Calgary’s Mayor to Make New Pitch for Secondary Suites

by Chris on February 25, 2013

Calgary’s Major Nenshi says he’s taking another swing at a bylaw intended to  encourage more property owners to rent out secondary suites.

During a recent radio interview, the Mayor outlined his strategy for dealing with the shortage of affordable rental housing in the city, which is experiencing the lowest vacancy rate in nearly 10 years.

The Mayor plans a three-pronged approach to increase the stock of affordable rental homes, which includes increasing secondary suites, encouraging housing options provided by non-profits, and looking at government aid for those residents who the Mayor says are the most difficult to house.

The plan to increase the number of registered secondary suites — apartments found in existing homes, typically in basements — has met with considerable resistance since the Mayor first proposed the idea. But this time, he says he thinks he can get it done.

When asked the question, “What has changed?”, Mayor Nenshi,  relying on a football analogy, explained that, before, he was “going for a touchdown”, which he said was too much to ask for. Now, his strategy is to use a few “first downs” to “move the ball down the field.”

The Mayor’s plan for a secondary suite bylaw, which he hopes to introduce at the next one or two City Council meetings, will create a regulatory scheme that will stress safety in the individual units. He estimates there are as many as 50,000 illegal secondary suites currently operating throughout the city.

Long-term plans also include pushing for federal tax credits to encourage the construction of new apartments.

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Mika March 3, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Great job Nenshi!! Calgary needs suites for people that cant afford to buy new houses. Nenshi and his plan it Calgary are awesome! We don’t need any more Urban sprawl. Hopefully his new rules get passed.

Montgomery triangle is awesome!

drew peacock May 26, 2013 at 9:05 am

Nenshi is bang on about the suite issue. Calgary needs basement suites!!

Montgomery triangle is awesome!!

Montgomery triangle is awesome!!

Dirk Diggler July 10, 2013 at 8:29 am

Now we have people looking to rent because of the floods. NOW, we need legal basement suites more than ever. Zero vacancy rate!! This is not good. Too many people will be displaced because of a lack of affordable rentals. People show grow up and realize that every community has mega-illegal suites already. Making R1 suites legal will not change the serenity of their communities, but it will allow people a place to live respectively.

Montgomery is awesome!

Montgomery triangle is awesome!

Ken August 1, 2013 at 5:33 am

This situation is ridiculous. People are now homeless because of the flood, and R1 basement suites are still considered illegal?? It is such an easy fix to allow these suites to be rented but some people are still quite stupid and ignorant when it comes to suites.

Kim September 9, 2013 at 4:05 am

I am a student and it is very very difficult to find a decent place to rent in Calgary. I wish that they would relax or change some of the rules regarding legal and illegal basement suites. That would open up the market so it would become easier for students to find affordable housing in Calgary. Hopefully things will change

drew peacock September 18, 2013 at 3:44 am

Today is Sept 18 2013 and the city of Calgary are seriously revisiting the rules on secondary suites in Calgary. It is a tricky issue. I believe that you cannot take a blanket approach across the city when it comes to suites. Some areas are not set up for parking, multi families, etc. I believe that many older inner city areas are perfect for suites which is exactly where the suites are now. R1 and R2 -illegal and legal but they are there. I think that the city should on a discretionary basis: allow many of the existing suites that are in R1–many were shut down because of the hassles with having a suite in an R1 area. Montgomery and Montgomery triangle are truly awesome!

Mik March 12, 2014 at 5:57 am

One of Canada’s tightest rental markets, Calgary also has some of the most restrictive zoning limits on basement suites compared to other big cities.

Montgomery triangle is awesome!!

Kevin May 3, 2014 at 8:22 am

Inner city Montgomery is doing really well right now. Many new trendy stores and restaurants. Lots of gentrification going on with new infills and duplexes.

Montgomery is great as well as inner city Calgary

anita blackmon June 23, 2014 at 3:01 pm

I love this site. Posters here are right. Montgomery triangle is awesome. Montgomery triangle is going nuts rright now

drew June 25, 2014 at 6:47 pm

Suarez bite

Montgomery triangle is Awesome

Anita Hummp August 16, 2014 at 7:30 am

10 Calgary Communities with the Best Investment Potential
These 10 neighbourhoods were identified in our survey as having the strongest potential for good resale

July 31, 2014
Avenue’s survey asked respondents to tell us if their neighbourhood has high property value. Answers were given on a scale of one (do not agree at all) to seven (agree completely). All responses were compiled to create this list.

1. Montgomery

Montgomery triangle is awesome

DR Sanchez August 21, 2014 at 4:45 am

Inglewood, Kensington nominated for national neighbourhood award

Montgomery triangle should be nominated cause Montgomery is awesome

Montgomery triangle is awesome

anass rammer November 14, 2014 at 2:26 pm

The south side of Montgomery by the river which is known as the Montgomery triangle is skyrocketing right now. Several new high end duplexes and a new tim hortons ans a new medical centre are going in. Soon there will be no old bungalows left.

Montgomer isawesome

Montgomery triangle is awesome

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