Municipal Election 2017

We champion two key principles: AFFORDABILITY and CHOICE.

 

AFFORDABILITY

According to CHBA National research, housing prices are rising faster than incomes can keep up with. In order to protect Edmontonians’ quality of life, and our global economic competitiveness, housing prices should be up to 3.5x a family’s combined income.

Costs are increasing at a rapid rate caused by:

·         Longer build times and higher overhead costs, caused by red tape and lengthier approval times

·         Government fees, utility charges and infrastructure costs are rising faster than inflation

·         Rising housing, travel and utility costs hurting fixed- and lower-income service workers and resulting in higher overall labour and construction costs—a vicious cycle.

There is opportunity to fill in housing gaps affordably. Currently Edmonton has an abundance of some products like new rental apartments and single detached homes; however, we lack a variety of housing options like safe seniors and special needs housing with supportive services.

Income supplements, mixed income developments, and communities with supportive services are some ways we can house more people in a cost-effective, timely manner (demand-side subsidies). This requires working with progressive builders, developers, and landlords, and partnering with credible not-for-profit agencies, as opposed to implementing more expensive, time-consuming—and often more complex—supply-side government social housing programs.

CHOICE

Edmonton’s population requires more choices—and new options—for housing:

·         Eighty per cent of millennials, who will grow from 1.7 million households to 7 million over the next 25 years, still desire grade oriented housing, which means homes with exterior entrances and private outdoor space.

·         However, our large baby boomer population will be getting closer to 85 and requiring smaller, fire-safe units with social areas and supportive services, such as meals and site-based home care.

·         While there are ample apartments for large numbers of people, and single detached homes for individual families, there is a missing middle in Edmonton and opportunities for a mix of other styles to meet people’s needs: duplex, triplex, fourplex, and multiplexes, as well as townhouses, courtyard apartments and bungalow courts

·         Intergenerational, inclusive communities are needed to assist families in supporting both their older and younger members, as well as persons with disabilities.

Sustainable and healthy communities need to be developed, not just energy efficient homes.

·         Urban planning needs to include walkable, densified nodes, or "urban villages" in both older mature infill neighbourhoods, and in new suburban, green field developments.

·         To reduce travel and infrastructure costs, family homes need to be situated near jobs, centres of employment, schools, transit, and supportive services like seniors’ homecare and children’s daycare.

·         Energy efficiency initiatives must include the renovation of the much larger, older existing housing stock.