Housing Affordability a "Critical Issue' for Alberta
It was gratifying that CHBA – Alberta was invited to attend the Legislature this week by
MLA Robyn Luff. The Calgary-East MLA is sponsoring Bill 202, the
Alberta Affordable Housing Review Committee Act. The MLA committee will
report on improving access to safe, appropriate and affordable housing.
“The aim of this bill is to hear from many Albertans and to take a
big-picture look at this crucial issue,” explained MLA Luff.
Home builders are included in the short list of major groups to be
consulted by the committee as it gathers information for its report.
review that includes affordable home ownership as a priority is
consistent with CHBA – Alberta’s advocacy and a welcome change from what
is often a piecemeal consideration of housing sector issues. We hoped
to make the point that government needs to consider the “big picture”
when we hosted Affordability Matters – A Home for Every Albertan.
concerns have been expressed that the Affordable Housing Review
Committee will recommend policies that industry would oppose. That’s why
it was reassuring to hear Brian Mason, the Minister of both
Infrastructure and Transportation, say that the government is not
considering rent controls. “Quite frankly, I think that the key here is
to increase the supply of housing, particularly the affordable housing,
and to let the market work,” said Minister Mason.
look forward to sharing information and exploring solutions with the
committee, after its members have been appointed, and it begins its
nine-month assignment to improve access to and the affordability of
Jim Rivait, CEO
Coalition Communicates Economic Concerns to Premier
– Alberta joined a number of industry groups to advocate that the
provincial government take steps focusing on the economy and jobs, and
to avoid doing harm at this critical time. A joint letter
from the Alberta Coalition on Employment and the Economy and subsequent
news release garnered plenty of media attention throughout Alberta. The
coalition has requested a meeting with the Premier, and we are
optimistic this will be granted. CHBA – Alberta is always looking for
strategic partnerships and chances to build coalitions that advance
common interests. This group represents most of Alberta’s industries and
could be a valuable resource on a number of fronts.
Budget Likely to Precede MGA Review Introduction
returned from a two-week constituency break on April 4. The provincial
budget will not be introduced until April 14, leaving some time to deal
with other legislation. It is unlikely that changes to the Municipal
Government Act will be introduced in the lead-up to the budget, or
during the work that is required subsequently to debate and pass the
budget. The MGA changes may not be introduced until towards the end of
Spring session, which is scheduled to continue until early June. the CHBA – Alberta/UDI Alberta MGA Review Committee has scheduled
a presentation for Lethbridge April 21. Members will hear why the MGA
matters to their business and how they can help support advocacy
initiatives when the legislation is released. Watch for dates to be announced for presentations in other cities.
T.J. Keil, External Affairs Manager
Housing Starts Trend Down
housing starts in Alberta’s urban areas over 10,000 population
decreased in February by almost one-half from the same month in 2015 to
1,596 units. On a seasonally adjusted basis, housing activity in
Alberta’s cities slowed to a rate of 20,528 units (SAAR) in February
compared with a revised rate of 21,184 units (SAAR) in January. For the
year-to-date, total starts in Alberta’s urban centres have declined by
50% from the first two months of 2015 to 3,062 units.
growth in Alberta remained above the national average in the fourth
quarter of 2015. A strong increase in international migration helped
offset a sharp decline in interprovincial net migration. Alberta’s
overall population growth rate decreased in 2015 to 1.7% from 2.4% in
See our monthly Market Updates for details on housing trends for individual cities.
Richard Goatcher, Economic Analyst
Seeking Sponsors and Exhibitors for BUILD
BUILD has great opportunities to showcase your company. Participate in the trade show (starting at $599) or become a sponsor (starting at $1,000).
We have fabulous opportunities for companies who want to get their name
in front of Alberta's top builders and developers. If you would like to
hear more about exhibiting or sponsorship options, contact me for details.
Attending the conference with a group people? Consider reserving a signature cabin with multiple rooms and a large common area (Point Cabin - 5 rooms or Stanley Thompson Cabin - 4 rooms). These luxurious cabins are great for team building or hosting a private reception. Contact Laara for more information on these cabins.
Awards of Excellence in Housing - Start Compiling Your Submission
Get ready to shine, Alberta! The CHBA – Alberta Awards of Excellence in Housing Criteria for 2016 is ready for you to start assembling your submissions. The housing awards were reviewed to ensure that we continue to deliver an exceptional awards program.
This year, there have been a few changes to the categories including the addition of the Mid Volume Builder of the Year! Visit www.buildexcellence.ca for all this year's award information.
Laara Braz, Member Services Manager
New Safety Award Categories
year’s Safety Awards feature a variety of changes including new
categories and questions. Three categories will be available for
submission for the Builder Safety Leadership Awards and entrants will
see a change in the two General Member categories. These changes have
been made to encourage members of all sizes to enter the awards.
Questions this year will focus on innovation, COR/SECOR, contractor
management, professional development, and the unique challenges
encountered by the residential sector. The Safety Leadership Awards
recognize member companies that go above and beyond in workplace safety.
Those that place in the top three of the Safety Leadership Awards will
also receive points towards becoming CHBA – Alberta Builder of the Year.
For all the criteria visit the Safety Awards website. Deadline is noon on Wednesday, June 1. It’s free to enter!
Building to SECOR Reaches Milestone
– Alberta and the Alberta Construction Safety Association are very
pleased to announce that two companies that participated in the Building
to SECOR/COR pilot project have received their SECOR and COR
to Vicky’s Homes (Edmonton) for achieving SECOR and New Interiors
(Calgary) for achieving COR. The latest company to earn their Temporary
Letter of Certification is Infiniti Master Builder (Edmonton)
Please see the monthly Safety Report for more information.
Brittany Baltimore, Safety Coordinator
Codes Sessions in Medicine Hat and Red Deer
– Alberta is offering an information session through the Locals on the
new requirements contained in Section 9.36 of the Alberta Building Code. These requirements begin transition on May 1 across the province. Dates for the next sessions:
- Medicine Hat, Thursday, April 21
- Red Deer, Wednesday, April 27
Sessions have already been presented by CHBA – Alberta in Grande Prairie and Lethbridge. Additional information on the codes such as summaries and resources are available on the CHBA – Alberta website.
New National Codes Now Available
next set of national model codes, the 2015 Building Fire and Plumbing
Codes, have been released by the National Research Council (NRC). These are the next codes that will be adopted by Alberta sometime in or after 2017.
If you want to have a sneak peek at what will likely follow the
adoption of 9.36, the national codes are available for sale through the
NRC website. The province will begin to review these codes and add any Alberta-specific changes or additions over the next year. CHBA – Alberta is involved through the Building Sub-Council and the Alberta Provincial Residential Technical Committee.
To read more, please see the monthly Technical Report.
Joan Maisonneuve, Policy & Issues Manager
Canada-Alberta Job Grant Access Made Easy
– Alberta and the Government of Alberta have partnered to launch a
pilot program to help our members access the Canada-Alberta Job Grant to
fund training. Through this program, CHBA – Alberta
members will be able to access training from a number of providers for
one-third of the regular price. The other two-thirds will be covered by
the Canada-Alberta Job Grant, which is funded by the Government of
Canada. An up-front financial
commitment will not be required; members will be billed by CHBA –
Alberta after registration is completed.
Click here to to register.
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Edmonton, AB T5K 2L9