A Year In Review
We are delighted to launch the HomeSpace 2020-21 Annual Report to Community, Finding Home!
Some quick stats…. As of March 31, 2021, HomeSpace:
Our Vision: A Home For Everyone In Our Community
Our Mission: We creatively apply our expertise to increase and manage the number of affordable and specialized housing units in Calgary
Our Values: Dignity, Innovation, Growth
Visit our Instagram to see our 2020-21 Report to Community in full
I’m beyond proud, inspired and humbled by HomeSpace’s accomplishments and growth in 2020-21. In the middle of an unprecedented public health pandemic, our team opened three new buildings totaling 140 affordable and supportive homes, property managed Calgary’s Assisted Self-Isolation Site for people experiencing homelessness, and participated in leadership and collaboration conversations with government and community partners to grow our sector. Our staff quickly adopted new COVID-19 protocols while continuing to deliver essential service to our 850 residents across our 30-building portfolio. We grew our partnerships with social-service agencies to 19 and expanded the demographic of those we serve to include vulnerable seniors, youth, and people with autism and other cognitive challenges. With plans underway for an adaptive reuse of a vacant office tower, among other construction projects in our pipeline, we look forward to completing our city’s first affordable housing conversion in the downtown core in the coming months. Thank you to our community for your support in addressing Calgary’s affordable housing crisis and helping find A Home For Everyone In Our Community.
Video Credit: Ryan Bouman Film
Liam lives with autism and is happy to live independently with supports for the first time in his life. Watch Liam’s journey home to HomeSpace’s Legacy on 5th. To view the full video, copy and paste the following URL into your browser: https://youtu.be/6D7kdjtoEbQ
Video Credit: Ryan Bouman Film
In the spirit of reconciliation, HomeSpace recognizes and acknowledges the land on which we build, live and work is Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) and the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta. Calgary is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III.
When COVID-19 arrived in Calgary, our staff and partners immediately implemented new safety precautions and cleaning protocols across all buildings and worked around the clock to move individuals and families staying in shelters into our vacant units.
HomeSpace also answered the call to property manage the Assisted Self-Isolation Site (ASIS) for Calgarians experiencing homelessness who had symptoms or tested positive, in coordination with The Alex, Calgary Homeless Foundation, CUPS Calgary, and Alberta Health Services. The site served 709 unique individuals with supports and a safe place to isolate during the pandemic.
Of these, 127 people moved into supportive housing and a further 85 into independent living or with family. Two of our properties, Sunalta Lodging House in partnership with Calgary Alpha House Society and Kootenay Lodge in partnership with the Mustard Seed, became transitional housing for individuals following their recovery at ASIS.
The remaining folks either did not disclose their destination or unfortunately returned to homelessness, which speaks to the urgent need to create more affordable and supportive housing in Calgary.
Photo Credits: Jim Wells / Postmedia / The Alex
Our unique model of partnering with a social service agency for each building ensures the best outcomes for the people we serve and our communities. HomeSpace focuses on what we do best, which is real estate and property management, allowing our partners to focus on what they do best, which is supporting people in their journey.
HomeSpace partners with several community-serving agencies:
In the past year, we found several new agency partners, allowing us to serve new demographics including vulnerable youth and seniors and people with autism and related cognitive challenges.
“The James House is a place where residents feel safe, where they can go to bed without the stresses of living in a shelter or a dangerous environment.
Residents feel hope at The James House. They can focus on areas that are important to long term success in living independently.”
Community Development Coordinator, McMan Calgary & Area
“HomeSpace has been a thoughtful collaborator with Enviros, helping to support young vulnerable Calgarians reach their destination of home and begin their new journey to independence.”
Manager of Triveri House, Enviros
“HomeSpace provides a supportive landlord relationship that works closely with Trellis to enhance the lives of the residents in our building.”
