, the Rural Development Network’s Sustainable Housing Initiative is partnering with the following municipalities to develop Land Use Policy update reports with recommendations to increase housing choice:

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The Alberta Real Estate Foundation’s 30th Anniversary Legacy Grants program supports distinctive and high-impact projects which drive transformational long-term change to advance the real estate industry and real estate across Alberta.

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Real Estate Leadership: Equip real estate and related professionals with the expertise to serve the public as trusted advisors on practical and emerging property practices and issues.


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Rural Development Network

We support rural sustainability by filling gaps in service and avoiding unnecessary duplication of services. To accurately identify social issues and find effective solutions for them, we listen to hear and understand each community’s needs and develop solutions in partnership with them. Each solution is tailored to reflect the uniqueness of the residents for whom it was created.