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The 2020 Speech from The Throne highlighted a strong commitment to affordable housing programs, reiterating that housing is a fundamental human right for all Canadians. It also emphasized the importance of programs and services to support those in need of affordable housing, ensuring individuals can remain housed as they progress through the housing continuum.
ASCHA embraces the opportunities presented in this speech to leverage Federal investments and explore partnerships. We know this would be of benefit to address the very real and growing housing crisis here in Alberta. The recognition by the Federal Government that housing is a key driver in economic recovery and stability is to be applauded. Supporting Albertans in maintaining a sense of wellbeing through housing and community services alleviates pressures on a more costly healthcare system, while creating employment opportunities in multiple sectors and industries.
Investment in housing is a key driver of the economy. Construction projects create jobs and having a home is critical so people can contribute to their communities. – 2020 Speech from The Throne
The following are key highlights of the speech, which align to ASCHA’s own advocacy efforts and principled positions:
While the commitments outlined in the Speech from The Throne are promising, we do approach them with caution – only because we have heard these promises from our Federal Government before. Now is the time for action – Albertans are depending on it. #ItsTime.
Albertans need the Provincial Government to work within the framework outlined in this speech for the common good of all Albertans – particularly those impacted by job loss and the current state of our provincial economy. As Premier Kenney stated in his response to The Throne Speech, Alberta’s natural resources and Federal support for our energy sector is necessary to safeguard the investments needed in affordable housing and related services.
We are at an important crossroads in policy development for housing – the support is there Federally and municipally for affordable housing. Never before have we seen such focus on Canada’s housing crisis, and we now have strategies, opportunities and shared ideas that could transform affordable housing in very real ways.
We will not see transformation realized if political divisiveness continues. To accomplish what Alberta needs most right now, it will take all layers of government – regardless of partisan loyalties – working together towards positive outcomes for people.
ASCHA calls upon the Federal Government, the Government of Alberta, and municipalities to work together to ensure that Albertans have housing that honours their dignity, serves their needs, and inspires purpose in their chosen community. ASCHA stands ready to work with committed governments and stakeholders to accomplish this!
Since 2015, ASCHA has been known as the “Alberta Seniors Communities & Housing Association” as part of its 50th Anniversary rebranding. On June 2, 2020, during ASCHA’s 55th Annual General Meeting, a motion was passed by ASCHA’s membership with a resounding 85% support to amend the association’s bylaws so that the association could represent our members’ community housing in addition to their seniors housing portfolios.
The inclusion of community housing in ASCHA’s bylaws, which were officially filed on June 6, 2020, allows ASCHA to bring not only seniors housing issues forward with one-voice action, but also represent the full spectrum of housing options our members offer. The newly filed bylaws can be accessed here. Community housing providers will now have a fully resourced association to offer services and support to their operations and advocacy, as part of our three-year strategic plan.
The remainder of 2020 will be focused on research and exploration as the association consults with its members and key stakeholders to identify the priorities and needs of Alberta’s community housing providers. With this information and data, ASCHA will make informed decisions and chart a course to advocate for our members’ full housing offerings that call for housing reform, innovation, and efficiencies.
To reflect the adoption of a more inclusive direction for the association, the name of the Association was changed by a member vote to “The Alberta Seniors & Community Housing Association.” (ASCHA). Our new name is now proudly reflected in our branding.
ASCHA is dedicated to co-creating a future for seniors and community housing with its members and the broader sector, working with government and stakeholders in transformative, bold ways. We recognize the hard work of our Board in setting the course for this important work, and applaud our members for taking this giant leap forward to do the right thing for everyone they serve.
We look ahead with hope and optimism for what the future of seniors and community housing will offer to Albertans.
In these unprecedented times, we know that there is a vast array of communications circulating about COVID-19. Our focus has been to find the most trusted resources and factual information for our members and curate this so that our members can easily find what they need, when they need it. Below is a summary of how ASCHA has been responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic:
The ASCHA Office is still in fully operational at this time, and we are working hard to support you despite the changing status of this pandemic. Should members have any questions, or require support, please contact us. We will continue to update as the situation unfolds.
If you are an ASCHA member interested in advertising a job opportunity, please send us a PDF of your job posting and we will be happy to add it to our listings.
Our Classifieds Page has a full listing of active employment vacancies within our sector. You will find details on how to apply in each individual job posting.