Latest News

October 03, 2016

From:    Kevin Lee, CEO
Today, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced a series of proposed changes to federal policies and legislation affecting mortgage loan insurance, mortgage lending rules, and tax treatment of capital gains from principal residences for foreign buyers.  We don’t expect that these measures are likely to have a significant impact on traditional homebuyers, including first-time buyers. 

While details of these measures are still emerging, they appear to be fairly consistent with CHBA’s advocacy on protecting first-time buyers from undue mortgage restrictions; supporting CRA’s efforts to ensure that buyers are playing fairly and receiving equal tax treatment; and not introducing a tax on new construction or macro-prudential action that has a broad effect across the country. 

CHBA advocates that the prime objective of federal housing policy should be to support stability and predictability in Canada’s housing markets and housing finance system. Federal officials seem to be committed to multi-level, intergovernmental action as CHBA advocates.

Details of proposed changes to federal policies and legislation affecting mortgage loan insurance, mortgage lending rules, and tax treatment of capital gains from principal residences are as follows:

·         Proposed changes to the Income Tax Act will clarify that an individual who was not resident in Canada in the year the individual acquired a residence will not—on a disposition of the property after October 2, 2016—be able to claim the exemption for that year. This measure ensures that permanent non-residents are not eligible for the exemption on any part of a gain from the disposition of a residence.  Trusts will be eligible to designate a property as a principal residence for a tax year that begins after 2016 only if additional eligibility criteria are met.

·         The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will require a taxpayer to report the disposition of a property for which the principal residence exemption is claimed.  The CRA will have the authority to assess taxpayers beyond the normal assessment limitation period for a tax year in cases where the disposition is not reported in the taxpayer’s tax return.

·         Effective October 17, 2016, all insured homebuyers must qualify for mortgage insurance at an interest rate that is the greater of their contract mortgage rate or the Bank of Canada’s conventional five-year fixed posted rate. (This requirement is already in place for high-ratio insured mortgages with variable interest rates or fixed interest rates with terms less than five years.)  To qualify for mortgage insurance, a homebuyer must have a GDS ratio no greater than 39 per cent and a TDS ratio no greater than 44 per cent.
NOTE: There is some uncertainty in terms of the details and the extent of the impact for this measure and CHBA has accordingly commissioned a more detailed assessment of it.

·         Effective November 30, 2016, mortgage loans that lenders insure using portfolio insurance and other discretionary low loan-to-value ratio mortgage insurance must meet the eligibility criteria that previously only applied to high-ratio insured mortgages.

Associated with these impending changes, the Minister also announced public consultations this fall “to seek information and feedback on how modifying the distribution of risk in the housing finance framework by introducing a modest level of lender risk sharing for government-backed insured mortgages that could enhance the current system”. 

In addition, the CRA will continue to work with provincial partners to seek ways to further improve information collected on real estate transactions, and to ensure the effective sharing of this information with tax authorities.

Kevin Lee, P.ENG.,M.ARCH.               



August 08, 2016

9.36 Energy Efficiency for Small Buildings

  • CHBA – Alberta developed and delivered a presentation on coming changes for energy efficiency for part 9 buildings.  It steps through the different paths that can be used to demonstrate compliance and provides examples of how to arrive at assembly RSI values. Click to view the presentation
July 29, 2016
July 14, 2016

Mature Neighbourhood Overlay and RenoMark Renovators


Homeowners, community leagues and the average citizen are becoming more familiar with what the concept of Mature Neighbourhood Overlay (MNO) means to them and the community in which they live.  The City has been reaching out to the stakeholders to ensure that voices are heard and process is as effective as possible.  The City has involved Community Leagues, Homeowners, the Canadian Home Builders Association Edmonton Region (CHBA ER), and   individuals and businesses who will be affected by the transformation that an updated MNO will undoubtedly bring to our city.  Specific information about the Mature Neighbourhood Overlay can be found at . This website also includes details on ongoing public engagement events.

As we look around our older neighborhoods we can all see the effect of infill, which is the development of new housing which may include secondary suites, garage suites, duplexes, semi-detached and detached houses, row housing, apartments and other residential and mixed- use buildings.   While this may seem like a lot of possibilities for your neighbourhood there are guidelines, rules and procedure that apply.  Part of our civic duty is to be as best informed as we can about what is happening in our city and there are excellent resources and opportunities for involvement. 

So what does the Mature Neighbourhood Overlay have to do with Renovators?  The answer to this question is Plenty.    One of the main reasons why renovators are particularly suited for this kind of construction is because Renovators are already working in these neighbourhoods and have a solid understanding on the complexities of working within existing mature neighbourhoods with people who have a vested interest in their communities, their street, their schools and the life they have created there.   Reputable renovators also have developed their construction companies such that they are comfortable and sensitive to the needs of the community.  They know that people live there, so starting noisy work too early or hammering too late is disruptive and not a good idea.  Renovators know that getting to know your neighbours is a good idea when it comes to working in the neighbourhood.  Renovators also know that designs that fit into an existing neighbourhood are important and they work well with clients to ensure that these needs are met.

The fact that our city is under a transformation is evident.  Your part in it is as much or as little as you might want it to be.  Information is available and if you are considering a major or even a minor renovation or a complete new build, check out the renovators from CHBA ER who belong to RenoMark and you will find contractors who will work with you to create what you want to see in your neighbourhood.

