Simmons: Calgary is extremely deficient in “middle” units, and the demand over the last about 30 years hasn’t made developers anxious to want to build that stock. That needs to be encouraged.
CREB®Now: What is your opinion on a potential land transfer tax for Calgary and/or all of Alberta?
Simmons: I think it’s a cop out. If we’re struggling with revenues, then we need to find ways to be more cost-effective and be reasonable about expenditures.
CREB®Now: What are your thoughts on the future of energy-efficient homes and how they could potentially be classified?
Simmons: Having an energy-efficient home just makes sense, having a different classification doesn’t. Does a home with an energy-efficient furnace have a different classification?
CREB®Now: How would you approach the issue of affordable housing in Calgary?
Simmons: Firstly, when we talk about affordable housing and subsidized housing there needs to be distinction – affordable is paid for with the incomes of those living there. We haven’t been in a position of surplus such to drive affordable housing, so until we are the issue will continue.
CREB®Now: What are some infrastructure projects/improvements you would like to see in the next 25 years?
Simmons: I had started a collaboration group around Macleod Trail from Heritage Drive to Anderson Road – I’d like to see a complete “node” evolve in that space. Calgary is unlike other cities in that regard – we aren’t a group of smaller villages that grew into a large city, and as such, smaller nodes are limited and generally incomplete. We need to think about and create better spaces in that scale.
CREB®Now: What is your position on the current secondary suite approval process?
Simmons: In my opinion, it needs to lean more heavily on a licensing interaction – approach your neighbours about having a tenant, put out a blue sign, get a license. Secondary suites today work because of the social contract of my tenant representing me to my neighbours, which speaks very little to the zoning.
CREB®Now: What is your preferred location for a new Calgary Flames arena and how would you propose the City develop the surrounding area to best meet the needs of Calgarians?
Simmons: I would prefer it be in East Downtown – ties better to the core.