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City of Calgary creates new executive job to oversee housing file

To deal with a housing crisis, the City of Calgary developed a new housing strategy. Now, someone will be put in charge of implementing it.

It’s recruiting to fill a newly created job: chief housing officer.

According to the city, the decision to appoint one person to oversee the city’s response to what it calls a housing crisis speaks to the nature of the challenge

The city’s chief operating officer, Stuart Dalgleish, said housing is a major concern, so he wants to bring some focus to the file.

“We have a city that is growing significantly and that demands immediate and urgent attention,” said Dalgleish.

So a key part of what this person will be doing is overseeing and implementing the city’s new housing strategy.

“A lot of that is about the how — convening the resources that we have across the City of Calgary. A number of departments contribute to the housing strategy, to the implementation and execution of the housing strategy,” he said.

Collaborative job

That’s just inside the city corporation. Then there’s beyond.

He pointed out the job comes with a requirement for plenty of collaboration.  

For example, the chief housing officer will be working with the non-profit sector and the private sector as well as leveraging support from other orders of government.

From his vantage point, Dalgleish said having someone focus on housing should pay dividends.

a man stands in front of a window and smiles.
The city’s chief operating officer, Stuart Dalgleish, is creating a new job — chief housing officer — which will put one person in charge of the city’s housing policies. (Scott Dippel/CBC)

Dalgleish said the way the city has handled the implementation of its downtown strategy offers a blueprint for this job.

Putting a senior person in charge of moving that strategy forward and adding resources has generated results. He cites the advancement of the city’s office-to-residential conversion program for the downtown.

“We elevate the role and the work. We apply leadership to it. We apply focus and really focus on solutions, implementation, execution — leading to results and better outcomes.”

It is a senior role and that comes with a salary of $140,000 to $210,000 annually.

Dalgleish said the call for interested applicants is closed and he’s hoping to have the new position filled within a couple of months.

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