Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek has scheduled a special meeting of the council on September 16 to address the ongoing housing crisis in the city. This meeting comes just two days after the council is set to listen to public feedback on their 2024-2030 housing strategy. Gondek emphasized the need for “swift action” and pointed out that rent prices in Calgary have increased by 40% since last year.
The city recently published its Housing Needs Assessment report, which reveals the demand for affordable housing in Calgary. The report indicates that in order to purchase their first detached home in the city, individuals would need an annual household income of approximately $156,000 to keep housing costs below 30% of their pre-tax income. Additionally, the median cost of buying a detached home has risen by 37% in the past three years.
The report also highlights that the required annual income to buy an apartment this year is $70,800. Furthermore, individuals looking to rent in Calgary will need an annual income of approximately $84,000 to afford market prices, a significant increase from $67,000 the previous year.
The upcoming public hearing will provide an opportunity for residents to voice their opinions on the city’s housing strategy. The strategy includes various measures aimed at increasing housing supply, supporting affordable housing builders, and ensuring equitable housing options. Previously, there were disagreements among council members regarding a recommendation to make Residential-Grade-Oriented Infill District (R-CG) the default for residential zoning. Some councillors, including Ward 1 Coun. Sonya Sharp, proposed alternative solutions to streamline the zoning process. However, Sharp’s motion was defeated at a committee meeting.
As the debate on housing continues, there have been contrasting opinions from federal Members of Parliament. Michelle Rempel Garner, the MP for Calgary Nose Hill, encouraged the council to prioritize home building in their policies. On the other hand, Scott Aitchison, the MP for Parry Sound-Muskoka and the Conservative Party shadow minister for housing, criticized alternative proposals and called for bold zoning reforms. Meanwhile, Greg McLean, the Calgary Centre MP, highlighted the importance of considering a range of ideas and opinions to address the growing housing crisis.
The urgent meeting called by Mayor Gondek reflects the severity of the housing crisis in Calgary. With rising housing costs and increasing demands for affordable options, swift action and effective strategies are essential to ensure the well-being and accessibility of housing for all Calgary residents.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. What is the purpose of the Saturday meeting scheduled by Mayor Jyoti Gondek?
Mayor Jyoti Gondek has called for an urgent meeting of the council to address the current housing crisis in Calgary. The meeting aims to discuss and take swift action on the escalating issues related to housing affordability and accessibility in the city.
2. What are the key findings of the Housing Needs Assessment report?
According to the Housing Needs Assessment report, individuals aiming to purchase their first detached home in Calgary would need an annual household income of approximately $156,000 to keep housing costs below 30% of their pre-tax income. The report also highlights a significant increase in median home prices and the required annual income for renting in Calgary.
3. What will the upcoming public hearing focus on?
The public hearing will focus on gathering feedback from residents on the city’s housing strategy. The strategy includes measures to increase housing supply, support affordable housing builders, and ensure equitable housing options are available. It aims to address the ongoing housing crisis in Calgary.
4. What was the outcome of the debate on residential zoning rules?
There were disagreements among councillors regarding a recommendation to make Residential-Grade-Oriented Infill District (R-CG) the default for residential zoning. Coun. Sonya Sharp proposed an alternative pilot project to streamline R-CG applications, but her motion was defeated at a committee meeting. The debate highlighted differing opinions on how to approach residential zoning in Calgary.
5. What are the opinions of federal Members of Parliament on the housing debate?
Federal Members of Parliament have expressed differing opinions on the housing debate in Calgary. While some encourage bold zoning reforms and prioritize home building, others emphasize the importance of considering a range of ideas and opinions. The MPs’ statements show a diversity of perspectives on how to tackle the growing housing crisis in Calgary.