Extreme Makeover: Horizon Edition

The Elan, formerly a boutique hotel and now a mixed-income residence in the Beltline, is ready to welcome home its first residents since completion of the first phase of renovations. These homes are made possible by a historic gift from an anonymous donor, as well as additional support from the community.

Last summer, Horizon received incredible news: an unprecedented gift, and the largest in Horizon’s history. The gift resulted in the purchase of a hotel in the Beltline, a property ideally positioned for the conversion of hotel rooms to homes.

The donor understood the impact housing had on the health of Calgarians, made especially obvious in the early months of the pandemic. Through an inspiring act of generosity, a journey that would see the transformation of 62 hotel rooms into homes was set in motion.

Over the fall months and into the new year, we’ve been retrofitting kitchens and completing other renovations to ready The Elan to welcome people home.

Thanks to additional support through Clearwater Charitable Foundation and the Emergency Community Support Fund, we completed the renovation of all two-bedrooms at The Elan in January – it just goes to show what can be accomplished when community comes together.

And, with a belief that inclusion and diversity are essential for any community to thrive, The Elan offers a mixed-income residence where some residents will pay rent that is affordable based on their income, while others will pay near-market rent. Besides strengthening Horizon’s ability to offer quality homes long-term, a mixed-income model has added social benefits.

Norfolk Housing, long-time proponent of the integrated housing model, knows the benefits well. “An integrated model gives people the opportunity to participate fully in their communities and build a foundation for a good life, regardless of income or ability,” says Cynthia Mazereeuw, Norfolk’s Stakeholder Relations Lead. “The effect is balance and integration which allows people to come together to build diverse, inclusive, and thriving communities.”

Sarah Wherry, Horizon’s Manager of Resident and Agency Relations, agrees, “When people feel part of their community without stigma, we see them building natural support networks, getting to know their neighbours, and taking pride in their home. We are excited about the opportunity to create this kind of community at The Elan as we begin welcoming new residents home.”

Interested in living with us? Email livewithus@horizonhousing.ab.ca.