Alberta’s economy is moving through some significant challenges – so too are its people. The YWCAs of Alberta are pleased to be able to continue to do this work with the support of Alberta Government’s 2020 Budget. On Thursday, February 27 YW Calgary was invited to attend the Budget Lock Up at the Legislature and get a first-hand look to what is ahead.
Increases and Ongoing Funding
The Government of Alberta will continue to invest in areas that impact those most vulnerable in our communities:
“YWCA Calgary is glad to see funding for homelessness, disability supports, childcare and domestic violence in the Alberta Government’s Budget.” – Sue Tomney, CEO YW Calgary
- $1.4 billion for supports for people with disabilities that is scheduled to increase over the next three years.
“We are pleased to see this government maintaining existing funding levels for supports for individuals with disabilities and those with mental health issues… everyone deserves to be treated with compassion and dignity and we appreciate the government’s financial commitment to ensuring these social supports will continue to be available.” – Amber Niemeier, Interim CEO YWCA Edmonton
- $2.2 billion for Income Supports (Alberta Works and AISH).
- $195 million funding for housing first, permanent supportive housing, homeless and domestic violence shelters.
- $11.5 million for services for survivors of sexual assault – which represents a $1.4 million increase for 2020/21.
“Ongoing funding in these areas is critical to ensure our team can continue making a positive difference in the lives of Bow Valley community members who are facing domestic and sexual violence.” – Connie MacDonald, CEO YWCA Banff
- $393 million for childcare subsidies and program funding for childcare staff pay and professional development.
- $153 million for mental health and addiction including: implementing the Mental Health and Addiction Strategy, treatment and recovery and Indigenous-specific supports.
- $52 million for renovations and maintenance of affordable housing.
- $163 for the development of new affordable housing.
- $56.8 million for the Rental Assistance Program that provided tenant rent supplements.
- The $7 million Civil Society Fund that will be used to activate socially innovative programs; and
- $600K will be dedicated to consulting and implementing Clare’s Law.
There were reductions to affordable housing development and improvement funding. Women and their families in rural and urban parts of this province are in need of quality and affordable accessible housing. We will be working with our Government partners to find innovative solutions to this challenge – as housing is an essential tool to help Albertans get back on their feet, exit poverty and create a thriving Alberta.
“Affordable housing coupled with accessible Addictions and Mental Health supports are demonstrated needs in our community. With a reduction in rent supplement access and a hold on new affordable housing plans, combating social issues is increasingly more challenging.” – Shannon Hansen, YWCA Lethbridge
Funding from Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women continues to decline for the Culture Infrastructure Program and the Community Facility Enhancement Program and we are carefully reviewing how the reductions will affect our work.
The above is only a snapshot of what we learned last week, and how it might impact the Albertans we support in Banff, Calgary, Edmonton and Lethbridge. There have been changes in funding models and levels across a number of Ministries to gain a broader picture. Please review the business plans available here.
Overall, this budget maintained supports to the women and the families we see in Banff, Calgary, Edmonton and Lethbridge. We hope to continue to work with our community to deliver these services as we know we can’t do this without their engagement.