In December 2014, Council directed city staff to prepare Land Use Bylaw amendments allowing secondary suites in all residential land use districts in Ward 7, 8, 9 and 11. Secondary suites include additional dwellings on a residential lot, such as a basement suite above-garage suite or a garden suite.
The City of Calgary is experiencing a growing housing affordability crisis worsened by the 2013 flood. Secondary suites will bring relief to this crisis by providing revenue opportunities for homeowners and increasing the options for safe rental housing. They are a simple and market-driven solution to the increasingly serious problem of housing affordability at no cost to the City or taxpayers. For home owners, suites can provide extra revenue and a helping hand to seniors wanting to age in place, or young families entering the housing market.
Legalized secondary suites provide benefits to both home owners and renters, if done properly. Other Canadian cities have successfully implemented a similar policy on secondary suites with no sharp increase in the number of suites applied for and with no severe impacts.
Legalizing secondary suites offers the following benefits to homeowners:
• Provides some mortgage assistance to new home buyers
• Allows existing homeowners a way to supplement mortgage payments and operating costs
• Enables seniors on a fixed income to age in place
Legalizing secondary suites offers the following benefits to renters:
• Increase affordable housing options without the need for government subsidies
• Safe accommodations that meet building and safety codes
Information sessions will be held in late February and early March for residents to come and ask questions. Proposed Land Use Bylaw amendments will be brought to Calgary Planning Commission in March 2015. A public hearing would then likely be held in late spring by City Council before a decision is made on the proposal. If you would like to share your perspectives on secondary suites you can speak directly to Council at the public hearing, or submit written comments in advance. You typically will have five minutes to speak, excluding any questions Council members may ask you. Comments should be brief and should address land use planning issues. Details about the date and time of the public hearing will be advertised in the Calgary Herald and on calgary.ca/secondarysuites.
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This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.