Opportunity – Alberta Real Estate Foundation Executive Director

Reporting to the Board of Governors, the Executive Director is accountable for the overall management of the Alberta Real Estate Foundation and provides strategic leadership and direction to the staff.

The Executive Director coordinates AREF activities with outside agencies and provides highly responsible and complex administrative support to the Board.

Click here to read further details about this opportunity.

Wood Buffalo Housing receives grant to furnish accommodations

July 20, 2020 – Wood Buffalo Housing learned last month that they are the successful recipient of a grant provided by the Alberta Real Estate Foundation to create affordable furnished accommodations for the people of the Wood Buffalo Region. Funding from this initiative will provide 30 single and multi-family units in one of Alberta’s most progressive communities, meeting immediate housing needs during these challenging times. In the long-term, these units will also provide bridge accommodations as people look to establish longer-term real estate options.

Representatives from AREF contacted WBH following the flood to see if there was some way their organization could help the people of this community.

“We were completely honest with them,” says Henry Hunter, President and CEO of WBH. “Based on the overwhelming number of calls we were receiving at that time, people were in need of affordable furnished accommodations and we only had a handful to provide.”

WBH saw a similar situation after the wildfire in 2016.

“Suddenly we had an entire group of people who are without their homes, their belongings and their basic furnishings, and they needed to find somewhere that they could stay until they had access again,” says Hunter.

AREF told WBH they could apply for a grant with their organization. So they completed the application and submitted it that week. They received notice in late June that their application was approved.

“We were of course ecstatic,” says Hunter. “Funding from this grant means we will have increased capacity to accommodate more people in times of emergency. Even outside of these natural disaster-type scenarios, we often receive requests from people seeking affordable furnished accommodations, whether it’s someone travelling from one of our region’s rural communities for an extended period of time for medical or other reasons, or someone new to the community that needs an affordable and safe place to lay their head at night.”

“Our Board was unanimous in its desire to help the people of Wood Buffalo,” says Doug Leighton, Chair of the Alberta Real Estate Foundation. “We are all aware of the extraordinary chain of events that has hurt this community and our Board was eager to fund an initiative that would have a significant and immediate impact. While the Foundation does not normally fund capital projects, the Board agreed that the creation of furnished emergency accommodations will help meet immediate housing needs and enhance affordable housing options in Wood Buffalo.”

Work to furnish the units will be conducted in the coming months, and the units will be ready for applicants as they are completed. If you are in need of affordable furnished accommodations or have been affected by the recent flooding in Wood Buffalo, please contact WBH at 780-799-4050 or info@wbhousing.ca.

About Wood Buffalo Housing (WBH): Founded in 2001, WBH is the lead non-profit housing agency in our region. We collaborate with our many stakeholders, including tenants, community groups, non-profits, industry and government to pursue safe and sustainable housing solutions for all of the people of our community. Since 2001, we’ve helped more than 10,000 people – those new to our community and those making a new start – find the right apartment, the right townhouse, and the right way to achieve home ownership. WBH also facilitates the provision of funding for the Rent Supplement Program and Community Housing on behalf of the Province.

Media contact info:
Wood Buffalo Housing:
Christina MacKay
Manager, Communications and Marketing
Phone: 780-714-8139
E-mail: christina@wbhousing.ca

Pedesting app is helping Calgarians find the easiest, safest, most accessible routes

Submitted by Bricolage Calgary

The Pedesting app is navigation software that provides the easiest, safest and most accessible pedestrian routes through the City of Calgary for various mobility types, including wheelchair users, strollers, and walkers.

The software employs cutting edge data collection methods and recognizes the different mobility requirements of the user. In this way Pedesting can enable all pedestrians to find authoritative directions from point A to point B anywhere in the city. Further, once at the location, Pedesting is able to assist with navigating indoors to find the ultimate destination. We designed the Pedesting app to understand routes through spaces that are complex, such as Calgary’s +15 system or a university campus. Pedesting will establish routes that are easily navigable by anyone, anywhere: from a smart device at home or a phone on the go.

The Pedesting app was created to help people who feel that the urban environment is full of barriers and  challenging to navigate; Pedesting will enable more involvement in society by people who want to contribute but feel isolated. Pedesting is more than an app: it is a community of people who see their respective city as a place for everyone to come together and contribute. The Pedesting community is unified by the belief that a society is best served when everyone is represented, when all citizens are accounted for and able to partake.

Pedesting was formally introduced to the citizens of Calgary through a series of showcases in the fall of 2019 and into the early months of 2020. These showcases were made possible by a generous grant from the Alberta Real Estate Foundation (AREF). At the showcases the Pedesting app was presented to a variety of groups; the Pedesting team fielded questions and actively enrolled beta testers for the app as to assist with the ongoing software development.

Photo Credit: Laura Colpitts Photography
Showcase at Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC)

The showcases were tailored to address the different groups at each event: the City of Calgary was represented by the Mayor, several Councillors, Calgary Economic Development, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC), Facilities Management, Roads, Transportation, Calgary Tourism and other municipal employees from a variety of departments; other showcases targeted business and industry, the real estate community, the general public and the disabled community. A final showcase was held in January 2020 at Civic Tech and included the technology community. The showcases were important and successful. Pedesting is now a part of the public conversation in Calgary and many alliances and potential working relationships were formed as a result. The events also enabled the Pedesting team to actively recruit a variety of guest bloggers, as well as beta testers to assist us as we move forward to the next iteration of the app.

This important public introduction of the Pedesting app was only possible due to the funding from AREF. The Pedesting team was able to provide a professional event in safe and public venues such as the New Central Public Library and  the CMLC event space at the St. Louis Hotel. We were able to employ closed captioning and ASL interpreters for persons with hearing limitations as well as a modest variety of sandwiches or baked goods. The following are some pictures from the respective showcases:

We would like to express our appreciation to AREF for helping Pedesting to present the culmination of three years of research and software development. It was a rewarding experience for our team and we were proud to formally introduce the Pedesting app to the leaders, early adopters and citizens of Calgary.

For more information about the Pedesting™ app and to receive news and updates, please visit our website or follow us on social media (@pedesting)