Nfld. & Labrador

Home builders' association watching municipal elections closely

The Canadian Home Builders' Association Newfoundland and Labrador says there is a lot at stake for home buyers during the upcoming municipal elections.
Homebuilders' Association CEO Victoria Belbin says a lack of affordable housing could cripple the provincial economy. (CBC)

The Canadian Home Builders' Association Newfoundland and Labrador says there is a lot at stake for home buyers during the upcoming municipal elections.

Victoria Belbin, the association's CEO, said her group has partnered with the St. John's Board of Trade to host a regional mayoral candidates debate on Tuesday. Candidates from the northeast Avalon will debate affordable housing issues at the Bella Vista in St. John's.

Belbin said developers should be sitting down more with municipal governments. 

"Builders and developers should probably be at the table to talk about how those plans can unfold and what the reality is with infrastructure, with development costs, as well as a mix of housing providing options to consumers," Belbin said.

Belbin said a lack of affordable housing could stunt the province's economic growth.

"We want to be able to build houses that people can afford. So when municipality puts in a new regulation or tax or fee or charge, they have to understand that at the end of the day, it's the new homebuyer that will be paying the price."

St. John's mayoral hopefuls Dennis O'Keefe and Sheilagh O'Leary will be the first candidates to debate at Tuesday night's event.

The third candidate running for mayor, Geoff Chaulk, will not be attending.

Municipal elections take place on Sept. 24 across the province.

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