Created in 2001, the Wood Buffalo Housing & Development Corporation (WBHDC) is a not-for-profit, arm’s length Part 9 subsidiary of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.  WBHDC provides well-built and well-maintained affordable housing alternatives to individuals, families and seniors in one of North America’s most expensive real estate markets.  We help people to move through the housing continuum, from the most vulnerable citizens who find themselves homeless, through a wide variety of rental accommodations for individuals, families and seniors, through to first-time home buyers.

Affordable GAP rental housing

WBHDC helps qualifying people with low and middle incomes to “bridge the gap” between the price of social and market housing by offering rental units at 10 to 20 percent below market rates.  WBHDC provides affordable GAP rental housing in Fort McMurray and the rural hamlets of Conklin and Janvier.

WBHDC also offers a Public Sector Partnership program to public sector employees in Fort McMurray that enables them to access affordable GAP rental housing.

Social housing

As a provincially designated Housing Management Body, WBHDC manages all social housing in Wood Buffalo on behalf of the Government of Alberta.  Social housing is provided to qualifying individuals at rates tied to income, which ensures housing costs do not deplete earnings.  WBHDC also provides support services to help social housing clients reduce their reliance upon social assistance through substance abuse programs, job skills training, and other means that address impediments to independence.  Social housing is available in Fort McMurray and Fort Chipewyan.

Seniors housing

In 2002, WBHDC assumed responsibility from the Government of Alberta for all subsidized independent and supportive living seniors’ housing.  Ownership of Rotary House Lodge, which provides a supportive living environment to qualifying seniors, was transferred to WBHDC.  WBHDC also became responsible to operate Legion Manor and Araubasca House, two independent living apartment complexes exclusively for seniors. WBHDC also operates Ayabaskaw House and Lodge in Fort Chipewyan.

Homeless shelter and transitional housing

Since 2006, WBHDC has provided housing to Fort McMurray’s most vulnerable citizens.  Marshall House Emergency Shelter includes a 100-bed capacity homeless shelter and 29 transitional housing units that are provided to the homeless based upon the Housing First model.

Support for the social profit sector

WBHDC also supports other social profit agencies in Wood Buffalo.  We:

  • own and operate the Fort McMurray Food Bank building on a cost-recovery basis;
  • operate the Stepping Stones Youth Shelter building on a cost-recovery basis.
  • donated the land and provided strategic advice and counsel to Waypoints (formerly the Fort McMurray Family Crisis Society) that enabled it to build a new shelter for women and children victims of domestic violence.

Since 2001, WBHDC has helped over 7,000 individuals, families and seniors of low to middle incomes find affordable housing that is appropriate to their personal financial circumstances.