CREB® Gives $300,000 Grant to Affordable Housing Project to Provide a ‘Hand Up’ to Calgary Residents in Need

The Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB®) and their REALTOR® members are giving concrete hope to people who need a safe place to call home in their community.

In June 2021, the CREB® REALTOR® Community Foundation awarded a $300,000 Legacy Grant on behalf of Calgary REALTORS® to HomeSpace Society in support of their Sierra Place project. This project will convert a vacant downtown building into six floors of much-needed affordable housing.

“Whether it is a single person or a single parent or a young family, this project will provide them with safety and mental relief,” says Murray Scotton, Chair of the CREB® REALTOR® Community Foundation Board. “They will no longer have to go day-to-day asking themselves, where are we staying tonight?”

The Sierra Place project is one of the first to evolve under Calgary’s new Greater Downtown Plan, which aims to revitalize the city’s downtown core. The vacant 95,000 square foot office tower is being converted to create 82 units that will provide homes for approximately 200 people living in distress, including families experiencing homelessness. The units are expected to be ready for occupants as soon as September 2022.

“We wanted to provide shelter for vulnerable populations and this was a great project and opportunity for REALTORS® to be involved,” he says. “We have a lot of members who really love to volunteer and donate their time, whether it is Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids, Calgary Drop-In Centre, Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta, or any of the other great charities that we volunteer at.”

Scotton has been a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity as a crew leader since 2016, getting involved when a CREB® REALTOR® event sparked his interest and led to him donating his time and expertise to the building of homes in and around Calgary.

“I love to swing a hammer and build things,” says Scotton, who wants to help alleviate homelessness. “I’ve learned that people don’t want or need a handout, they want a hand up so they can build their lives. They need solutions. This project at Sierra Place is a great example of us being able to provide one that benefits everyone—the people who will live in the units, the city and REALTORS® who want to make their communities a better place for others.”

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