Building Industry and Land Development Industry Association (BILD) presented a report Monday on the federal mortgage ‘stress test’ which showed Lethbridge has felt the effects of the nation-wide program.
The City of Lethbridge will be advocating on behalf of the local home building industry.
Council has agreed to write letters to the federal and provincial governments asking that mortgage stress tests be eliminated.
Bridget Mearns with the Lethbridge Building Industry and Land Development Association says these stress tests have had a major impact here. "What frustrated me is that they (federal government) would put a rule in place that affect our two largest markets in the country (Vancouver and Toronto) and not think it would have an impact on other housing markets. There really is no uniform housing market, it's region by region so any policy we have that impacts every region like this needs to be thought through."
Total housing starts in Lethbridge declined 27% last year alone and new home sales in the city are at their lowest rate in almost two decades. The federal mortgage stress tests are being pointed to as the main reason why.
Mayor Chris Spearman says City Council is committed to advocating for groups like BILD. "This is an industry that employs so many in city and are part of our community so we will be doing everything we can to ensure they are supported in being heard at the provincial and federal levels.”
BILD also requested that the Mayor write to the federal government calling for the elimination of the “stress test” and that the City support or develop further actions to be directed to the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.