Regina ranks top in benchmark study by Canadian Home Builders’ Association

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association has placed the Queen City at the top of their benchmark study involving 23 cities from across the country.

Regina was rated first when it comes to application approval timelines, ninth for affordable government fees and charges and eleventh for structures and processes available to developers.

Municipalities were ranked within the three major elements that feed into housing affordability, housing costs stemming from government charges borne by buyers and renters, providing tools and features to improve the quality of submissions and ensuring approvals are done in an expedient manner.

Stu Niebergall, president and CEO of the Regina Region Home Builder’s Association, said the focus to maintain, design and build development within Regina is crucial to fuel the city’s culture, social and economic engine.

“This will only help to further advance opportunities for innovation and achieve more sustainable, environmental and economic outcomes, all while enhancing connectivity,” suggested Niebergall. “The municipal benchmarking study demonstrates the great progress we have made in recent years.”

He added how the benchmarking study serves as a progress report to indicate Regina’s improvements regarding the development industry.

Niebergall mentioned how Regina finished ahead of Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg and Saskatoon, which took up top eight spots in the country during the study. He said it shows Western Canadian cities are doing a much better job related to these factors than municipalities in Eastern Canada.

While it was a positive announcement from the city on Monday afternoon, they did recognize some areas they would like to improve following the study’s results:

  • Tools that allow applicants to track their applications’ status online;
  • A new online portal that will enable applicants to submit applications online;
  • Refining guiding documents, such as neighbourhood plans, to further clarify policy;
  • Focusing on growth-related engineering studies to support a growing city; and
  • Continued collaboration with partners including the RRHBA on servicing agreements, development levy and intensification fee policies.

Mayor Michael Fougere said on Monday that continued success regarding development strategies will help the city through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It will create jobs, demand for services and opportunities for the homebuilding industry,” explained Fougere. “It’ll give a lift to the economy.”

The benchmark study was undertaken in late 2019 and early 2020.

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