Patricia Jones, President and CEO of Calgary Homeless Foundation, joins provincial government working group to revitalize Calgary’s downtown core

Calgary Homeless Foundation is proud to announce that Patricia Jones, President and CEO of Calgary Homeless Foundation, will bring her insights and expertise to a government-led working group tasked with revitalizing downtown Calgary. 

Patricia is one of twelve members appointed to The Calgary Office Revitalization and Expansion (CORE) Working Group, co-chaired by Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation Doug Schweitzer and Calgary-Currie MLA Nicholas Milliken. The working group, which includes representatives from a cross-section of stakeholders, seeks to provide a road map for rejuvenating Calgary’s downtown area so that it remains a vibrant, healthy, and inclusive place for all to live and work.  

“As we build and reimagine a revitalized downtown core, Calgary Homeless Foundation is honoured to continue guiding the fight against homelessness by bringing the perspectives of vulnerable Calgarians to the table,” Patricia says.  

She adds: “I am humbled and privileged to be a part of a group that allows me the opportunity to speak up for Calgarians whose voices may not always be heard. I look forward to collaborating with such a knowledgeable cross-section of Calgarians.” 

Calgary’s downtown vacancy rate has remained at 32.3 per cent throughout the first quarter of 2021 — a stark contrast to a healthy downtown vacancy rate of eight per cent, according to the Government of Alberta. Organizations across Calgary, including the city council, have already undertaken research and planning initiatives that seek to address the issues facing the downtown core.  

The working group will assess existing findings and recommendations presented by the co-chairs, determine their feasibility, engage with Calgarians in town halls over the spring and summer, and provide a clear path forward for all three orders of government and the private sector. The working group is expected to submit its final report to the government by September 30. 

Patricia says the mandate of the working group presents a rare opportunity to address the long-standing deficit in affordable housing in the city.  

Currently, only 3.6% of households in Calgary are supported by non-market housing, compared to 6% of households nationwide. To reach the 2016 national average, Calgary would need to add approximately 15,000 new affordable housing units.    

“With this working group, we have the opportunity to address the needs of all our citizens. Calgary Homeless Foundation has a unique line of sight that enables us to advise governments on innovative solutions for vulnerable Calgarians, so we can thrive together as we move forward.” 

For more information about the working group, please visit the Government of Alberta’s online announcement.