City releases more information on Homelessness Estimation Survey

Following a city council meeting presentation by the Rural Development Network (RDN) about the first-ever homelessness study in the city, more details have been released.

According to a release from city officials, the Homelessness Estimation Survey will be launched next week on Monday, March 11.

“Continuing to foster and build a caring community is one of our council priorities and supporting residents experiencing social vulnerability is an important part of that,” said Mayor Peter Brown. “This survey will provide us with an opportunity to learn more about members of our community who we don’t always have the chance to hear from.”

The survey will be conducted by RDN, which is a national nonprofit organization that specializes in identifying and addressing social needs in communities across Canada. Running from March 11 to April 24, the survey aims to address several issues including:

  • Provide a comprehensive picture of housing insecurity and homelessness or houselessness in Airdrie.
  • Inform service providers and government efforts in advocating and applying for funding to prevent and respond to homelessness in Airdrie.
  • Elevate and incorporate the voices of people experiencing homelessness in the solutions to end homelessness.
  • Data collected through this survey will inform the development of solutions to address housing insecurity and houselessness across the community. The survey complements the City’s ongoing work in affordable housing and fills a critical data gap by specifically focusing on individuals who may not be represented in traditional data sources such as the census.

Housing insecurity and homelessness can look different in smaller communities than it does in larger urban centres and include those who are unsheltered, which is defined as living on the streets or in places not intended for human habitation, but also those who are emergency sheltered, defined as people who are staying in overnight shelters due to homelessness and/or family violence.

Other crucial differences include those who would be classified as provisionally accommodated, meaning people with accommodation that is temporary or lacks security, such as couch-surfing, people in domestic violence situations, etc, as well as those who are at risk of homelessness.

Anyone in the community who is currently experiencing any of the forms of housing insecurity above is encouraged to complete the survey online or in person at participating service providers in the community. More information on Airdrie’s Homelessness Estimation Survey, including a link to the survey and a list of participating agencies, can be found on the city's website.

“Social service providers in Airdrie report that more and more community residents are experiencing housing insecurity and houselessness. Having accurate data on the needs of our community becomes increasingly important as we work towards ensuring everyone in Airdrie has safe, secure, and appropriate housing,” added Angela Angel, a social planner with the City of Airdrie.

RDN, will collect and analyze the data, and develop the report, which will be shared back with Council and the community in the fall of 2024.


Holly Udall