Okotoks Town Council directed administration to purchase land to advance transitional and affordable housing in Okotoks at their January seventh meeting.

The approval will support a partnership with Rowan House and Westwinds Communities, with both organizations looking to develop affordable housing units.

Elaine Vincent, Chief Administrative Officer for the Town of Okotoks, says both organizations approached council with plans in mind.

"They had come forward with a partnership proposal that would see advancing 60 units for an apartment-type building, and then 16 units for Rowan House for transitional housing for a second stage shelter," she said.

Vincent says the Affordable Housing Task Force recommendations indicated a definite need for more of this type of housing to accommodate residents of all income levels.

"They recommended that we were short close to 500 units within the town of Okotoks. This is able to get about 76 units into the mix. Council, at their budget, approved a 3.25 million in 2019, and an additional 1.35 million in 2020. We know that there's still the opportunity for additional projects to come forward against that allocation that could be funded," she said.

Rowan House and Westwinds proposed two forms of re-payment, with council choosing a 50 per cent reimbursement over a 20 year period at zero per cent interest, as opposed to the municipality providing the land with no pay back required.

Vincent adds that the location of the land will be announced once approvals are in place.

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