Actions on Affordable Housing
To increase the supply and access to affordable housing in Leduc, the City has taken action to:
- Reform zoning and land use policies,
- Enable and support construction of new affordable housing and more density in proximity to new public transit projects,
- Reform municipal development charges for new builds,
- Speed up approval processes through upgrades to our electronic permitting software, and
- Conduct local affordable housing needs assessments.
Please read below for more details.
Changes to the Land Use Bylaw
The City has amended the Land Use Bylaw to make it easier to incorporate suites into existing and newly built homes. Suites are an essential form of affordable market housing that benefit the homeowner by reducing their mortgage costs and providing rentable units in neighbourhoods with low density-built form.
- In April 2022, the City created the Residential Compact District (RCD) to allow garage suites as permitted use, and allow for smaller lots and reduced setbacks making more efficient use of land and lowering costs. The RCD zone is predominantly applied to new neighbourhoods.
- The City also made garden suites (single-storey) within the Residential Standard District (RSD) a permitted use, making it easier to build suites in existing neighbourhoods that have that zoning.
Changes to the Airport Vicinity Protection Act
Airport Vicinity Protection Area (AVPA) regulations were amended by the Province in 2022 through advocacy efforts and collaboration between the City of Leduc, Edmonton International Airport, and the Government of Alberta. The changes in the regulations allow Leduc to densify and introduce more affordable housing products to mature areas of the city such as the urban centre.
Previously, restrictions on secondary suites and infill housing in the core limited the City's ability to use these critical tools that contribute to the market's ability to provide affordable housing options over time. The regulations also limited large areas of the city from building housing, which artificially controlled the supply of land available for housing which could contribute to higher servicing costs to make new land for housing available.
Following the amendments to AVPA, the City also initiated the Urban Centre Area Redevelopment Plan which will plan for these new opportunities for redevelopment in the city's core.
Enabling and supporting construction of new affordable housing and more density in proximity to new public transit projects
Local transit service is primarily an on-demand service and additional pick-up/drop-off locations can be added throughout the city when requested.
Leduc Regional Housing Foundation Support
In December 2022, the City of Leduc partnered with the City of Beaumont, Leduc County and the Town of Devon to support expansion of supportive housing by the Leduc Regional Housing Foundation. This project will expand the Gaetz Landing housing by adding 24 more one-bedroom units to the complex. The total construction costs are estimated to be $8 million for this project and the site has on-demand transit service.
Emergency Shelter Support
In 2022, the City contributed operational funding in the amount of $90,000 for an Emergency Shelter located in the downtown area close to support and transit services. The facility provides shelter for up to 10 individuals per night during the colder months of the year, and also provides social and supportive programming during the day on a drop-in basis. Shelter users can socialize, be connected to services and the community, and use facilities like washrooms, showers and laundry.
In the 2022 budget process, the City adopted a program of reviewing permit fees on a three-year cycle as opposed to annually. The fee schedule was also designed to provide either the lowest regional fee or for the City to be in the lowest range of fee for services within the region. By adopting a three-year cycle the City also allowed industry to have a level of surety on costs for their project planning that is unique in the region. The fees will be reviewed again in 2025.
The City of Leduc has an electronic permitting system and efficient permitting times - some of the fastest in the Edmonton Region. In 2022, the City began preparing to upgrade the electronic permitting software from a desktop application to an online web-based application. The online platform is faster than the desktop application and adds some enhanced capabilities. This will further improve efficiency when processing permits. This project will start between July and December of 2023.
The City of Leduc is developing an Affordable Housing Strategy in 2023, which will include a comprehensive housing needs assessment (identifying both market and non-market-related housing needs) and will help to identify the gaps that are most important in our community over the long term. The City continues to work with community partners on non-market housing investments. Council approved an Affordable Housing Strategy to be added to the 2023 budget on April 3, 2023.