1. Student Retention
For the second year in a row, post-secondary students are raising the alarm about the availability of student housing. Residences are full and housing off campus is limited and costly.
Attracting and retaining students who are key employees for many businesses and future city leaders must be a priority for council. As more students look for seats in universities and as the province looks to open more seats, our housing environment must be able to support students.
2. Economic Attraction
The relocation of large businesses, expansion of companies, or the desire for companies to start up requires the availability of homes for workers. Whether it is Amazon delivery hubs or the next tech unicorn, we need homes across the affordability spectrum to drive economic activity in our city. Recognized by industry leaders, see for yourself the letters submitted to council.
The cost of housing, both rental and ownership has risen drastically in the past three years. As supply decreases the costs to rent or own are going up. Creating more homes to offset the supply pressures are critical to continue to be a city with affordable homes (the ratio of housing cost to income).
4. Long Term Supply
As homes age, their viability, especially from an energy efficiency standpoint, decreases. Creating an environment which allows a quicker lifecycle of homes ensures the supply can be sustained and won’t cause future low-supply stressors on the market.
Currently population growth is outpacing the construction of new homes. Without swift action, low supply will continue to drive higher home and rental prices.
5. Community Vibrancy
Most established neighbourhoods are well below their peak population. New homes increase the likely hood of a base population that can support schools staying open, thriving local businesses, and a population ratio for city services like transit, recreation, and libraries. Walkable communities lead to healthier lives and promote a sense of neighbourliness.
6. National Competitiveness
Calgary is regularly benchmarked against other Canadian municipalities based on home and rental prices but also now being discussed is availability of homes and the pressure those moving here are placing on the market. As people have the opportunity to work from most places across the country, our offerings of cost of living balanced against lifestyle will be measured by those looking to pick their next home. Calgary will only remain attractive so long as we have the home supply to keep prices affordable and the process of purchasing or renting isn’t so cumbersome that people give up trying.
7. Job Creation
Housing retrofits, remodels, new builds, and infills all provide jobs in the housing sector. Trades, architects, designers and decorators, small flooring store operators and installers, just a few among the many who rely on a sector to fill and create jobs. These companies employ bookkeepers, accountants, administrators, and other professionals to support their businesses. Across the city, many local companies from lighting stores to paint stores hire and employ. Our continued investment into creating more housing means these jobs are steady and stable for years to come.
8. Tax Stability
More homes spread out the collection of taxes by both provincial and municipal governments. Currently the biggest driver in rising property taxes are home evaluation price due to market pressures, not tax increases (in 2023 the mill rate was lower than 2022). Due to drastically fluctuating home valuations, the ability to budget becomes increasingly difficult for the City which has led to surpluses, which we know angers residents. More homes in the market in all neighbourhoods stabilizes housing prices as demand can keep up with supply.
9. Choice in Housing
North American wide people are making different choices on the type of home they’d like to live in. Having a market with mixed opportunities in sizes, format, and price ensure all lifestyles contribute to a thriving city. Choice in housing also means different people of different means are likely to have more equitable access to services like schools, transit, parks, and recreation.
10. Aging in Place
Aging in place is about more than staying in your house, it is about the ability to stay in your neighbourhood close to the services that are familiar to you. Many of the communities in our city do not offer a variety in scale and form that allow seniors to move into housing formats near the services they’re most comfortable and familiar with at a price that’s affordable.
People without homes, need homes. People need an address to get a job, open a bank account, sign a phone contract. These are basics many of us take for granted. Housing, with or without supports allows many to start their journey out of homelessness and poverty.
The risk level of people becoming unhoused is very high. With over 6000 people on waitlists across the city for affordable housing, eviction or the inability to resign a lease with a monthly rent increase is a struggle many Calgarians are facing.
On September 14th, Calgary's updated corporate housing strategy goes before Community Development Committee. This is an opportunity for the public to speak to the recommendations.
Read Home is Here: Calgary's Housing Strategy