The Board of Governors of the Alberta Real Estate Foundation approved $546,000 in community investment projects at their recent meeting.
The Alberta Real Estate Foundation invests in real estate policy, research, practices, and education that strengthen Alberta’s communities. Under the Real Estate Act, whenever a consumer deposits money in trust through a real estate broker, property manager, or commercial broker, the interest earned on the deposit is accumulated and forwarded to the Foundation for reinvestment into Alberta’s communities. Individually, it is nickels and dimes. But across the province it adds up.
Since its inception in 1991, the Foundation has invested over 22.6 million in grants to 640 initiatives across Alberta.
Projects approved at the June meeting include:
- Civic Commons Catalyst – Evergreen
The Civic Commons Catalyst is a timely, creative, shared platform that brings together organizations and institutions to research, convene, evaluate, and develop public and private real estate opportunities in Alberta. The Catalyst is a solutions lab that will address the challenges facing the Alberta and Calgary urban development sector including the potential impacts of COVID-19 on the built environment, impacts of the downturn in the oil and gas sector and the vacancy and under-utilization of assets in Calgary’s downtown core.
- Creating emergency accommodations for Wood Buffalo Housing – Wood Buffalo Housing and Development Corporation
This project will provide 30 multi-family units in one of Alberta’s most progressive communities that through the last few years have been going through extraordinary change. This project will meet immediate needs in this extraordinary time of multiple stressors in the community with industry in flux, COVID-19 and now in the wake of a major wildfire and now a flood. In the long-term, these units will provide bridge accommodations as people look to longer-term real estate options.
- Enhancing Rural Properties and Communities Values – Agroforestry & Woodlot Extension Society
The project will assist in increasing property values of rural lands by educating and assisting rural landowners in improved management of their forested lands. This includes supporting hamlets and summer villages in understanding opportunities for improved management of rural forested lands by current and future owners.
- Fragmentation and Conversion of Agricultural Land – University of Alberta
This project will survey the attitudes of Alberta residents, leaders, and planners towards open space, farmland conversation, and economic development features in urban and peri-urban areas, providing qualitative research to realtors, municipal leaders, planners, and the public to inform decision-making.
- Green Building Education Development – Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
The Green Building Education Development will provide a high-quality educational opportunity for Real Estate Professionals to learn best practices on green building standards. The intent is to equip Real Estate Professionals with knowledge they can share as the front line of the industry with consumers, building owners and property managers, As the demand for green building standards increases, so will the need for this type of training.
- Investigation into Present and Future Cooperative Housing – Alberta Rural Development Network & Alberta Community and Co-operative Association
Co-op housing is an essential piece of the housing continuum in Alberta and Canada. However, as government subsidies continue to dwindle and current co-op assets face increasing maintenance costs, a number of units are threatened. This project will assess the financial needs of current co-ops, research solutions, and put forward recommendations for new co-op housing models such as the Limited Equity Housing Co-Ops (LEHCs), land trusts, and other models.
- Renewable Skills for Remote and Indigenous Communities – Iron & Earth
The rapidly shifting energy industry has led to increased job insecurity for many fossil fuel industry workers since the downturn in 2014. The Renewable Skills Initiative is designed to empower fossil fuel industry and Indigenous workers to fill these new jobs and build the infrastructure required to meet climate targets through tailored upskilling training programs and career support.
- Updating and Enhancing the Green Communities Guide – Land Stewardship Centre of Canada
This project will update and re-print a highly successful and impactful educational and awareness resource called the Green Communities Guide (GCG), a resource that has resonated deeply with the municipal and stewardship community. This essential update to the GCG will enable us to offer an enhanced resource to realtors, municipalities, land-use planners and developers to help communities plan and implement strategies to conserve valuable natural assets in the face of development and expanding communities.