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Town of Olds Housing Needs Assessment

2023 | Olds, AB

The Town of Olds is a municipality with a tight-knit community of approximately 9200 residents located 100km north of Calgary in the province of Alberta. Home to the well-known agricultural college, Olds College, and a rich farming heritage, Olds is a desirable town that has experienced steady growth.  

One of the challenges of that growth has been an increased demand for diverse housing. Through a community engagement process conducted in the spring of 2023, the Town of Olds identified a need for a greater diversity of housing types, specifically multi-family housing such as duplexes, townhouses, apartments, and condos. The Town of Olds engaged McElhanney to complete a Housing Needs Assessment (HNA), intended to examine and present housing needs within the municipality.  

The HNA integrated qualitative and quantitative data to inform an analysis of the current housing environment in the Town of Olds. Supported by information derived from statistical research, community engagement, and mapping, the analysis ultimately illustrated the need for a greater diversity of housing types in the Town of Olds. Community members, from seniors and youth to college students, shared concerns ranging from lack of housing options to housing affordability. These concerns were noted alongside an overview of current municipal housing policies, bylaws, and key initiatives that enable more multi-family housing options. 

Findings were summarized with a Housing Needs and Gaps Analysis that identified current and future housing needs and gaps in the Town of Olds. McElhanney delivered amendment recommendations to current municipal housing policies, bylaws, and key initiatives to shrink the gap between the needs of residents, and the availability of desirable housing. 

McElhanney provided:

  • Full analysis of available statistical information to support the compilation of the assessment. 
  • Drafting of full assessment report. 
  • Preparation of associated mapping to support the development of multi-unit housing projects. 
  • Review of interested party communications and engagement content and feedback. 
  • Recommendations for community including improvements to policies and plans within the community to support streamlining associated developments. 
Town of Olds Housing Needs Assessment