important function CHBA – Alberta performs on behalf of members is
representing their interests – and those of home buyers – with the
provincial government. Local Associations do the same work with
municipal governments while CHBA in Ottawa speaks for home builders on
the national stage.
– Alberta is an advocate for housing affordability, consumer choice and
sustainability. Our members understand that these are of critical
importance to both Albertans and our industry. Their knowledge and
experience is essential to informed debate and effective legislation. We
belong at the table when the provincial government and its agencies
consider a wide range of housing matters including building codes and
standards, and workplace health and safety. We will challenge changes
that undermine the ability of our members to compete in a fair and equal
business environment. That’s where CHBA – Alberta’s political
involvement begins and ends. We won’t be supporting or endorsing
specific parties or candidates who are seeking election. On the other
hand, our 1,500 members throughout Alberta are free to take partisan
political positions, and support individuals and parties. Naturally they
will have strong – and even divergent – opinions about how their
communities grow. They have deep roots in Alberta. This is not just
where they make a living – it’s their home.
who cares about the future of Alberta must recognize that government
policies at the municipal, provincial and federal level have a
significant impact on affordability. Almost daily we hear through the
media how prices are rising out of reach of some buyers. Just last week
a new survey showed 65 per cent of young Albertans think prices are too
high for them to afford a home. The debate about how to build
affordable homes and sustainable cities did not start yesterday and
won’t end tomorrow. Just as it has for over half a century, CHBA –
Alberta will present researched positions based on facts about how our
industry works and what our customers want. Albertans deserve no less.
continues on development of regulations for the New Home Buyer
Protection Act. CHBA – Alberta continues to meet with Alberta Municipal
Affairs, Service Alberta (responsible for the Condominium Property Act)
and Treasury Board and Finance (responsible for the Insurance Act). The
timeline laid out by Municipal Affairs to complete the regulations has
been modified due to the complexity of discussions and stakeholder
concerns. The chief issue being discussed is the owner/builder
exemption. CHBA – Alberta has been consistently asserting our objection
to the exemption, and showing government officials how it could
negatively impact both warranty participation rates and consumer
protection. In the event that government is not willing to change the
legislation, we are also developing a contingency proposal. The goal
would be to at least maintain the 90% participation rate under the
existing voluntary new home warranty environment that began with
leadership from CHBA – Alberta members.
Alberta and CHBA – Alberta have obtained a legal opinion regarding the
Canada Post $200 mailbox fee issue. Some key points from the lawyers
• The imposition of the $200 fee is unlawful in its present form.
At a minimum, Canada Post would have to develop regulations to
establish the charge and these would still be open to challenge.
• Canada Post cannot force Alberta municipalities to include the charge in development or servicing agreements.
Any attempt by an Alberta municipality to force a developer into a
Community Mailbox Set-Up Fee Agreement with Canada Post would be
– Alberta’s Board has asked CHBA National to work with UDI Canada to
assess legal options related to the fee. Canada Post has been taking the
details of its financial woes directly to the public and we will need
to continue to engage all levels of the government, as well as the
public, to stop this unfair and inappropriate targeting of new home buyers.
housing starts in the province’s urban areas over 10,000 in population
decreased in March by 2% year-over-year to 2,383 units. Strong
single-family construction was countered by weakness in multi-family
starts. Across Alberta, activity in all areas (both urban and rural)
increased in the first quarter by almost 8% from a year prior to 6,989
units. On a seasonally adjusted basis, activity in the first quarter
averaged 30,734 units, down slightly from 31,758 units in the last 3
months of 2012.
starts across the province (all areas) rose by 14% year-over-year in
the first 3 months of 2013 to 3,549 units. Multi-family activity was not
as strong due to a slowdown in apartment activity, particularly in
Calgary. Total multi-family starts (urban and rural) were up by 2%
year-over-year in the first 3 months of 2013 to 3,440 units.
