Edmonton and Calgary are considering the use of distressed hotels to address the issue of homelessness.
The hotel industry has been decimated by the impacts of COVID-19 and the severe downturn in Alberta’s oil and gas industry. Edmonton and Calgary’s hotel sectors have been hit particularly hard, resulting in an oversupply of guest rooms. This inventory could be used to put roofs over the heads of vulnerable Albertans this winter.
The Government of Canada’s Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) would support the conversion of hotel properties to affordable housing. The AHLA is working with the provincial government to support the property conversions of interested members.
The AHLA has sent a letter of support for this strategy to Premier Jason Kenney.