Courageous conversations

Candidates spar at CREB® mayoral forum

Calgary’s top three mayoral candidates discussed a variety of issues on Sept. 21 at CREB®’s Courageous Conversations, an exclusive forum focusing on housing-related issues critical to REALTORS® and the city.

Candidates Andre Chabot and Bill Smith joined incumbent Naheed Nenshi in CREB®’s W. Frank Johns Auditorium as the candidates took verbal jabs at each other over several issues.

The forum was hosted and moderated by CREB® CEO Alan Tennant. (more…)

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Inner-city escapes

Parks are especially important in densely developed downtown

“Quality, not quantity” is how City of Calgary parks manager Keath Parker characterizes green spaces in Calgary’s downtown core, an area that’s not only home to tall office towers, but residential neighbourhoods as well, including the Beltline (Connaught and Victoria Park), East Village and Eau Claire.

Parker explains it wasn’t until the mid-1960s that the province’s Municipal Government Act (MGA) gave municipalities the authority to take up to 10 per cent of a development for open public space. Residential neighbourhoods developed prior to that tend not to have as much green space as those created after the MGA.

However, Calgary’s downtown is still far from a cold, concrete jungle. In fact, there are 24 parks in the downtown area covering roughly 65 hectares of open green space, according to the City.

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Q & A with CHBA-UDI’s Marissa Toohey

Housing industry expert discusses everything from affordable housing to the best room in her home

Marissa Toohey has one of the better views of Calgary’s housing industry – and we’re not talking about the one out of her living room. As manager of government relations and committees for the Calgary Region at CHBA – UDI Calgary Region Association. Toohey works closely with municipalities in the broader region on matters impacting the building and development industry.

CREB®Now recently had the opportunity to sit down with her to chat about everything from affordable housing to a national housing strategy. Here’s what she had to say:

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Charting a new course

Homebuilding officials warn proposed governmental power shift could impact homebuyers in a big way

Before Calgarians step into a voting booth to elect a new city council a year from now, there could be a whole new ball game of city governance over everything from land assessments to affordable housing and even new taxing powers.

New city charters originally proposed in 2014, and only recently made available for public feedback, are intended to give new powers and responsibilities to Alberta’s two largest municipalities. They may affect Calgarians on everything from residential speed limits and fines, environmental protection, integration of land-use and transportation strategies and investment to civic administrative efficiencies that stretch from council roles to establishment of bylaw tribunals.

And there will almost certainly be changes that impact the homebuilding industry, and ultimately homebuyers.

(more…)

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