Manager, Communications, Trellis
“Our partnership with HomeSpace has provided appropriate housing, community integration and cost advantages, as well as considerations of the varying needs and complexities of the individuals. This housing model is a picture of true accessible housing.”
Director of Services, New Age Services
“HomeSpace is an excellent partner in the work we do as they provide excellent accommodations and are diligent in maintaining them. Kootenay Lodge residents really enjoy the spacious and comfortable rooms here, particularly in light of COVID.”
Maintenance worker, Mustard Seed
“Partnering with HomeSpace means that Autism Calgary can confidently support our members in accessing safe and stable housing. This partnership gives us a tremendous amount of hope and optimism about the needs of the Autism community being recognized in the affordable housing community.”
Adult Support Worker, Autism Calgary
“We’ve always supported seniors to remain independent in the community but we recognize that emotional, social and practical supports are often missing, so our role is ensuring that seniors have a great place to live and are able to be connected in the community.”
CEO, Calgary Seniors’ Resource Society
Overall Resident Satisfaction: 77%
Average Length of Tenancy: 814 days
The 2020 Resident Survey results reflect HomeSpace staff and partners’ continuous commitment to quality housing and service while indicating challenges created by the pandemic restrictions. Our residents sited what we can all relate to – gratitude for home, but a love and longing for community gatherings and activities.
Residents express gratitude after finding a supportive home that they are able to work on goals for the future, including gaining more education and skills, finding employment, and improving their finances. They also note improvements in their self-esteem, safety, relationships, physical and mental health, and overall quality of life.
In October 2020, we opened The James House in Hillhurst, built in partnership with Logel Homes/Cardel Lifestyles, offering 27 transitional units for people experiencing homelessness. Social supports for the residents are provided by McMan Calgary & Area.
The Triveri House built by Calbridge Homes opened in November 2020 in Forest Lawn, bringing 38 new homes for vulnerable youth experiencing or at-risk of homelessness. Our agency partners Enviros provide onsite staff to meet our residents where they are at and support them in their journey.
In February 2021, we launched Legacy on 5th in Downtown West, bringing 74 new affordable homes. HomeSpace partnered with Calgary Seniors, Autism Calgary, New Age Services and more to provide supports for the vulnerable seniors and people living with autism and other cognitive challenges who now reside at Legacy.
All three sites, totalling 139 new homes, were made possible through a collaborative fundraising campaign with Calgary Homeless Foundation and commitments from the Government of Canada through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and land donations and financial support from the City of Calgary. The Government of Alberta contributed generous funding to The James House and Triveri House.
“The RESOLVE Campaign represented a community wide response to a serious community deficit. Great thanks to everyone involved; we had a great team effort on this building. Legacy on 5th is a very impressive building and we’re looking forward to seeing people move in and fulfilling a need in the community.”
“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Our Government is pleased to support Legacy On 5th with a $9.7 million investment through the National Housing Co-Investment Fund.”
Honourable Ahmed Hussen
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Government of Canada
“The James House will provide a place of belonging and a stable foundation upon which all other healing can happen.”
President and CEO, Calgary Homeless Foundation
“Investments in affordable housing are among the most important we can make as a community because they change the trajectory of people’s lives.”
Honourable Naheed Nenshi
Mayor of Calgary
At the tail end of our fiscal, we neared completion on Orion, located in Beltline, a 51-unit affordable housing apartment building with funding from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Orion marks our first new build independent of the collaborative campaign formerly known as RESOLVE. With 100,000 Calgary households projected to be overpaying on housing by 2025, HomeSpace recognizes the urgency to continue to grow our housing portfolio towards our vision of A Home For Everyone in Our Community.
HomeSpace has three developments in the pipeline:
Check out these glow ups! HomeSpace invested in a number of capital upgrades and initiatives, ensuring sustainable properties and quality homes for our residents, including:
In recognition of our fourth anniversary as HomeSpace, we launched a campaign to ‘Unmask Gratitude’ – gratitude for home where we are safe, comfortable and welcome, gratitude for our community partners who help us achieve our mission, and gratitude for all the frontline workers who do essential work to keep our communities strong in these challenging times! HomeSpace masks were handmade by our own Wendy Cundall.
