News Release: Enabling Housing Choice Project Phase 2 Completion

ALBERTA - January 22, 2023 — On behalf of the Rural Development Network (RDN), the Sustainable Housing Initiative (SHI) is excited to announce that we have completed the 2nd Phase of the Enabling Housing Choice project, which provided recommendations for increasing housing choice in six Alberta communities. 

SHI is working to support housing development that is diverse and more affordable through its Enabling Housing Choice Project. This project was made possible through funding and support from the Alberta Real Estate Foundation (AREF).

The purpose of this 2nd Phase has been to provide recommendation reports that promote housing choice and diversity in the Towns of Bow Island, Trochu, Mayerthorpe, Claresholm, and Pincher Creek, as well as the City of Airdrie. These reports have been informed by extensive research and community engagement, to better understand how the recommended changes can best address each community’s diverse housing needs.  

“The Enabling Housing Choice is responding to the national housing crisis by working alongside municipalities in developing and implementing transformational policy change” says Linda Bernicki, Director of Community Development and Indigenous Engagement at RDN. “We are very excited to have completed the second phase of this project with these communities, and to help address the housing shortage in the community through transformational policy change.”

“This timely project seeks to find solutions to the housing crises being faced by municipalities across our province. As a foundation with real estate roots, we have the responsibility to explore how our funding programs can strengthen the real estate industry and can support consumers, whether as renters or homebuyers”, says Patti Morris, Executive Director of the Alberta Real Estate Foundation. “We are honoured to invest in this effort to support diverse, sustainable, and equitable housing development in Albertan communities.” 

Next Steps For the Enabling Housing Choice Project: 

  • To utilize findings from each community’s recommendations reports to inform the forthcoming Guidebook for Enabling Housing Choice.
  • To continue monitoring the progress of each community’s efforts in achieving the recommendations outlined in their individual reports. 

For further information about the Enabling Housing Choice Project, please visit:

For more information, please contact: 


Linda Bernicki

Director of Community Development and Indigenous Engagement

Holly Udall

Marketing & Communications Manager


RDN is a not-for-profit organization that facilitates, supports, and champions rural community development through collaboration, research, and service provision. RDN supports the sustainability of rural communities and works with communities to amplify the "rural voice". RDN collaborates to identify and bring focus to rural issues, build local capacity, and find innovative, rural-based solutions to unique issues.

To learn more about RDN, visit


In 2015, RDN created the Sustainable Housing Initiative (SHI) in direct response to rural communities expressing their need for support in addressing the critical lack of affordable housing. This issue has not received the same attention and resources as it has in urban centres, and comes with unique challenges requiring unique solutions. The SHI conducts research, data analysis, produces housing needs assessments, business plans, financial analyses and more. This lays the groundwork necessary for projects to access funding from governments, banks, and other sources, which is often the biggest hurdle to overcome. 

To learn more about SHI, visit


The Alberta Real Estate Foundation (AREF) was established in 1991 to advance the real estate industry and strengthen Alberta’s communities. Created under the Real Estate Act after years of discussion between industry leaders and officials in the provincial government, the Foundation started making an impact right away by funding initiatives to help educate and train real estate professionals. AREF invests in real estate policy, research, practices, and education that strengthen Alberta’s communities.

To learn more about AREF, visit


Holly Udall