Calgary considers campaign about illegal secondary suites

The City of Calgary is looking at launching a campaign about illegal secondary suites.

Idea to be discussed at an upcoming city council meeting

There are at least 16,000 illegal suites in Calgary, according to city staff. (CBC)

The City of Calgary is looking at launching a campaign about illegal secondary suites.

A city council committee approved a plan Wednesday aimed at bringing an estimated 16,000 illegal suites into compliance with the law.

Under the proposal, officials would go door-to-door in certain communities to educate homeowners about rules for legalizing suites. City staff would also create an online registry of legal suites and inspection stickers would be issued to suite owners so tenants can spot safe and legal rentals.

Coun. Andre Chabot says it's an important step. "The goal here is to bring as many of these illegal suites into compliance or, at least, not put people into a bad situation by turning a blind eye to these illegal suites."

The campaign will be discussed at an upcoming city council meeting. If approved, it would start in September.

Many post-secondary students live in rented basements or secondary suites, which concerns Levi Nilson, the incoming president of the University of Calgary Students' Union.

"It's scary. There's a lot of potentially unsafe secondary suites out there and a lot of disasters out there that are waiting to happen just because [of] inaction on the part of council not being able to reform properly."

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