Enabling Housing Choice Project

Funded by the Alberta Real Estate Foundation, we are working with municipal partners to create more housing choice and diversity in Alberta.

If you’re interested in more information about what we have accomplished so far in Phase 1 and 2, check out our Reporting and Findings section below!


What is the EHC Project?

The Sustainable Housing Initiative (SHI) is working to support diverse, sustainable, and equitable housing development in Albertan communities through its Enabling Housing Choice Project. This project was made possible through funding and support from the Alberta Real Estate Foundation.

The Enabling Housing Choice project will drive transformational, long-term policy change that will benefit Alberta’s real estate industry by addressing policy, bylaw and process barriers that realtors, housing developers, and municipalities often face when trying to improve housing choice.

It will also help address the lack of capacity in many municipalities while bringing together key stakeholders to work together to achieve common goals. This project directly discusses land development and the use of the land.

We acknowledge that this is embedded in a colonial worldview of land management, and are working to address reconciliation and respecting the Indigenous peoples that occupied this land for generations before land use frameworks were in place.

See how this project intends to address the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action and our commitment to positive change.

Project Activities


  • Performing an environmental scan, stakeholder interviews, a review of best practices, and an Alberta wide survey to understand the factors that impact housing development and perceptions of living in various types of communities throughout Alberta.

Policy Implementation:

  • Partnering with a variety of communities to implement municipal policy changes to improve their housing situation, and to gather data and insight on effective implementation methods, barriers faced, and lessons learned.

Capacity Building:

  • The creation of an Enabling Housing Choice Guidebook, which will help build capacity for communities to evaluate their policies and enact changes to improve their situation. This Guidebook will include evaluation tools, templates, and key considerations that policy makers and local governments can use to achieve their housing goals. The Guidebook will use the findings from project research and partnership policy work.

Knowledge Sharing:

  • Sharing project findings and the Guidebook at workshops, conferences and other events.

What We Have BEEN Up tO

Phase 1 - Research

We also administered a province-wide survey. Our environmental scan results and preliminary findings have been compiled into five reports for ease of use. Head to the Preliminary Findings Executive Summary below to see a snapshot of the findings, or dive into the reports themselves, also below.

In Phase 1, we completed research that included an environmental scan including a literature review, and subject matter experts interviews with economic development experts; academics; Indigenous leaders and former Band council members; planners from municipalities, planning commissions, as well as private consultants; developers; accessibility and diversity experts; and former Politicians.

Phase 2 - Policy Implementation

We have now entered Phase 2 of the project and have partnered with 6 municipalities to help create further housing choice and diversity in their communities. For the full list of our project partners, please see our Partners section below:

Recently, we completed a Land Use Study for the Town of Bow Island. Through surveys and in-person engagement, we gathered ideas and feedback from Bow Island residents on how a parcel of municipally-owned land could be developed to meet their housing needs in the community. To learn more about this Land Use Study, please check out our Phase 2 Reporting and Findings section below!

Get in touch!


Subscribe for project updates!

  • Click here to register to stay in the loop about this project, including findings and partnership opportunities!
Reporting and findings
Phase 1

Executive Summary

Report 1

Report 2

Report 3

Report 4

Report 5

Alberta Wide Survey (February 1 - February 28, 2022)

  • We have completed a province wide survey to learn from Albertan’s perspectives different types of communities and their preferences. This survey covered topics regarding:

    - Reasons people choose to live where they live;
    - Barriers face when accessing housing;
    - Perceptions on different types of communities   (Towns, cities, counties, etc.); and
    - Ways to support real estate growth in Alberta.

    View the report
Phase 2

Bow Island, AB

Airdrie, AB

Trochu, AB

Mayerthorpe, AB

Claresholm, AB

Pincher Creek, AB


This project is funded by the Alberta Real Estate Foundation.

more than affordable housing

SHI is part of the Rural Development Network

We work with communities, big and small, to identify and connect appropriate parties and research to rural issues, resulting in community-based actions and solutions.

Learn about the RDN connection
Let's connect
Connect to discuss our project and potential partnership opportunities.
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