December 3, 2014

 


New Condo Bill Introduced After Input from CHBA Alberta

The Alberta government took the next step on the path to modernize the Condominium Property Act with introduction of Bill 9 in the legislature this week. CHBA – Alberta was closely involved in the two years of government consultation with stakeholders. Our goals were to ensure clarity in the legislation and allow responsible developers and builders to continue to serve this important market segment.

Service Alberta Minister Stephen Khan said most regulations arising from the legislation should be in place within a year. Key changes include a new dispute tribunal, improved disclosure of information to buyers, higher standards for property managers and better governance of condominium corporations.

The CHBA – Alberta team that has diligently reviewed previous versions of the legislation will once again be called into action to check how the 50 amendments in Bill 9 will affect the residential construction industry. We will also provide input as the regulations are developed. As we noted in our news release, consumer protection was already significantly enhanced in February by the introduction of mandatory warranty protection for buyers of either single or multi-family homes.

Jim Rivait, CEO, CHBA – Alberta



 

 

Alberta Considers Approval of Six-Storey Wood Structures

A private members Bill regarding the construction of six-storey wooden residential buildings has been introduced by George Vanderburg, the PC MLA for Whitecourt-Ste. Anne. The Bill would seek to pave the way for provincial acceptance of this housing type, which is set to be part of the forthcoming building code (2015) but is already approved in Calgary.

Modernization Planned for Land Titles System 

As part of a recent meeting with Minister Khan of Service Alberta, CHBA – Alberta representatives discussed his plans for examining the Land Titles system in Alberta. The Minister made clear that rather than looking to privatize the system, he is simply looking to modernize it. The systems used in BC and Saskatchewan are of particular interest, and we noted that CHBA – Alberta members would like to provide input on anything that is proposed in this area as the current system is already considered very strong.

T.J. Keil, External Affairs Manager



 

 

Housing Starts Up 17% This Year

Following a surge in August and September, total housing starts in Alberta’s urban areas increased in October by 12% from year-ago levels to 3,244 units. Housing starts reached 38,918 units (SAAR) in October, down from a revised rate of 42,409 units in September. After 10 months this year, total starts in Alberta’s cities have increased by 17% over January to October 2013 to 31,692 units. So far this year, single-family starts in urban areas have reached 14,484 units, up 5.4% from the first 10 months of 2013. Multi-family starts (semi, row, & apartment) were up by 29% to 17,208 units. With 2 months remaining in 2014, multi-unit activity has already surpassed the annual total for 2013.

Check our website for detailed Market Reports.

Richard Goatcher, Economic Analyst



 

San Jose the Hot Spot for Winter Housing Tour 

We are scouting locations this month in and around San Jose, California, for the CHBA – Alberta 2015 Housing Tour. Watch for more details soon about this mid-March event. We’re excited about this tour – and not just because the temperature is likely be 15 degrees or so warmer than here in Alberta. The San Jose real estate market is also red hot as expansion of high-tech titans such as Google is driving home building in the Silicon Valley. Registration will begin shortly and space will be limited. If you haven't already requested to be added to the tour information list email us.  

Laara Braz,  Member Services Manager



 

OHS Code Open for Consultation

A reminder to all members that the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Code is OPEN for consultation until January 31, 2015. A sub-committee has been formed and is meeting this month to discuss and comment on the proposed changes. Members are encouraged to review the presentations and provide comments or concerns to Brittany at CHBA – Alberta or your local CHBA – Alberta Safety Committee members before December 22. Members can also submit their input to the Government of Alberta here.

Ticketing, Administrative Penalties, and Peace Officers

In November, the Delivery Branch of Occupational Health and Safety provided statistics about the nature and number of tickets and administrative penalties issued since April 1, 2014. There was also an update on Peace Officer training. Check the December Safety Report for a breakdown of the numbers. 

 Brittany Baltimore, Safety Coordinator




 

New EnerGuide Rating System

The new EnerGuide rating system for new houses is complete. Key features of the new program are:

•    An updated rating scale with  results discussed in energy consumption (GJ/year);
•    New label and homeowner materials;
•    Updated HOT 2000 software;
•    Updated house evaluation and quality assurance procedures;
•    Updated delivery network testing, licensing and registration;
•    Created as a policy tool.

Information for the housing industry was first presented at the CHBA National meetings in Ottawa in October. The program will roll out beginning in April. Information has not yet been posted on the NRCan website but an overview presentation can be seen here.

Joan Maisonneuve, Manager, Policy & Industry Issues





 

Get updates from CHBA – Alberta, links to news releases and information of interest to the residential construction industry by following us on Twitter at @CHBA_Alberta






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Email: info@chbaalberta.ca



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