Council receives results of community foundational studies

May 16, 2017/For immediate release

AIRDRIE, ALBERTA – At the May 15, 2017 regular meeting of Council, findings from three community social research assessments were presented. The findings of the combined research projects provide fact and evidence based information upon which the City and community partners can develop strategies and actions for community social development in Airdrie.

Housing Needs Assessment – to conduct an assessment of affordability and housing needs in Airdrie to provide potential strategies. The last assessment was conducted in 2005.

Youth Needs Assessment – to conduct an assessment of the needs of youth and provide recommendations to strengthen the Youth Strategy. The last assessment was conducted in 2004.

Domestic Violence-Gender Based Study –to collect information regarding the scope of domestic violence and state of awareness in the community.

Highlights from the research findings

Housing Needs Assessment

Airdrie does not currently possess any (0.0%) Emergency Shelters or Transitional Housing to help individuals and families who are homeless (including those fleeing domestic violence) find shelter while they address barriers to regaining stable, permanent housing.

There are currently an estimated 317 (1.4%) Supportive Housing units/spaces – the vast majority of which are aimed at seniors with advancing health and personal care needs.

There are currently up to 76 (0.3%) Below-Market Rental Housing units such as those rental units owned and operated by Airdrie Housing Limited (44 in total) along with a combination of seniors’ rent-geared-to-income and below-market rental housing operated by the Rocky View Foundation (32 in total). Including rent supplements (which are currently managed by Calgary Housing Company) brings this total up to an estimated 161 (0.7%) Below-Market Rental Housing opportunities in Airdrie.

Airdrie currently possesses eight (8) affordable homeownership opportunities (0.04%) for moderate-and-low-income families with children through Habitat for Humanity.

Youth Needs Assessment

A significant proportion of youth indicated that being able to help others (15.9%), having a purpose and making a difference (10.3%), experiences with friends (10.6%), and meeting new people and making connections (8.1%) makes something meaningful to them.

Youth said that meeting new people and making connections (12.6%), improving personal self-esteem and confidence (9.8%), and having the opportunity to help others (9.3%) were the three most consistently identified good things that happen when they get involved in the community.

Overall, youth feel they are safe in the community. Two things that heavily contribute to these feelings of safety are the strong presence of police in the community (13.3%) and the friendly and supportive people who live in the community (13.3%).

Domestic Violence: Gender-based Study

Airdrie experiences as much as four times the Albertan average of domestic violence cases. In 2013 Airdrie had a rate of 1150 victims per 100,000 people or 3.9 times higher than the provincial rate. This number is based on Provincial, RCMP and Statistic Canada figures, which all use the same data sources to derive their statistics, as well as locally acquired statistics from several service providers; the rate of domestic violence occurrence is increasing in Airdrie.

There are a full range of support services in Airdrie for victims of domestic violence; however, they are insufficient to meet current demand.

The data from each of these study areas will enable well-informed discussion to identify and define the aspirational “vision” possibilities of the community and the City in relation to these three areas and, as they are ultimately linked together in many ways, address the broader questions around the intended and desired social wellness vision for Airdrie as a whole.

The information will also assist the City working collaboratively with community partners in finding ways, through preventive social service resources, to address increasing resident concerns particularly, but not limited to, the areas of family violence, poverty, social isolation and affordable housing.

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Media contact:

Patti Murray
Manager, Recreation, Culture and Social Sustainability
City of Airdrie
403.948.8800 ext. 5547

 

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