Free temporary parking options available in downtown Red Deer
Starting today, drivers will notice one in every five meters covered with a bag that states, “FREE PARKING 2 HRS”. The meters are located throughout downtown, wherever metered parking exists.
This initiative is part of The City’s Leading Forward project, and aims to increase the vibrancy of downtown and strengthen our downtown economy by offering easier access to local businesses.
“By providing temporary free parking options, we hope to reduce barriers and encourage residents and visitors to visit downtown businesses and attractions more frequently,” said Erin Stuart, Inspections and Licensing Manager. “Our goals include increasing vibrancy of the downtown core and demonstrating The City’s desire to support local businesses through their post-pandemic recovery.”
The initiative continues through December 31, 2021. More information about downtown parking is available on The City’s website, www.reddeer.ca/parking.
City Council looks to accelerate permit process for affordable housing
City Council approves Housing Asset Development interim recommendations, demonstrating commitment to affordable and supportive housing options
The recommendation stems from a request from Council in 2022 for the Housing and Homelessness Integration Committee (HHIC) to actively work to expedite permanent supportive housing development and to explore funding options and recommendations for local government assistance. While this work continues, the HHIC identified the need for interim actions to support time-sensitive community applications for recently announced CMHC and Government of Alberta affordable housing streams. While The City provides timely support with relevant zoning and permitting processes already, permits and applications were completed on a first-come, first-served basis. Direction to prioritize processes specific to permanent supportive and affordable housing ahead of other applications may increase the likelihood of meeting timelines for the CMHC and Government of Alberta funding programs.
“CMHC receives applications from across the country and has identified permitting as a major barrier in many municipalities. This decision confirms The City’s commitment to affordable and supportive housing options for residents and is a positive step towards reaching our goal that safe, accessible, and affordable housing is available to all and everyone is appropriately housed,” said Ryan Veldkamp, Safe & Healthy Communities Supervisor. “Applicants who are seeking funding from either CMHC or Government of Alberta for affordable and supportive housing development are encouraged to reach out to The City for support as needed.”
In addition to prioritizing applications, City Administration supports HHIC’s recommendation in the following ways:
- Providing dedicated staff for application support, and a multi-department team to review applications
- Sharing relevant data for applications and facilitating a lived experience knowledge transfer
- Providing letters of support outlining community need and describing available City supports
These are initial steps towards supporting and prioritizing affordable housing projects, and the HHIC anticipates making additional recommendations to Council in 2023.
Potential applicants are encouraged to email their intent to [email protected]. More information on Housing & Homelessness efforts can be found at: https://www.reddeer.ca/about-red-deer/social-well-being-and-community-initiatives/housing-and-homelessness/.
Mayor Johnston responds to Provincial announcement about transition of OPS operations to AHS run mobile site
The Overdose Prevention Site (OPS) has been operated by Turning Point since October 2018 when it opened its doors as a temporary health service. At this time, the Province of Alberta will begin transition of the current operations from a privately operated site to a provincially run mobile service.
On behalf of Red Deer City Council, I want to assure our citizens that we remain committed to working with the Province of Alberta to build Red Deer as a recovery community.
We appreciate the leadership of the Province of Alberta in this area. We thank Turning Point for their years of service and the lives saved over the past several years. Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of Red Deerians is a top priority, and we are confident this new AHS-Operated mobile site will continue to meet the needs of our residents.
I also want to extend a formal apology to Turning Point and the service providers in our community who learned about the transition after overhearing one of our City Council members talking with a provincial colleague about it in the community. We know this is unacceptable, we apologize.
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