Okotoks will have the opportunity to add to its stock of affordable housing with the help of Alberta's Affordable Housing Partnership Program.
Westwinds Communities was of one nine communities and organizations awarded money in last Thursday's announcement, with $227,000 directed to build family and community housing in Okotoks.
The organization applied for the funding in January and has anxiously been awaiting an announcement since, said executive director Lauren Ingalls.
"We feel really excited," she said. "It's been a little bit of a long road, we've really been trying to make sure that we're well positioned to access that affordable housing initiative program and so we're excited to be a recipient of those funds.
"We're really excited for the Town of Okotoks to have some new affordable housing stock this year."
Ingalls said the money will go towards a project in Drake Landing where 10 near-market units are currently under construction. Details related to the funding have yet to be released by the Province.
The government program was launched last December, with the aim of building and renovating more affordable housing units in Alberta. The Province said the $54 million investment will aid in the development of 600 new affordable housing units through construction of new structures and conversion of existing office or hotel space.
All of the 17 approved projects support vulnerable Albertans, including seniors, woman fleeing violence, those living with disability or individuals recovering from addiction and transitioning out of homelessness.
Applications for the funding were open to public, non-profit and private-sector housing providers to create innovative and sustainable affordable housing projects, according to the Province. Projects were eligible for grant money up to one-third of the total project cost.
Ingalls said it is important to recognize the significance of being able to leverage funds to build affordable housing, explaining that the Drake Landing project is also able to go ahead because of the Town's Below Market Housing incentive grant program, which offers up to $15,000 per qualified unit to assist non-profit housing agencies in purchasing and/or operating the units at 20 per cent below market rates for a period of at least 20 years.
"Westwinds in leveraging that along with provincial funds and we're looking to secure federal funds to truly make the project affordable," she said.