Edmonton Minute: Homelessness Plan, Naming Review, and a District Plan Hearing

Edmonton Minute: Homelessness Plan, Naming Review, and a District Plan Hearing


Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics


This Week In Edmonton:

  • This morning, at 9:30 am, there will be a Public Hearing. There are several zoning amendments up for discussion including allowing for medium scale housing in Hays Ridge, Cy Becker, and Belvedere. On Tuesday, at 8:30 am, there will be a meeting of the Agenda Review Committee.

  • On Tuesday, at 9:30 am, there will be a second Public Hearing regarding the City’s District Policy and Plans. The District Network divides the city into 15 distinct districts and implements detailed district-level planning aligned with the overarching goals of the City Plan. The goal is to have 50% of all trips within the city be made by transit or other active transportation modes and for residents to access daily necessities within a 15-minute walk or transit trip. Residents can register to speak about the District Plan as a whole, or about the plans for each individual district. Additional time is scheduled on Wednesday and Thursday, at 9:30 am each day, in case the hearing does not finish on time. More information, including a map of the districts, is available on the City’s website.

  • The City is preparing to release a new plan to address homelessness amid alarming data on deaths among those experiencing homelessness. A report revealed that deaths among those individuals increased from 30 in 2017 to 302 in 2023, though improved data collection may partly explain the rise. Homeward Trust estimates that 3,200 people are currently experiencing homelessness in Edmonton and projects a need for 1,700 supportive housing units and 250 transitional units over the next five years. The City has allocated $183 million for housing in the current budget, and the comprehensive plan is expected to be released in June.


Last Week In Edmonton:

  • The Urban Planning Committee had some questions about the City’s comprehensive review of names for parks, streets, neighbourhoods, and civic buildings. Currently, the City is creating a public database of municipal entities named over the past two decades. Councillors discussed the progress and potential costs of this initiative, especially following the high-profile renaming of the Oliver neighbourhood to Wîhkwêntôwin, which cost $680,000. Concerns were raised about the perception of erasing community history, but overall, the plan was seen as sensible. Last fall, the City's Naming Committee recommended updating the database for “accuracy and appropriateness”, but says they don’t have the resources to do this. Even if the City wasn’t in a dire financial situation, we can’t spend half a million dollars every time someone is offended by a historical figure.

  • The City said that the new higher tax rate on derelict properties imposed last year is working as intended, as about 15% of the 300 plus derelict properties were cleaned up. The property tax rate that applies to derelict properties is about three times higher than the normal residential tax rate. The tax class applies to dilapidated or unliveable homes in mature neighbourhoods and incentivizes owners to either fix their properties to meet minimum standards, or redevelop. Teams coordinating between multiple levels of government have conducted 5,000 inspections in 2023, which has resulted in nearly 700 tickets and multiple orders directing property owners to clean or remediate their sites.

  • The provincial government announced a plan to invest $340,000 into Joey’s Home, a permanent supportive housing project named after Joey Moss, a long-time resident with Down syndrome, who passed away in 2020 at age 57 after working for three decades for the Edmonton Oilers and Edmonton Elks. Joey’s Home provides specialized housing units for individuals with intellectual disabilities and dementia-related needs. The funding will create five new supportive housing units at the site, to open in 2025. Some of the funding will also go to support renovation of Joey’s Home Mindful Hearts Memory Care Centre in north central Edmonton.




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  • Common Sense Edmonton
    published this page in News 2024-05-26 23:55:38 -0600