RenoMark renovators are members of Canadian Home Builders – Edmonton Region and are committed to providing homeowners with the information they need to select the right renovator for their project.  At RenoMark the contractors have agreed to the CHBA-ER code of ethics as well as the renovation- specific code of conduct.  They provide written contracts, warranties and all the insurance necessary.  They understand the value of customer service and continually educate themselves regarding current trends, materials and regulations.  RenoMark Renovators understand homeownership and just how hard people have worked for their homes.  Credentials that capture a professional renovator include:

·         A proven track record in the industry with past project lists, references, testimonials from previous clients and contacts

·         Well-established business practices, project management and client communication

·         Awareness provided by renovator as to what is insured by homeowner and what is the responsibility of the renovator

·         Professional & industry business memberships and affiliations such as Canadian Home Builders – Edmonton Region, RenoMark, Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau and other organizations

·         Business tools: Written contract, insurance, registration with WCB, and other organizations

·         Personal & company attributes: experience, training, education and skills, upgrading special expertise, awards etc.

·         Minimum 2 year warranty

·         Other consumer information to help with  your renovation

A professional renovator’s customers are in good hands.  You will know what is going on, what to expect and what everyone’s role is.  Your renovation or infill will be a well thought-out process from the beginning to the end and you, the homeowner can feel confident that the job will be done well and effectively, making your experience as pleasant and stress-free as possible.   Homeowners will enjoy the results of their choices for many years to come and that is something to celebrate.  

Are you thinking of building new housing in an established area? Please see the Residential Infill Guidelines webpage to confirm whether the guidelines apply to your neighbourhood, and if so, for planning and design direction for your project.


May 30, 2016

Follow the link for the latest CHBA National news 

May 12, 2016

KELOWNA, BC – May 6, 2016 – The Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) is pleased to announce the winners for the CHBA – Association Leadership Awards. These awards were presented during the Association’s 73rd National Conference in Kelowna, BC and pay tribute to the tremendous work carried out by individual members, staff and local Home Builders’ Associations across Canada.

These highly prestigious awards recognize outstanding achievement in four categories.

  • The 2016 Home Builders’ Association of the Year is CHBA – Newfoundland & Labrador. This award recognized their overall excellence in delivering a strong and positive voice for the industry, and in supporting the business success of members in providing affordability, quality and choice in housing. The Association has focused on tackling the underground economy, protecting housing affordability and promoting energy efficiency.
  • The Executive Officer of the Year is Mike Moore of the Manitoba HBA who worked effectively with volunteer leaders to create a strong and positive voice for the housing industry in Manitoba. Moore has served the Manitoba HBA for 8 years and he chaired CHBA’s Executive Officers’ Council in 2014-15.
  • The 2016 Member of the Year is Bard Golightly of CHBA – Edmonton Region who was recognized for long-standing contributions at the national level of CHBA through his dedication and outstanding service. Golightly served as National President of CHBA in 2014-15.
  • CHBA – Edmonton Region received the 2016 Community Service Award. Last October, the Association partnered with Pilgrims Hospice and with 35 volunteer workers improving the infrastructure and common-living areas for this supportive and compassionate family-centred care facility.

About the Canadian Home Builders’ Association

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) is the voice of the residential construction industry in Canada, representing more than 8,500 member firms across the country. Our membership spans new home builders, renovators, developers, trade contractors, building material manufacturers and suppliers, lenders, and other professionals in the housing sector.


For more information:


Michael S. Gough, CAE

(613) 230-3060 ext. 227



May 02, 2016

14 Ways the MGA Could Impact Your Business

The Alberta government is set to announce proposed changes to the Municipal Government Act within the coming weeks. In preparation, CHBA – Alberta and UDI Alberta are teaming up to offer Members of both Associations a free comprehensive briefing on the 14 Ways the MGA Could Impact Your Business.  

The MGA directly impacts land and construction costs, the overall supply of new housing, permits, taxes and government accountability. Whether you are a developer, home builder, tradesperson or supplier, this legislation matters to your ability to do business in the future.

This session is designed for Member business owners and senior staff and includes a detailed presentation, panel discussion, and tools to help you play an effective advocacy role when proposed changes are announced and public consultations begin on June 1.


Cost: Free

Location: Radisson Hotel, 4440 Gateway Blvd NW, Edmonton

Time: May, 18, 2-4 pm

Open to: Members of CHBA Edmonton Region and UDI Edmonton Region

Sponsored by: CHBA – Alberta and UDI Alberta


Click here to register


April 15, 2016

Finance Minister Joe Ceci introduced the 2016-17 budget. A link to the news release and detailed budget information can be found here


  • A deficit of more than $10 Billion as previously announced by the Minister
  • A return to budget balance forecast for 2024
  • $9 billion in municipal infrastructure support over five years, including $6.1 billion under the Municipal Sustainability Initiative
  • Starting January 1, 2017, a carbon levy will be applied to fuels at a rate of $20/tonne. One year later, the levy will increase to $30/tonne. This translates to approximately 4.5 cents/L and 6.75 cents/L when it comes to gasoline.
  • Budget 2016 will reduce Alberta’s small business corporate income tax rate by one third, from 3% to 2% as of January 1, 2017.
  • The amount of funding for affordable housing will nearly double.
  • $645 million for Energy Efficiency Alberta, a new provincial agency that will support increasing energy efficiency for homes and businesses
  • $165 million for two new tax credits that encourage investors to support small and medium-sized companies and encourage business capital investment