Nov 25, 2016
Last night in Bon Accord more than 30 people gathered to learn about the Capital Region Board's recent studies into regional needs in housing and specialized transportation (i.e. seniors and persons with disability).

These Needs Assessments, done for the first time on a regional scale, were presented by the report authors in public meetings in Thorsby and Bon Accord after being approved by the Board earlier this year. 

The Specialized Transportation Assessment by Dr. Bonnie Dobbs, Director of the Medically-At-Risk-Driver Centre at the U of A, brings clarity to needs that are intuitively understood - that is, the further a non-driver lives from the metropolitan core, the more dependent he/she becomes on family and the community for transportation, and often that means increased isolation and reduced quality of life.

Gary Gordon presented his findings related to the current housing distribution in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. Gordon pointed to gaps in the availability of rental stock outside the City of Edmonton, and a growing need for affordable housing in general, emphasizing an immediate need for 30,000 affordable housing units across the Region, with that need growing by 1300 units every year in the foreseeable future. 

Understanding and quantifying these needs is the first step to tackling the problem, which directly relates to the Capital Region Board's mandate for responsible long term growth planning for the Region. Planning for a doubling of the population to 2.2 million in 30 years, the Board looks at the impact of growth on all aspects of life - housing, transportation and land use, along with the corresponding interrelationships affecting economic development, agriculture and the environment.