Greg Clark Letter of Support for Secondary Suites
Posted on December 07, 2014 by Katherine Taylor
The City of Calgary
Office of the Councillors (8001)
P.O. Box 2100, Station M
Calgary, AB, Canada T2P 2M5
Dear Mayor Nenshi and Calgary City Council,
Re: Support for Secondary Suites
Sometimes municipal and provincial issues overlap, and the issue of affordable housing is one such issue. Deciding the parameters for secondary suites in Calgary is exclusively in the hands of Calgary’s Council, but as the leader of the Alberta Party I do feel there is a place for me to support the work being done to legalize them in Calgary.
Calgary has the enviable challenge of coping with the addition of 40,000 people annually who want to live and work in a great city. While it is a good problem to have, it has led to a housing crisis. Calgary has the lowest vacancy rates and highest rental costs in the entire country – rates that have yet to recover since the 2013 flood, and which will remain extreme unless we focus on creating affordable housing solutions.
As a former small business owner I know the importance of attracting and retaining talent to our rapidly expanding city. Both the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and Calgary Economic Development have explicitly expressed that a lack of affordable housing options in Calgary is a risk for our economy.
For workers to come to our city we need safe and affordable options for them to transition. For young professionals who are hoping to buy their first home they need a source of supplementary income. For seniors who want to stay in their homes longer, or have caregivers nearby we need to give them options. While improving the process for approving legal secondary suites will not be a silver-bullet solution to Calgary’s affordable housing crisis, it is a step in the right direction.
Secondary suites are a market driven solution. Legalizing them will not require large government investment or programs, and will improving housing stock without dramatically changing the communities they are located within.
Calgary’s economy needs to continue to attract workers. Affordable housing will be essential to maintain our growth. On December 15, 2014 I urge Council to legalize secondary suites across all of Calgary.
Leader, Alberta Party