Housing in Wood Buffalo

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Housing in Wood Buffalo

If anyone has any questions regarding housing, housing development or retail development, please post below. We'll ask the people in charge YOUR question and you can watch the result on Shaw TV.

This is your time to get your questions answered!
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Re: Housing in Wood Buffalo

Unread postby Tropics » Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:18 am

Who are the "people in charge"?

Why, in a city that has such a high need for rental units and so many areas of the city planned for houses with detached garages in the back lane is there not zoning allowances for carriage houses/rental units above these detached garages?

How is the city planning on controlling the constant increase in illegal basement suites in the city that are built under the radar, may not meet minimum building codes, and that are paid for in cash deals with the landlords/owners not paying tax on their rental income?

Do the "people in charge" see a societal issue in the fact that "single family homes" in Fort McMurray are marketed and designed for potential rental revenue? These homes in other Canadian cities are normally sold to, and house a single family. In Fort McMurray this is not the case and people are expected to house renters in the basement. In fact the housing prices are inflated with just this in mind such that people in professions that could normally afford a single family home in another city and live in it as a "single family" are forced into renting out their basement to make ends meet or acquire a mortgage.

Moving forward do the "people in charge" want to see housing in the area convert to a more traditional use such as is seen in other cities or do they wish to see the continuation of rental units within "single family homes" be expected, often financially required, and continue to be the "norm" in Fort McMurray.
Tropics
 
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Re: Housing in Wood Buffalo

Unread postby MacDaddy » Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:18 pm

OK, Dear People In Charge. Why don't you hold the development office accountable for their lack of enforcement of illegal basement suites? They make it difficult for those who want to set up a legitimate operation then do nothing against those who choose to ignore the rules. If it is because they are lazy and hide behind the "complaint driven enforcement model" I'll help with a suggestion. They could start with answering the apartment for rent ads and nailing the homeowners when they show the place to an undercover inspector.

If it isn't the Development group causing the problem I guessing it is our council members. How many of our members have a spouse or holding company with rental properties in this city?
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Re: Housing in Wood Buffalo

Unread postby droxburgh » Sun Mar 30, 2014 5:55 pm

Great questions, thank you, and they will be asked.

This is a very important issue which needs to be addressed in the Wood Buffalo Region.
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Re: Housing in Wood Buffalo

Unread postby Tropics » Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:23 am

droxburgh wrote:This is a very important issue which needs to be addressed in the Wood Buffalo Region.


You are preaching to the choir on that one. The housing issues that presently exists in this city are potentially the single most damaging factor in this city with regards to the economy, employee retention, and overall quality of life to those of us that live here.

One of the single biggest reasons that this city cannot keep people here is that people do not want to

A) Rent property in Fort McMurray long term. It leads to zero equity growth and generally less privacy as you deal with landlord intrusions in your personal life. In this city it is also exceedingly expensive to rent very marginal properties that have offer severely limited quality of life for the renter.

B) Buy a condo in Fort McMurray. Due to construction issues that have led to massive special assessments, increases in condo fees, and depreciation in property value due to these issues. Condos in this city are exceedingly expensive for what you are offered and many of the people who have bought into new developments at the new "premium" price points have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars of equity in their property. An entire development was even condemned and the people who lost everything were left fighting the entire battle to get back their money alone.

C) Buy a house in Fort McMurray. The ideal for most people for a quality of life is to own a single family home. To have a garage for their vehicle, a small patch of land to garden or have a BBQ or simply relax in a lawn chair on a warm summer day. Unfortunately the ideal image of a single family home that exists in reality in every other city does not exist in Fort McMurray due to the excessive house prices. Unlike in other cities what "buying a single family home" means in every other city is not what it means here. Here in Fort McMurray what it means is not having a private place for you and your family to live and enjoy, it means becoming a landlord in order to be able to afford the home. It means dealing with renters and worrying about the potential they might damage your home, or fail to pay their rent, or leave after only two months of tenancy, or do illegal drugs or drink excessively disturbing you, your wife, and your children. Buying a single family home in Fort McMurray does not offer the peace, security, and stability to a family that it does in other cities and this is why "so many" people who work up here buy homes in Edmonton that their family lives in and they only travel down and spend time with their family on the weekends.

This city flat out fractures familes, it offers a brutal quality of life to most of its full time residents, and that is why companies and this municipality have so much trouble getting people to want to actually "live" and stay in Fort McMurray.

People want to live in a city that offers them the chance at a "home", and Fort McMurray simply does not offer that in the same way any other city in this country does.
Tropics
 
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Re: Housing in Wood Buffalo

Unread postby MacDaddy » Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:48 pm

Do we get to hear the reply to these questions?
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Re: Housing in Wood Buffalo

Unread postby Yossarian » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:15 pm

Just an FYI that one of the primary concerns for the "people in charge" has been how to stop the floor from falling out of housing prices. A 20% drop in housing prices here would bankrupt 10's of thousands of people and create even larger issues. So although a stabilization and a slow drop of not more than about 10% would be acceptable, nothing else will be. People won't buy or move here, which will create greater labour shortages. Also the fact that the city has changed it's Director of Planning 3 times under GL and gutted the entire management team twice just to bring in a bunch of friends from out of province hasn't really created a lot of consistency.
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Re: Housing in Wood Buffalo

Unread postby droxburgh » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:58 pm

Yes, yes you will MacDaddy.

We are running a show on Shaw TV and filming for this episode starts next week.

It will air for a month or so on channel 10, then will be posted to youtube.
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Re: Housing in Wood Buffalo

Unread postby MacDaddy » Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:37 pm

Thanks for the update. I'll keep an eye out for that program.
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