BILD ALBERTA UNHAPPY WITH BILL 32
The group that represents more than 1,800 businesses in the residential construction industry in Alberta is “shocked and disappointed” by the latest piece of provincial legislation introduced last week.
Bill 32, City Charters and Fiscal Framework Act, has the potential to push the cost of housing up dramatically in a time when the provincial economy is already depressed, the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) Alberta said late last week.
“Bill 32 creates confusion in the industry, erodes transparency in how public funds are spent and allows Edmonton and Calgary to add tens of thousands of dollars to the costs of a new home,” reads a press release sent out by BILD Alberta, titled “BILL 32 - Hammers the industry and hurts Albertans.”
The bill, which ensures the cities of Calgary and Edmonton will have more certainty of municipal funding based on provincial revenues starting in 2022 and was lauded by municipal governments, could also allow municipalities to enforce different levies on infrastructure projects which would ultimately be paid by consumers.
“There’s not a lot of clarity yet attached to the regulations which could impact affordability of housing,” says Carmen Wyton, CEO of BILD Alberta.
“At the end of the day, we know that with every $10,000 of added costs, 20,000 people are pushed out of the market and unable to afford a home.”
As an example, she says, inclusionary zoning, which would mean a developer would be responsible for adding a number of affordable units to every multi-family complex, has been included in the bill.
“It’s a policy that seems right; it seems smart, but based on what they originally thought was a good idea, it can add $4,800 to $10,000 to each homeowner’s costs in that complex - and it could be much higher.
“It’s those unintended consequences that we are concerned about. We need to ensure Albertans can continue to qualify for mortgages.”
Additionally, the residential construction industry is a huge engine of the Alberta economy, and in a time when the province is suffering, it’s essential to keep it healthy.
“Unless people are able to buy homes, there will be significant job losses in our industry and that, in turn, significantly affects the economy of Alberta.”
The association is lobbying for more consultation with industry before the bill passes.
BILD Alberta was shut out of discussions on the funding agreement, Wyton says.
“Bill 32 was put together without industry at the table in any meaningful way,” says Wyton. “We want to work collaboratively. After all, everyone is working for homeowners and working so communities continue to develop.”
She’s calling for an affordability and impact assessment on the consequences of the bill and BILD Alberta is working to meet with the provincial government.
The new bill can cost homeowners $4,800 to $10,000 more.