Canadian Home Builders’ Association-Alberta CEO Donna Moore said one of the organization’s top concerns when it comes to the development of a national housing strategy is to address affordability for first-time buyers.. Photo by Adrian Shellard/For CREB®Now

Future of housing

Stakeholders say Alberta can’t be overlooked when creating national strategy

As the federal government moves closer toward a national strategy on housing, key Alberta stakeholder groups say recognition of different local and regional challenges is critical to any policy changes.

“We are encouraged the federal government is doing this, but we are hoping its actions will be localized,” said Kevin McNichol, vice-president of strategy for the Calgary Homeless Foundation, leader of the city’s plan to end homelessness.

“In Calgary, we have the highest median income in the country, so it might be easy to overlook us. But we also have the lowest rate of affordable housing in Canada.”

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Year-to-date detached sales have declined by three per cent compared to last year, said CREB®. CREB®Now file photo

November sales slide into old patterns

Detached prices dip below $500,000 for first time since 2014

Coming off a month of stronger sales activity, November’s resale residential housing market returned to previous trends, according to CREB®.

In its November housing summary released Dec. 1, year-over-year monthly sales totaled 1,227 units, which is nearly three per cent lower than last year and 17 per cent below long-term averages.

“November was the first full month with CMHC’s new lending rules in effect,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “As suspected, the gains in last month’s sales were temporary. Stringent conditions for borrowers are converging with the current economic climate and weighing on demand.”

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Blincam has a sensor that watches the user’s eye. When it detects an eye-wink that’s any longer than your natural blink, it takes a picture and sends it instantly via Bluetooth to a Blincam app on your smartphone. Photo courtesy Blincam

Blink of an eye

Hands-free camera technology offers applications for homeowners

milesIf you had a camera that was always on, aimed and focused on whatever you’re looking at, ready to shoot a photo, would you take more — and better — pictures?

Shota Takase is betting you would. That’s why the young entrepreneur invented Blincam, a small, glasses-mounted camera that will photograph anything you’re looking at, literally in the blink of an eye.

And it’s completely hands-free, meaning you can take photos while riding a bike, carrying groceries, cooking or doing just about anything else you can think of.

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Snow-Removal---wbe

Winter is coming

Knowing your local snow clearing bylaws may not be cool, but it’s necessary

Winter is coming, and with it the one chore that many homeowners dread: shoveling their snowy sidewalks and driveways.

And while snow removal is often the last thing homeowners want to do on a chilly winter day, officials say it is important in protecting the public’s safety.

“Sidewalks need to be kept clean for public safety, [and] a snow removal bylaw shares that responsibility without adding to municipal costs,” said Charlene Ruttle, Cochrane’s manager of municipal enforcement.

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The Town of Canmore is planning to look at three proposals that would turn the four-acre (1.6 hectare) Moustache Lands site into employee housing and/or purpose-built rentals. Photo courtesy Town of Canmore.

Canmore tackles affordability

Three companies to submit RFPs for Moustache Lands

The “moustache” that lies at the entrance to Canmore from Calgary will soon boast a residential development designed to alleviate the mountain resort town’s lack of affordable, available housing.

The four-acre (1.6 hectare) site — known as the Moustache Lands because the property is composed of loops created by the interchanges off the TransCanada Highway — is owned by the municipality, which has now shortlisted three potential developers to respond to a Request for Proposal (RFP).

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