And it adds insult to injury when the developers of those future developments will be charged again for those development costs.
Edmonton, AB (PRWEB) February 21, 2008
Affordable housing in Alberta is a common topic of conversation, but few Albertans are really aware of all the factors leading to the high cost of housing in the province.
The website Affordable Housing Alberta was created with that purpose in mind. Created by the Canadian Home Builders Association of Alberta, the site's purpose is to inform Albertans about a troubling aspect of the province's high housing costs and what they can do to reduce it.
"Market forces contribute to a large part of the rise in new home prices through increased labour and materials costs," said Kathy Watson, CHBA Alberta Government Relations Coordinator. "We're really worried about, and what few Albertans are probably aware of, are out of control municipal government development cost charges."
Local governments in Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, Lethbridge and Grande Prairie, as well as many others, have rapidly increased the costs to build new houses. Those costs are passed on to new home buyers and it may surprise new home buyers that these costs can amount to tens of thousands of dollars.
"We don't think new home buyers should be the ones making up for the infrastructure deficits of Alberta's cities and towns," said Watson. "It artificially increases the costs of a new home, and with Alberta's already high housing costs, even fewer first time buyers can afford to buy a new house."
The CHBA Alberta believes builders should pay directly related new development costs, but they are often hit with unrelated costs for future developments, a practice known as "double dipping." These "double-dipped" costs are passed on to first time home buyers, who are often stretched to the limit when buying their first house.
"New home buyers should not be paying the development costs that aren't directly related to their new house," Watson said. "And it adds insult to injury when the developers of those future developments will be charged again for those development costs."
The Affordable Housing Alberta website describes the problem in detail. It gives those interested in keeping Alberta's housing costs down, especially first time house buyers, a list of things they can talk about with provincial MLAs, election candidates and local politicians to remind them of the importance of continuing the building of affordable housing in Alberta.
First time home buyers and interested parties are reminded that they can vote for candidates in the upcoming provincial election who will support restricting development cost charges and supporting provincial infrastructure funding directed at assisting communities with their infrastructure deficits.
About the CHBA Alberta
The CHBA Alberta has 1,400 members in Alberta, including 600 home builders. The goal of the CHBAA is to represent its members when it comes to home building issues and changing standards related to home building.
Kathy Watson, Gov't Relations, Canadian Home Builders Association of Alberta
Phone (780) 424 - 5890
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