April 2, 2014

 

 

Advocacy Efforts Continue During Leadership Race

CHBA – Alberta's primary function is representing the residential construction industry at the provincial level.  So what’s our role when the governing party plunges into a race to select Alberta’s next premier?

First off, we do not support specific candidates. Our organization is firmly non-partisan so we don’t donate funds or endorse candidates. The Association attends various political events to build relationships with decision makers. We will also ensure Progressive Conservative party leadership candidates understand where CHBA – Alberta members stand on issues affecting housing affordability and availability.  

In the meantime, there are plenty of initiatives underway that require our attention. Later in April a new Condominium Property Act will be introduced in the Legislature. The government also continues its review of the Municipal Government Act, the legislation that defines how municipalities develop land. And our dialogue with the government on a host of other issues included recent meetings with three cabinet ministers.

While we will be interested observers of the leadership race, CHBA – Alberta will focus on providing the effective representation our industry needs to help Alberta keep pace with its growth.  

Jim Rivait, CEO, CHBA – Alberta



 

Update on Labour Agreement

The Alberta government recently updated the Alberta Coalition for Action on Labour Shortages on the agreement in principle between the federal government and provinces on the Canada Jobs Grant. Provincial officials are now under pressure to determine what the program should look like and how to implement it in Alberta. Rolling out the program is the responsibility of the provincial government and it is to be in place by September 2014.

Condominium Legislation Changes

CHBA – Alberta representatives recently met with Service Alberta Minister Doug Griffiths to discuss coming changes to the Condominium Property Act. The Minister intends to introduce a bill this spring, which will remain on the order paper until the fall session. During this interval there will be an opportunity to discuss the draft changes with the department and make suggestions. CHBA – Alberta will set up a working group to review the changes once they are introduced. A major focus is likely to be addressing problems involving condominium boards.  

T.J. Keil, External Affairs Manager




 

Alberta Attracts Fewer Newcomers

Alberta continued to lead all provinces in population growth in the final months of 2013, but the rate of growth slowed compared with the last 3 months of 2012 due to fewer newcomers from other provinces. Compared to the fourth quarter in 2012, Alberta’s net interprovincial migration in the final 3 months of 2013 was reduced by half. Improving economic conditions in some provinces and a shortage of affordable rental housing in our largest cities might be discouraging newcomers from other provinces. Despite this fourth quarter slowdown, total net migration into Alberta in all of 2013 reached 102,456 persons compared with 86,939 net newcomers in 2012, representing the highest level on record.

Housing Starts Rise 7% 

Total housing starts in February amounted to 2,471 units in Alberta’s 7 biggest cities, up almost 7% from a year earlier. On a seasonally adjusted annual basis, total housing starts in February reached a rate of 32,887 units (SAAR) in urban areas compared with a revised rate of 36,860 in January. Single-detached starts in Alberta’s major cities increased in February by 14% from a year prior to 1,291 units while multi-family starts edged downward in February by 0.6% year-over-year to 1,180 units. For complete market reports check our website

Richard Goatcher, Economic Analyst



 

Get A Head Start on Awards Submissions 

The CHBA – Alberta Awards of Excellence in Housing criteria for 2014 is ready for you to start assembling your submissions.  The housing awards were reviewed to ensure that we continue to deliver an exceptional program.  This year, there have been a few changes to the categories.  The prices for the Single Family categories have been adjusted and we have added one more Estate Home category.  We will continue to use a Cost Review Committee to vet all submissions prior to judging to ensure accuracy without additional requirements when you enter.

We are tweaking the website to make sure the submission process is easy when you are ready to enter online.  You will be able to upload your submissions starting in May. The deadline for entries is noon on Wednesday, June 4.

Phoenix Housing Tour Highlights

This year, CHBA - Alberta took its members to tour the Phoenix housing market.  We visited nearly 40 showhomes (apartments, townhomes and single family homes).  There were eye-popping places with examples of smart engineering and great value.  Please visit our website for photos.  

Laara Braz, Member Services Manager



Warranty Registration Improvements Coming

Most builders note good turnaround in registering single family homes on the New Home Buyer Protection database; some builders can see their registrations on the public database in less than 24 hours. However, the database still has challenges with multi-family inputs as it currently requires a lot block and plan number as a mandatory field. The plan number may not be available at the time a builder applies for a building permit. Civic addresses seem to be more readily available at the time of building permit application. The New Home Buyer Protection office is working on programming changes but this might take several weeks. They are seeking a temporary solution. A meeting will be held on April 9 with Municipal Affairs.  Let us know if you have specific issues you would like to be addressed. 

Check our website for the full April Technical Report.

Joan Maisonneuve, Manager, Policy & Industry Issues




 

 

OHS Peace Officers Graduate

Occupational Health & Safety announced March 27 that 10 staff in OHS have achieved Peace Officer status 8 are OHS field officers.  The next group of approximately 30 officers will complete training by June with a third group going through training in the fall.  There are 67 ticketable provisions, each specific to either employers or workers for specific violations of OHS legislation. Tickets range from $100 to $500 and can be issued on the spot.

Sessions on Code Changes Planned

OHS will be holding all-day information sessions at the end of May in Edmonton and Calgary on proposed changes to the OHS Code.  The proposals result from submissions provided over the last 4 years. This is the first part of a multi-step process. The target is to have changes finalized for introduction in 2015.  More information will be coming later in the month through your local HBA Safety Committee.

Check our website for the full April Safety Report

Joan Maisonneuve, Manager, Policy & Industry Issues


 



Contact Us

ph  780-424-5890
toll free  800-661-3348
fax 
780-426-0128
Email: info@chbaalberta.ca



Address

CHBA - Alberta
328, 9707-110 Street
Edmonton, AB T5K 2L9
Canada




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