Affordable Housing

Sun, 12 Jun by Ken MacAulay

There has been a lot of talk recently about a new program introduced by the City of Calgary known as “Attainable Homes” which is been getting extensively promoted by the city. When I first heard of it, I wasn’t quite sure about it’s authenticity it sounded “to good to be true”, but the organization is backed by Mayor Naheed Nenshi and the city, which serves to prove it’s legitimacy.

Essentially the city saw a need to provide “affordable housing” to people with higher paying wages than what you would normally find in a “project”. Specifically, it is targeted at singles and couples who make a yearly income of $53,000 – $80,000.

My understanding of the process is that it is very simple. There are about 80 units, which cost between $182,00 and $250,000, located in the North West at Beacon Heights (there are also some down in the South East, but they aren’t being promoted as much). If one is accepted and get’s into the program, the city will cover the cost of the down payment, about $20,000 which will be applied directly to the condo. After that it is up to the participant’s to pay off the rest and enjoy living in their new place!

The quality looks superb. Though I haven’t been out to the site as of yet, there are a few video’s posted on the website (link below) which really show excellent value. For instance, granite counter tops, ceramic tile, quality appliances, and heated underground parking are some of the highlights that Mr. Nenshi was really attracted to.

One of the least attractive aspect’s to the program is the expiry date. Though possession doesn’t occur until early in the new-year, the “offer” expires on June 14, 2011. If in the market, I would look into it as soon as possible. An application doesn’t seem to require any commitment, meaning there is no harm in doing so.

All in all, I think this is a fantastic move by the city. Understanding that, although Calgary has some of the most attractive housing affordability in Canada, it is still out of reach to a lot of people. By covering the down payment on a quality place in a nice location the city is investing somewhere that matters. I look foreword to seeing where this type of program goes.

Mr. Nenshi’s comment’s can be found at:
Attainable Homes Calgary also has a website, which can be found at:

Calgary has the most attractive housing affordability in Canada

Sat, 04 Jun by Ken MacAulay

I just read an article in the Calgary Herald which describes good news for Calgarians looking to buy or get into the housing market. As per an RBC report, Calgary has the most attractive housing affordability in Canada.

A standard condominium had the average price in the first quarter of the year of about $250,000, which is down about 5% from the same time last year. As well, the “affordability measure”, a metric used by institutions to test the affordability of a home was pegged at 22.2%, the average for Calgary and the rest of the country since 1985 is 23.4%.

Though good news for buyers, this means that sellers will have a harder time off loading their properties. Unlike the pre-2008 situation, prices need to be very competitive in order to sell. This also means that buyers will be looking for things that set a property apart from the others. To differentiate themselves, builders may decide to construct better quality homes and condo’s which are well ahead of what is required by the Alberta building code, and more in line with the rest of Canada.

Also, if you would like to take a look at the article, it can be found at:

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Calgary Real Estate Board.

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