Calgary mayor concerned about affordable housing after charter changes

Mayor Jyoti Gondek is concerned about the province's proposal to repeal a provision in the city's charter that requires developers to help fund affordable housing projects. Global News

Mayor Jyoti Gondek is concerned about the province’s proposal to repeal a provision in the city’s charter that requires developers to help fund affordable housing projects.

On Monday, the province said it will be changing certain provisions in Calgary’s city charter to reduce housing costs and ensure there is a minimum building standard across Alberta.

City charters are regulations that provide Calgary and Edmonton flexibilities and additional authorities to “build strong and vibrant cities,” the province said.

One of the changes includes repealing the inclusionary housing provision, which requires a developer to provide money or other resources to the municipality to be used for affordable housing. The removal of this provision will help lower potential cost increases for new housing, the Alberta government said.

The province said neither Calgary nor Edmonton have used this provision to date.

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In a news conference on Tuesday afternoon, Mayor Gondek said the city’s administrative teams are reviewing the changes “very carefully” and will update the public about the potential implications.

Gondek added the proposed changes to the charter will hold up housing and development in the city.

“Right now have a great incentive program for downtown conversions that has allowed for affordable housing to take place. So I’m concerned about unintended consequences, but I remain hopeful that we can speak with Mr. (Ric) McIvor and explain what our concerns are and make sure we get this right,” Gondek told reporters.

“I’ll remind everyone that the City of Calgary is an active partner with the development industry in making sure that we’re able to provide dignified housing for people … If these changes impact that, it will be costly for taxpayers.”

Gondek isn’t the only person concerned about the changes.

Former mayor Naheed Nenshi expressed his concerns in a social media on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Monday.

“This is really a shame. They are looking at the pennies while ignoring the dollars, and these changes could result in higher taxes and utility fees for everyone,” the social media post read.


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