the first newsletter of the year I wanted to wish our members a happy
and prosperous New Year and thank them for all their support in 2013.
This month we want to preview for you what’s coming up in 2014, from the
major issues we are working on to the great events we are planning.
the coming year is sure to bring surprises (hopefully none as
destructive as the 2013 floods) we are confident the priority issues
identified in our strategic plan will demand significant staff and
volunteer resources. Three involve provincial legislation –
implementation of the new Home Buyer Protection Act and reviews of both
the Municipal Government Act and Condominium Property Act. Safety is
also high on the agenda with changes to Ticketing and Administrative
Penalties, as well as implementation of the CHBA – Alberta Safety
Initiative. We also anticipate discussions on licensing and training
programs, as well as changes in UDI Alberta’s structure.
committees will represent the interests of Members on these and other
key issues, plus identify and respond to emerging concerns for the
residential construction industry. To learn more about plans for 2014,
please read on.
- Jim Rivait, CEO, CHBA – Alberta
beginning of a new year is a time to build upon existing relationships
and create new ones. One of the first things on CHBA – Alberta’s
government relations agenda will be meeting with new Ministers, critics
and other decision-makers to discuss new and continuing items.
for legislation, two major items will be front and centre. The
Condominium Property Act review continues with the government intending
to introduce legislation during the 2014 spring session. CHBA – Alberta
will be working to confirm previous commitments for meetings and review
of draft changes with the new minister. We anticipate an Edmonton-based
meeting similar to the Calgary-based discussion held this summer. Once
the proposed changes to the Act are available we will review and respond
through various channels, including a working group that will be
assembled for this purpose.
the final countdown has begun for the February 1 launch of the
mandatory home warranty program. We will be monitoring the rollout of
the program to ensure issues identified by Members are promptly
addressed. For additional details on the program, please visit the CHBA – Alberta website which features a detailed information page.
- T.J. Keil, External Affairs Manager
housing starts numbers for all areas of Alberta will be released by
CMHC in the days ahead. Based on the statistics reported in urban areas
(centres 10,000+) to the end of November, CHBA – Alberta expects 2013
total housing starts across the province to approach 35,000 units, for
an increase of around 5% from 2012 levels and representing the best year
for builders since 2007.
what can be expected in 2014? Statistics Canada reported in December
that Alberta’s population growth for the year ending September 30th was
the strongest in Canada due to record-level net migration. Meanwhile,
CMHC’s fall 2013 Alberta rental market survey released in December
showed that vacancies in the available rental pool were heading downward
and this shortage is pushing rents to new highs in many cities. This
will prompt more renters to think about homeownership in the coming
months. As well, many existing home markets in Alberta are reporting
lower standing inventories at year-end along with steadily rising
prices. This all presents a positive outlook for the residential
construction industry in 2014. As a result, CMHC is predicting starts
will edge higher in 2014.
the weeks ahead, we will again be polling our Members in all 6 Locals
on their expectations for new housing activity province-wide in the year
ahead. Results will be posted on our website and distributed to Locals.
- Richard Goatcher, Economic Analyst
CHBA – Alberta is excited to offer a couple of key events in 2014!
In the coming months we will be leading a Phoenix Housing Tour, calling
for submissions for the CHBA – Alberta Awards of Excellence in Housing,
and in the fall we will host our annual conference in Jasper.
is now open for this year’s housing tour to Phoenix, Arizona. Join us
March 6-8 as we trade winter for the warmth of Phoenix. Over two days we will visit more than 20 show homes in developments in this desert oasis. Click here to be a part of this tour.
is an exciting time for builders and renovators to start preparing
submissions for the CHBA – Alberta Awards of Excellence in Housing. Be a
part of the Cost Review Committee or the Awards Review Committee by clicking here. Watch for this year’s criteria in March! Deadline to enter will be noon on Wednesday, June 4.
fall, we return to the beautiful mountains in Jasper to celebrate,
reconnect with industry members, learn and grow at BUILD 2014 September
18-21. Mark your calendar and watch for registration for this annual
event to begin in April.
- Laara Braz, Member Services Manager
of mandatory home warranty legislation and changes in national codes
and standards dominated the technical landscape in 2013 and will do so
again in 2014.
first challenge of the new year will be to meet the February 1 timeline
for builder registration in the New Home Registry. As soon as the
registration portal is open, CHBA – Alberta will inform members.
Monitoring owner-builder issues, getting answers to questions from
builders and sharing clarifications from provincial officials will be
top priorities for CHBA – Alberta. Check our warranty information webpage for updates.
will be an active year for work on building codes. Alberta Municipal
Affairs will adopt the 2010 National Building Code, the National Energy
Code for Buildings and the Part 9 changes for energy efficiency into the
Alberta Codes this year. CHBA – Alberta is working to facilitate a
smooth introduction. In the fall, task groups at the National Codes
Centre dealing with the rise and run of stairs, spatial separation of
houses, low-cost accessibility items, water conservation and sprinklers
will report their recommendations.
further ahead, the CHBA – Alberta Provincial Technical Committee has
begun discussing a position regarding accessibility and visitability for
residential single-family homes. This will define how we assess code
proposals at the national level on this emerging issue.
- Joan Maisonneuve, Manager, Policy & Industry Issues
2014 CHBA Edmonton and Calgary are poised to implement the first phase
of the CHBA – Alberta Safety Initiative by bringing most of their large
builder members on board with COR or SECOR. This year CHBA – Alberta
will also work with Central Alberta, Grande Prairie and Medicine Hat
locals on the Safety Initiative. Lethbridge is leading other areas of
the province in regard to COR and SECOR.
in the year ahead the housing industry will see the impact of ticketing
and administrative penalties on workers, employers and prime
contractors. CHBA – Alberta will also monitor the OH&S
Residential Initiative. The initiative has three parts – spot
inspections, identification of high-risk employers with the new
scorecard approach, and utilizing the OH&S
data base to identify contractors or prime contractors with ongoing
compliance issues. A technical challenge on the horizon for the housing
industry in 2014 will be dealing with silica dust on the worksite. We
will work with the government and CHBA safety committees to identify
ways to mitigate this risk.
- Joan Maisonneuve, Manager, Policy & Industry Issues
toll free 800-661-3348
CHBA - Alberta
328, 9707-110 Street
Edmonton, AB T5K 2L9