Semi-detached and row (townhouse) starts were very strong, up by 34% and
23% respectively from the first 3 months of last year. Apartment
starts, in contrast, lagged activity in the first quarter of 2012 by 16%
so far this year to 1,686 units.
For more market information, please visit our website.
BUILD 2013 registration is off to a great start and activities are filling up. If you haven’t registered yet click here.
Think the drive is too long? We are looking at chartering a motor coach
from Calgary to Jasper for about $125 per person round-trip. If you are
interested click here. We will be asking for a non-refundable deposit to confirm a spot on the bus.
CHBA – Alberta Awards of Excellence in Housing website is accepting
entries until June 5. Don’t delay in entering your best homes,
renovations, and communities online. Click here to begin your submission.
CHBA – Alberta Safety Leadership Awards are once again sponsored by
ATCO Gas as part of its commitment to safety. The awards recognize
builder and general members for dedication to safety. We know our
members have many great safety programs and this is an opportunity to
distinguish yourself from the competition. This year four awards will be
presented to companies with innovative safety programs and whose staff
excels in safety. Award guidelines and documents will be posted on the
CHBA – Alberta website May 13. The submission deadline is 4 p.m. on June 19. Winners will be announced in Jasper at BUILD 2013.
CHBA – Calgary Region for “Rock Your Sales Rally” May 15. Meredith
Oliver, Melinda Brody and John Palumbo return to Calgary with new
strategies to give your sales an immediate boost. Last year’s event sold
out so reserve your seats early to attend the sales training event of
the year! The three-hour rally is sure to motivate, educate and inspire
sales teams to sell more homes this year! For more information and to
register click here.
information sessions on building codes for senior managers are
scheduled for May 14 in Calgary and May 15 in Edmonton. Decoding Codes –
Building a Stronger Industry Voice will provide industry leaders a
chance to hear from key federal and provincial decision-makers on how
building codes are developed, the way the housing industry can
contribute its own expertise to shape new regulations, and CHBA –
Alberta’s role in ensuring builders have a strong voice in the process.
Only a few spaces are left. Click here to register.
CHBA has produced an advisory document, Radon Education and Training for New Home Builders and Renovators – CHBA Recommendations.
It will help those developing radon education and training courses for
home builders and renovators. It is also a very good overview of issues
and sources of information. Given that the requirements for new homes
and renovation projects may vary by province and, in some cases, on a
project-by-project basis, the document presents few specifics but does
NBC Joint Task Group (JTG) examining the case for mandatory sprinklers
in new houses met recently to consider comments about a report prepared
by Altus Group for the Canadian Codes Centre. The preliminary analysis
done by the sub task group and presented at the March meeting appeared
to reaffirm the conclusions of the Altus report that sprinkler costs
were prohibitively high. It appears unlikely that requirements for
mandatory sprinklers in houses will be considered as part of the 2015
National Building Code.
– Alberta is working on a strategy to improve safety among our members.
As part of this effort, CHBA – Alberta worked with WCB to compile statistics
on disabling injury rates and lost time claims for residential general
contractors and the 16 other industry code designations that make up the
housing industry. According to the data framers, drywall/stuccoers,
tile workers and brick masonry trades had the highest lost time claim
rates per 100 workers.
Policy and Program Development Branch will accept proposals to change
some sections of the OHS Code. The deadline for submitting proposed
changes is June 30, 2013. OH&S
staff will review all submissions and develop proposals outlining any
recommendations for revisions. Consultations in 2014 will provide an
opportunity for industry to comment on proposed changes. Accepted
changes will be incorporated into the next version of the Alberta OHS
Code slated for release in 2015. Click here for more information.
about the progress on CHBA National’s organizational review and the
next steps toward increasing the Association’s effectiveness and
efficiency by clicking here
toll free 800-661-3348
CHBA - Alberta
328, 9707-110 Street
Edmonton, AB T5K 2L9