City program brings HOPE to low-income Edmontonians

When home improvements become necessary, but you don’t have the budget to make repairs, there are often few options. Many people choose to leave repairs undone, which may result in injury, high utility costs, decreased home value or even just feeling unsafe in one’s own home.

The Housing Opportunities Program for Edmonton, or HOPE, assists low-income homeowners in Edmonton making necessary repairs to their homes. The program provides one-time grant assistance for up to $20,000 for qualifying homeowners. All applicants are also automatically considered for an additional $2,000 for energy efficient upgrades.

For Gerry Kemp, HOPE meant he could install special non-slip flooring, crucial to his safety after suffering several bad falls. Gerry, a former environmental consultant, is also interested in using his HOPE loan to reduce his carbon footprint and in turn, his utility bills.

Gerry Kemp

Through HOPE, Elena Zerea had several necessary repairs completed to her home. After living in McCauley for over 10 years, she knew her house needed serious work but was intimidated by the process. One of Elena’s friends told her about HOPE and despite her initial reservations about calling, Elena completed the application and initial home inspection with the help of Dennis Lee, building inspector for the HOPE program. She was able to use the experience of City building inspectors to negotiate with contractors, assess her home’s efficiency and repair the large cracks in her foundation.


HOPE was launched in 2013 as a pilot program in six inner city neighborhoods. HOPE was the City response to the end of the Federal Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) and was intended to demonstrate the need for programs of this type.  Its success gave way to an expansion in 2014, extending the program across the city. HOPE allows qualifying homeowners bring their homes to a minimum standard of health and safety relating to:

  • Plumbing (e.g. sewer line replacement)
  • Electrical (e.g. wiring replacement)
  • Fire Safety (e.g. smoke alarm replacement)
  • Heating (e.g. furnace replacement)
  • Structural (e.g. foundation leaks repaired)
  • Energy Efficiency (e.g. attic and basement insulation)
  • Disability Modifications (e.g. ramp installation)

These improvements can foster a sense of safety and can help homeowners through the arduous process of home renovation. Elena was thankful for HOPE Inspector Dennis and his ability to explain the process and to help mediate the contractor and engineers involved in the project. HOPE can also contribute to a neighbourhood’s character by preserving older homes and keeping residents in the communities where they have put down roots.

The HOPE program came to an end as of December 2016.


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About the Author
Jessie Singer
Jessie Singer is a Planner with the City of Edmonton's Sustainable Development branch.
  1. Gayle Cruickshank
    5 years ago

    This sounds like a great program. Does it apply to mobile homes? My husband and I are seniors and living on our pensions but we do need some renovations to our mobile that we have no hope of being able to afford. Also, my husband is going through ongoing treatment after having surgery and radiation for mouth cancer and is not able to do very much anymore.

  2. City of Edmonton
    5 years ago

    Hi Gayle,

    Thanks for your question. Unfortunately, mobile homes aren’t eligible for the HOPE program. We do have other City of Edmonton programs for seniors, though – check out for resources.

  3. Gina
    4 years ago

    Are homes in Stoney Plain eligible for this program? My sister’s home is in dire need of repair and curious if their is any programs out there that could assist her as she is low income and her house has some concerning safety issues.


  4. City of Edmonton
    4 years ago

    Hi Gina, only City of Edmonton residents are eligible to apply for help through the HOPE program. The Government of Alberta has an online list of housing-related programs and financial assistance. Depending on your sister’s age and accessibility needs, she may be eligible to apply for funding for home repairs through the Special Needs Assistance for Seniors program or the Residential Access Modification Program (RAMP)

  5. Verna
    9 months ago

    Hello, how and when does this one-time $20, 000 Grant Assistance get repaid to the City of Edmonton? Is it when the homeowner decides to sell their house or can they start earlier–how exactly does repayment work?

  6. City of Edmonton
    8 months ago

    Hi Verna, the HOPE program came to an end as of December 2016. We have updated the blog post accordingly. There are grants and funding available for Secondary and Garden Suites:


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