- About Naheed
- Voting info
- Latest News
- Get involved
- Contact Us
All Calgarians currently subsidize development of new suburban communities by approximately $4,800 per home. In 2012, this subsidy cost Calgarians approximately $33,000,000. Eliminating this subsidy is one of the biggest issues we face as a city. For too long we have allowed new communities to be built without requiring developers to cover the cost of the infrastructure required to support them.
When a new community is built, a significant amount of infrastructure (roads, water pipes, waste water pipes, emergency services, recreation facilities and libraries) is required to support that community. Currently, approximately 78% of the cost of required infrastructure is paid by the development industry and 22% is paid by all Calgarians through their utility bills. This means that all Calgarians are subsidizing each new house built in a new community to the tune of $4,800. That might not seem like much, but with approximately 7,000 homes built in new communities last year, it resulted in a $33 million subsidy to developers. As a result of past development agreements, the City has accumulated a significant debt – well over $1.5 billion – which all ratepayers have to pay back.
The development industry has shown a willingness to negotiate a reduction in the subsidy, as evidenced by the 2011 Development Agreement and the City and the industry have been working cooperatively on a number of initiatives, including a new framework for managing growth. I am confident that a new agreement can be negotiated that will resolve this issue.
However, a small group of homebuilders have been organizing to elect candidates to protect their interest (since they ultimately benefit from the subsidy). This became clearly evident when the secret video of a meeting organized by Shane Homes’ founder Cal Wenzel and Jayman Homes’ founder Jay Westman, was released to Global Television.
Yes! This coming term, the City will be negotiating a new agreement with the development industry. Calgarians have been clear in their desire for more thoughtful growth in our city and eliminating this subsidy altogether is a major tool in accomplishing this objective. Let’s foster a more balanced and financially sustainable approach to growth.
I encourage you to ask your councillor candidates about their opinion on this issue. Check out my questions to ask your councillor candidates.
To learn more, please read the backgrounder.
If you agree that it is time to end the $4,800 subsidy you need to ensure that we elect councillors who have not been endorsed by the group of home builders led by Cal Wenzel and Jay Westman. Please take a few minutes to do the following:
• Share this page on Facebook (click to share now) and Twitter (click to share now).
• Ask your councillor candidates about this issue.
Check out my questions for councillor candidates for other important issues.
• Pledge to vote on Election Day and encourage your friends and family to do the same.