Answer: Alberta Liberals believe that our cities and Calgary in particular are going to need a fairly steady supply of new affordable housing stock for the foreseeable future. We simply don’t have enough to meet the demand, and Calgary continues to attract newcomers at a rapid pace. While the government did meet its much publicized target of developing 11,000 new affordable housing units by 2012, many saw this as merely nudging the province’s affordable housing stock beyond crisis levels. What’s troubling is that the budget for housing capital programs was actually cut by $80 million this year, and is down $151 million in the last two years. It’s a concerning trend. Our commitment to Calgary and other fast growing jurisdictions is that we’ll use all the legislative tools and financial resources at our disposal to make it easier for builders and municipalities to create affordable housing.
Question: What measures would you be willing to introduce to encourage the participation of the private sector in the development of more affordable housing in the large cities?
Answer: Alberta Liberals will stabilize funding for housing capital programs at a level that will allow development to occur at a pace that more accurately reflects the need. We will also encourage local governments to freeze, reduce or eliminate property taxes on affordable rental units for a set number of years by providing corresponding grants to municipalities to make up for the lost revenue. Additionally, we will work with municipalities to use density bonuses to allow builders to create more affordable housing at a lower cost per unit and will encourage municipalities to eliminate development fee levies, fast-track building permits and waive permit fees.
Alberta Liberal official website - www.albertaliberal.com