A Lethbridge building industry group have had their concerns about the mortgage "stress test" heard by City Council.
Building Industry and Land Development Industry Association (BILD) presented a report on the federal mortgage 'stress test' which showed Lethbridge has felt the effects of the nation-wide program.
The commissioned report from the industry group showed total housing starts declined by 27 per cent in the city in 2018 and new home sales have declined to their lowest rate since 2001. Mayor Chris Spearman said the group's presentation allowed Council to see the full effect of the federally regulated program.
"We, as a City Council, are committed to advocating for industry groups like BILD," says Spearman. "This is an industry that employs so many in the 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."
City Council voted to receive BILD's presentation as information and the Mayor to write to the provincial government to advocate for the development of policies that allow Alberta regulated financial institutions like ATB Financial and credit unions, to implement lending practices based on regional economic conditions and not those of the federal "stress test".
Councillor Rob Miyashiro said it's important for Council to have this information so it can advocate for industry within the City.
"The building and land development industry represents a significant portion of the economic landscape in Lethbridge," says Miyashiro. "It's in everyone's best interests that we as Council listen when industry is struggling and do our best to advocate where we can."
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.
Meagan Williams, Communications Consultant
City of Lethbridge