At the City Council Meeting held Monday, July 12, 2021 City Council ratified the purchase of the proposed site location for the Coordinated Care Campus.
The subject property is located on the corner of 100 Street and 121 Avenue.
In fall of 2020, the City was approached by the current owner to acquire the property for social housing purposes. After an initial review on the viability of the opportunity, the City engaged an outside consultant to complete a market appraisal, building condition assessment and to prepare grant applications.
The City prepared a Business Case to assess the project and followed this by having third-party legal complete a Conditional Offer to Purchase. The offer was accepted, which initiated public processes, including rezoning, development permit application and community engagement.
Communication on this rezoning proposal was provided to the community through a media release, social media campaign, webpage on engage.cityofgp.com, centralized email at firstname.lastname@example.org, site signage, information handouts to adjacent property owners, and a series of engagement sessions.
The total capital investment is estimated to be $15,500.000. Annual debt servicing and operating costs are expected to be in the range of $3,000,000 to $3,500,000. The estimated net operating impact based on the financial forecast (without additional federal or provincial support) is approximately $150,000 per year. Budget and cashflow projections anticipate that debt payments will be covered by operating revenues, rather than requiring the City to increase taxes to balance the budget.
Next steps are continuing planning for the site with the intention of having the first individuals housed by fall.
About the Coordinated Care Campus
The Coordinated Care Campus model of Community Supportive Housing offers onsite client care with wrap around 24/7 supports, including security, to address varied levels of need related to mental health, physical health, and addiction. The model includes group programming, life skills training, and assistance in accessing additional services. Additionally, the site is designed to be conducive to social enterprise and employment opportunities for program participants. All programming components have a focus on a recovery-oriented system of care.
The model represents an immediate and comprehensive response to the homeless crisis in our community. It builds upon lessons learnt from similar initiatives and leverages multi-disciplinary efforts to provide on-site, 24/7 wrap around supports for the tenants.
The purchase comes as the Parkside Pilot Project concludes, COVID-19 funding from other levels of government that has supported overflow shelters, bridge housing, expanded programming, health supports and outreach workers to support the homeless and street-engaged populations is being suspended, resulting in the quick cessation of many of these programs, and the city faces a crisis at local emergency shelters.
Development of Community Supported Housing is a unique, evidence-based and forward-thinking approach aligned with the Homelessness Strategy for Grande Prairie 2021-2023. It allows for a full-spectrum provision of services, thus addressing the root causes of homelessness through personalized prevention and intervention. It empowers Grande Prairie’s homeless-serving sector to provide care options that meet people where they are at, move people out of homelessness quickly, and into housing with appropriate supports based on their own unique circumstances.
More information about the Homelessness Strategy for Grande Prairie 2021-2023 can be found at cityofgp.com/HomelessnessStrategy.