Thank you to everyone who supported the campaign.
We also participated in a ‘virtual’ Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser co-hosted by our long-time partners KAIROS and Feed the Hungry, in support of our Bankview Apartments. Despite not gathering together in person, our team raised more than $3,000 and the event raised an incredible $85,000 to support vulnerable Calgarians.
“Despite a challenging year, HomeSpace maintains a strong financial position. Through great relationships, economies of scale and several debt-free assets, we continue to expand and tackle Calgary’s affordable housing crisis.”
To view our 2020-21 audited financial statements, please visit www.HomeSpace.org/about/#reports
Housing is not only the right thing to do, it also makes economic sense. When we invest in housing with supports, we:
As a charitable non-profit, HomeSpace could not do the work we do without all our community partners. Thank you all for your support:
“It is great to see nonprofit organizations, businesses and all orders of government coming together to help Albertans.”
Honourable Josephine Pon
Minister of Seniors and Housing, Government of Alberta
“Many companies have had to make the difficult decision to cut back on donations, and we are grateful to be in a position where we can step up and help. The deserving charities we have chosen to support have not only made a direct impact on our Jayman family but have also been long-standing partners who are endlessly committed to making a difference in the community.”
Chairman and CEO, Jayman BUILT and HomeSpace corporate donor
“I experienced homelessness for a year before moving into affordable housing with supports. What housing means to me is a great deal of love, safety and acceptance. Here with supports and community from my neighbours, I began to really flower and love my home.”
HomeSpace resident with lived experience
“Homespace has provided McMan with a beautiful space to support people in our community who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.”
Community Development Coordinator, McMan Calgary & Area
“Supportive housing providers, such as HomeSpace, are an invaluable asset to vulnerable persons and to the community.”
Constable Torrie Ursu
District 3 Community Relations Officer, Calgary Police Service
“Communities are like gardens – they are nurtured, cultivated with care, and become stronger with diversity. Our team really values the positive relationships we have with our partner housing organizations, such as HomeSpace, and the work they do serving our community.”
Community Planning, Engagement and Volunteer Coordinator, Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association
Together we support everyone in our community to find home.
We are lucky to work with 22 engaged and talented people who are passionate about our vision, mission and culture:
HomeSpacers featured in video in order of appearance:
Stomps and Claps” by scottholmesmusic.com is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0
We thank our dedicated volunteer Board members for their leadership, insights and governance that aided HomeSpace through a year of tribulations and triumphs. HomeSpace looks forward to all that we will accomplish together in 2021-22.
Our Board of Directors:
George Coppus (Vice-Chair); Iain McCorkindale; Donna Moore (Secretary); Trevor Daroux; Tom Hong; Kevin Screpnechuk; David McIlveen (Chair); Darcy Verhun; Tim Gillespie; Dale Brown (Treasurer); Maggie Rabinovitz; Bernadette Majdell (CEO)
Governance and Human Resources Committee: Donna Moore (Chair); Maggie Rabinovitz; George Coppus
Audit and Risk Management Committee: Dale Brown (Chair); Michael Hoffman; Kevin Screpnechuk; Darcy Verhun; Gord McFarlane
Thank you to the HomeSpace team and my fellow Board members for your leadership in providing affordable and supportive homes for those in need. This past year was perhaps the most challenging in our history, from supporting the homeless-serving sector through the pandemic to launching a record amount of new buildings in Hillhurst, Forest Lawn and Downtown – all while providing high quality service to our many residents and agency partners, this team rose above with resilience and tenacity. In 2021-22 we look forward to being a part of the solution to revitalize Calgary’s downtown, creating new jobs and economic activities, and growing our portfolio with more than 250 new affordable homes for vulnerable individuals and families.