© Calgary Herald

Homeless rates are higher here than in Edmonton largely because of a relative lack of rental housing in Calgary, say academics and anti-poverty advocates.

“It’s the availability of rental,” says Tim Richter, president of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness. “We were tearing stuff down to build condos and shiny glass buildings.”

Those market forces contributed to a shortage of rental, and more affordable, units in Calgary, compared to the provincial capital, he says.

That’s backed up by a 2011 study prepared by the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy, which found Calgary had less than half the rental units that Edmonton did.

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