Housing & Land
INTERESTED IN PARTNERING WITH THE CRDAC
On one of our community-oriented projects?
Ptarmigan Trailer Housing
An announcement was released on January 26, 2024, to alert home owners in Conklin of an exciting opportunity for those who are experiencing home insecurity but situated on their own plot of land.
Wood Buffalo Housing (“WBH”) acquired over 30 Ptarmigan Court trailers from the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (“RMWB”) following flood waters in a community park in April of 2020. The CRDAC has submitted a letter of interest to acquire any number of units available for the purpose of creating solutions to the housing crisis experienced in Conklin. WBH agreed to provide five (5) units to Conklin with the intention and condition that CRDAC use the trailers for social housing programming in the community, meaning that it could not be used on private property. Recently, the WBH has agreed to release the condition of use which allowed the CRDAC to consider these units for members of community that are experiencing housing insecurity on their own properties. Only one stipulation remains: that all units be moved by end of March 2024.
A Potential and Proposed Solution
With the release of the condition of use by WBH, the CRDAC Board has requested an expression of interest from community members interested in acquiring a trailer in replacement of their homes that are in dilapidated, unsafe, and unlivable conditions.
The CRDAC Leadership sees this as a unique opportunity for members of the community that are experiencing housing insecurity on their own property to solve the housing issue. This is a rare opportunity because most funding that is available through government and other agencies does not allow funding use for privately-owned properties.
An application is needed from CRDAC members interested in acquiring a Ptarmigan unit. There are conditions and eligibility criteria that you must meet to qualify. You can find the outline/criteria on the application.
Housing and Service Needs Estimation Community Report
CRDAC in partnership with Rural Development Network (RDN) has compiled an update and released a newly updated report, the Housing and Service Needs Estimation Community Report (2023).
As we continue to to battle severe housing and homelessness crisis, this report has echoed the reality that the majority of Conklin is experiencing housing insecurity. There are many contributing factors that have perpetuated the harsh living conditions including lack of housing supports and lack of access to basic needs, specifically health and wellness as they are continued to be serviced in an ad-hoc way and that is layered with bureaucratic red tape.
Wahkotowin and Reaching Home Project
An Update to Conklin’s Homelessness Estimation Report
In 2022, the CRDAC submitted a proposal to Rural Development Network (RDN) to conduct a Housing and Service Needs Estimation in Conklin to better understand what housing and services needs are in our community. We are pleased to announce that we have been awarded the grant funding and will be partnering with RDN on this exciting Wahkotowin and Reaching Home Project!
This project intends to build on the deep engagement initiated with the community in 2017 (see, Housing Crisis), while also building on the research completed in How Much Longer and Homelessness Estimation Report with a new and critical purpose to update this research while additionally understanding the community’s wahkotowin and to incorporate that understanding into future plans to effectively combat homelessness in Conklin.
Through the course of the research, the CRDAC came to recognize that homelessness in Conklin was not like homelessness in other non-Indigenous communities. Specifically, the work of Métis scholar, Jesse Thistle, has resonated with the community, particularly when explained that:
In many Indigenous cultures, the concept of “home” differs from Canadian settler understandings. The holistic Indigenous concept of home is understood as circles of interconnectedness and together form the heart of healthy Indigenous social and spiritual emplacement. These are known in Nehiyaw (Cree) and Michif (Métis) as miyo wahkotowin.Jesse Thistle, Indigenous Definition of Homelessness in Canada (Toronto: Canadian Observatory on Homelessness Press), 14-15.
With recent pandemic and changes in the global economy, financial situations of many families have changed over the course of the last few years. Such data and any changes are crucial to ensure that our housing initiative remains a fruitful endeavour and that impactfully addresses the existing need, directly supports people experiencing homelessness, housing affordability issues, and those who are at imminent risk.
Conklin Community Housing
Conklin Community Housing
For individuals and families interested to apply for Conklin Community Housing through CHAC, please complete the Conklin Community Housing Intake Form (the “Application”). The Application is intended to be submitted online by either clicking “Submit Form” on the application or downloading the PDF Application and submitted to the attention of the Community Housing Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you do not have access to email, please contact the Housing Manager directly at (780) 714-4517 to make alternative arrangements.
