Affordable Housing for All
At the time of writing this, temperatures here in Edmonton and across Alberta are plummeting and nearing record lows. I hope you’re all doing your best to stay safe and warm.
I’ve been hearing from so many of you lately that as times get tougher and temperatures drop, the safety and well-being of our unhoused neighbours are at the top of your minds. I want you to know that this is true for me too. And I know that we have a long way to go and a lot of work to do to meet the needs of everyone in our community. We must ensure that we are all able to live safely, that we are all treated with dignity and respect, and that we all have access to community care and support.
When I wrote to you back in December, I noted that I would be introducing a private member’s bill in support of affordable housing. I’m proud to share that at the beginning of December, I did get to introduce this bill: Bill 205, the Housing Statutes (Housing Security) Amendment Act 2023. This bill includes a proposed four-year cap on rent increases in Alberta, and a requirement for the provincial government to report to Albertans on how much affordable housing is being built each year. I know that this bill, if passed, won’t solve the housing crisis in our province - this will take a multi-pronged, truly cooperative and collaborative approach. But I am confident that it will offer relief as we work towards permanent solutions.
This is hard work, but it’s work that we must do - and we’ll do it together. We’ll keep pushing to build the just, safe, and forward-thinking society that we all deserve. As I said in my last letter, it’s knowing that we’re together in this that makes me prouder than ever to be your MLA.
In addition to fighting for affordable housing for all, we’ll keep fighting for everything we need to build a strong, resilient province. We’ll keep fighting to protect your hard-earned pensions, to support renewable energy, to rebuild and strengthen our public healthcare system, and to ensure that our kids receive the education that they need and deserve.
I know that we have lots more work to do together and, as always, I want to hear from you. Please reach out, and know that I’m here to listen and to work alongside you as we build a better province for folks in Boyle Street, McCauley, and in communities all across Alberta.
Take good care of yourselves and each other.
Janis Irwin, MLA for Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood