Today, Council decided not to move forward with a proposal to reform the secondary suites process in wards 7, 8, 9 and 11. While I have fought long and hard for us to implement meaningful and thoughtful change on this file, and am certainly disappointed with this outcome, I respect the will of Council. I intend to work with my colleagues in the coming months to come up with other ideas to tackle affordable housing in Calgary, as well as to ensure that Calgarians live in safe homes.
However, make no mistake: secondary suites will return. Whether in the fall or in 2016, or after the next municipal election, or in a decade, the underlying challenges that our city faces have not been met. The unnecessary red tape of going to Council for a suite application will continue to force people underground, meaning a loss in tax revenue and an increase in the amount of unsafe housing. We have merely kicked the can a little further.
I wish to thank all of those in Ward 8 and beyond who made their voices heard in this debate, and contributed to the public discourse on this difficult, divisive and complex topic. Lack of action is frustrating, but we are better for having had the dialogue. I'd also like to thank the folks in City Administration who for years have worked tirelessly on secondary suites at the behest of Council. I can understand how City Staff may be disheartened by Council's decision today, when all of their efforts were concluded with yet another "no" -- but I assure you that the work we've done on this will ultimately form part of a better, more enlightened and more coherent decision to reform our broken process, somewhere down the road.
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.