Public input is being collected throughout March to fully understand the housing needs of Cochrane.

The Cochrane Society for Housing Options (CSHO) and the Town of Cochrane are completing the first housing needs assessment in over 10 years.

In part, the information collected will help determine what type of housing is missing.

The information gathered will be available to any group or developer interested in creating housing, explains CSHO housing coordinator Corinne Burns. 

"This is not necessarily just about what the Town of Cochrane and society for housing might be able to do for our future growth in our community," she says, "but also what other people in our community can do to support Cochrane to have balanced housing across the board so that anyone who chooses to live here can do so for their full lifespan."

"What has changed through our landscape? What are the gaps.? Do we need more seniors housing? Do we need more supportive housing for people who have house issues and various other things going on in their lives? If so, what does that look like?"

Burns has already been promoting the survey at events like last Thursday's sold-out fundraiser for the Cochrane Immigrant Services Committee. Focus groups are being organized, and already several have been arranged with developers, businesses, landlords, property managers, and realtors.

Currently, they are working towards some for the general public.

"If there is anyone out there in the community that wants to join us to discuss housing in Cochrane, I just ask that they reach out to me, and we can get them slotted into a session."

To arrange to participate in a focus group discussion, contact or call 403-851-2261.

While Cochrane offers a much more diverse range of housing than 10 years ago, Burns says they know some gaps remain.

"When I first lived in Cochrane, it was largely single-family dwelling and duplexes. That created a huge affordable issue for a lot of people. Now you can drive around town and you can see a lot of condominiums and apartment buildings, so the development and building industry has stepped up to the plate to create more opportunities."

"However, we know there are gaps that still exist that need to be addressed."

Those include different types of seniors housing and accommodations for people under 65 with special circumstances and mobility issues.

The survey is posted on Let's Talk Cochrane, a town website, and takes no more than 10 minutes to complete. Paper copies of the survey are also available at the FCSS office, 209 2nd Ave. W., or Reno Heaven, 136 Charlesworth Ave.

You can access the questionnaire here.