When applying, please read all pertinent information on the housing selection process. Please make sure to read the Application Guideline in full prior to submission. These guidelines will help to ensure that your application is represented accurately. Please note that it is mandatory and the responsibility of the Applicant to ensure that the application is accurate and reflective of your current situation including any changes in household circumstances. The Housing Administrator may ask the Applicant to provide proof of all claims made throughout this Application.
Selection Process for Community Housing
While it is a collective effort that every person in Conklin has access to a safe place to sleep each night, the purpose of the Conklin Community Housing Intake Form (the “Application”) is to help determine the need and priority of the Applicant on behalf of its household.
Identifying the Need
An application will only be accepted for review if the household is considered in Core Housing Need as defined and updated by the Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation (“CMHC”). Specifically, the household must demonstrate that their current housing situation does not meet adequate, suitable or affordable housing standards.
Further, only households that have income levels below the Income Thresholds (refer to Non-Market North for Conklin, AB), as updated and published by the Government of Alberta, will be accepted.
Identifying the Priority
A selection criteria has been developed to help identify priority by score which then CHAC will need to match to the current supply of housing.
The CRDAC anticipates that pending construction progress, home delivery, and approvals/permits, occupancy will likely occur in Spring 2023 for 10 units out of the 15 unit subdivision at 159 – 163 Pine Lane. We are hoping that the remaining five (5) units at this residential site will be delivered and ready for occupancy by end of 2023. Again, while these are ambitious timelines, these timelines are deeply affected by many factors outside of CRDAC’s control such as municipal development approvals, permit applications and approvals, and construction progress, setbacks (including supply chain issues, severe weather conditions, etc.), and contingencies that can significantly contribute to unexpected delays.
It is important to note that according to a study completed in 2018, it was identified that 46 homes are in need to adequately address the housing and homelessness crisis in Conklin. As the residential lots are largely unserviced and large where subdivision is required, these are significant undertakings of residential developments and could have not been done without the support of our partners and community.
Conklin Housing Advisory Committee
The new Conklin Housing Advisory Committee (CHAC)’s function will be responsible for making key policy recommendations to the CRDAC to add valued contributions related to how the housing project will be implemented, the resident selection criteria, and application processes.
Meet our Members of CHAC:
- Stacey Atkinson, Director of CRDAC and Secretary of Conklin Métis Local 193
- John Cardinal, Community Representative
- Gwen Letendre, Secretary of Conklin Community Association
- Ryan Powder, Community Representative
- Valerie Quintal, Director of CRDAC and President of Conklin Métis Local 193
- Velma Quintal-Nokohoo, Community Representative
- Grace Richards, Community Representative
- Paul Tremblay, Vice-President of Conklin Métis Local 193
- Emile Winterburn, Community Representative
CHAC Community Housing Manager
Indigenous Housing Initiative
The CRDAC is developing a housing plan to expand the supply of affordable housing in Conklin through its partnership with Cenovus Energy. As its initial phase, the CRDAC has pursued the subdivision and development of 159-163 Pine Lane which will support the construction of approximately 15 new single-family housing units.
Education and Training
As part of this exciting initiative, the CRDAC in partnership with Portage College and Cenovus is offering the Construction and Trades Readiness Program that provides 12 weeks of academic upgrading and 12 weeks of hands-on construction training of a tiny home!
In 2017, the CRDAC commissioned a study into the issue of housing and homelessness in Conklin. This resulted in the report “How Much Longer: A Preliminary Assessment of Housing and Homelessness in Conklin Alberta”. The qualitative study demonstrates the homelessness crisis that presently exists in the community of Conklin, and through personal stories, shows the crisis’ long history and current impact on people’s lives. This report has been followed by a quantitative assessment, “Conklin Homelessness Estimation Report” completed by the Alberta Rural Development Network (“ARDN”) that uses a community survey, along with other available statistical material to determine the extent of the homelessness crisis and outline potential solutions. Some of the key highlights include:
• 33 out of 54 respondents reported earning less than $20,000 per year and that 100% of those survey respondents reported being Indigenous;
• 40 of the 54 residents stated they are currently unemployed;
• 12 of the 54 respondents listed “physical disability” as a primary reason for their housing instability.
• It is estimated that 92 individuals (between 30-50% of the community) are in unstable housing situations, with 41% of vulnerable residents being between the ages of 1 and 20.