October 12, 2021

September 2021 30th Anniversary Legacy Investment in Our Community

The Alberta Real Estate Foundation’s 30th Anniversary Legacy Grants program supports distinctive and high-impact projects which drive transformational long-term change to advance the real estate industry in Alberta.

To celebrate our thirty years of impact, we mobilized an additional $2M in community investment!

This spring, the Board of Governors invested $943,000 through the Legacy Grants program.

In our September Board meeting, we’re thrilled to share we have invested the remainder – and more! We exceeded our goal and are celebrating a total of $2.3M in grant funding to spur recovery, innovation, and change as we move into a post-pandemic world.

Thank you to all those who provided an industry nomination!

Join us in celebrating our 30th Anniversary Legacy Grants projects driving transformational change in the real estate industry and in communities across Alberta:

Uncovering Real Estate Value Through Digital Home Label Pilot
By Alberta Ecotrust Foundation
In the next decade, the residential real estate sector is going to feel the impacts from the global shift to address how energy is produced and used in our homes. These changes are being led by governments and corporations to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions as the effects of climate change are being felt more readily. Every industry will need to adapt, and REALTORS® can be leaders within the residential housing sector. This project will help position REALTORS® as trusted experts at the intersection of real estate, affordability , and home energy efficiency. The pilot will measure the value to REALTORS® and home buyers of providing a comparable energy score for every home in Edmonton and Calgary. This project will also set the Alberta real estate industry apart in Canada as the first jurisdiction to attempt digital home energy labeling at such a large scale and across two urban centres, with the goal of scaling it to other municipalities.

Mortgage Broker Education Initiative
By the Alberta Mortgage Brokers Association
It is increasingly important that new and experienced mortgage brokers are fully prepared to provide the consumer with the best possible knowledge and advice. The scope and development of these courses, including re-licensing education, will build and support strong, driven industry professionals and create cohesive confident teams within the brokerage industry. By providing a gateway to learning while delivering clear and concise direction, and navigating the mortgage brokerage industry competencies and requirements, the foundation of these courses will promote the development of skills and confidence while maintaining the highest regard of ethics to support the mortgage professional within the industry as essential, ethical, and the top choice for consumers. The byproduct of a well-educated industry is a well-informed public who feels confident in their own understanding of the mortgage transaction.

Increasing Rural Housing Choice through Policy Refinement, Integration and Collaboration
By the Rural Development Network
Many rural Alberta communities have a critical shortage of housing options but building housing in these communities is a huge challenge. Without adequate housing of all types, many small communities cannot retain youth, attract new businesses, workers and residents, or prevent homelessness. This negatively impacts communities’ abilities to grow and prosper. Yet new housing development is continually hampered by inadequate, outdated, or just plain poor municipal policies. This project will help address these challenges faced by REALTORS®, developers, municipalities, and other groups involved in housing and community development, thereby creating a greater diversity of housing choices within rural communities in Alberta, for both current and future residents through the creation of a guide and policy recommendations.

Telework Impacts on the Real Estate Industry in Alberta
By the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
The Alberta real estate industry has experienced and will continue to experience change over the years to come. According to recent research — as vaccination programs roll out across Canada — employees have already started to express concerns around returning to the office full–time, with recent polls indicating over 80% of workers would prefer to adopt a flexible work arrangement (PWC, 2020 Canadian Pulse Survey), and when asked if required to fully return to the office, 29% “would look for another job” (International Workplace Group 2021). In May 2020, Stats Canada released data on the provincial and sectoral capacity for telework. The Alberta market holds an opportunity for 39% of jobs to be done remotely (Stats Canada, 2020). To note, roughly 13% of Canadians engaged in telework in some capacity pre-COVID, meaning that there could be potential for work-from-home (WFH) to increase by 27% post-COVID (Stats Can, 2020). These numbers represent a shift in workplace culture that will significantly influence the real estate market and building usage across Albertan communities over the short and long-term. The research findings and resources developed and shared through this project will support the Alberta real estate community for years to come.

Towards a Future Free of Radon in the Residential Built Environment
By the University of Calgary and EvictRadon
To meet the projected population needs of 2050, we must build 70% more housing over the next 30 years. The urgent need of this work is, that if this future 70% housing is built with yet even higher radon (as our projections indicate will happen without intervention), this built-environment-driven public health crisis will worsen. The price of this in lives and healthcare costs will be staggering, but they are avoidable. The deadline for changes to the 2025 Canada Build Code are fast approaching in April 2023, and there is an opportunity to influence that code in a way that potentially removes the issue of radon from future Canadian property inventories. The project goal is to reduce the burden of radon-induced lung cancer stemming from exposure within the Albertan residential property environment, ensuring that this health issue does not interfere with residential real estate transactions, and improving the equity and inclusivity of public health investments in radon reduction for younger Albertans, rural Albertans, and Albertans aligned in the real estate, architectural and resource sectors.

The Alberta Real Estate Foundation invests in real estate policy, research, practices, and education that strengthen Alberta’s communities. Under the Real Estate Act, whenever a consumer deposits money in trust through a real estate broker, property manager, or commercial broker, the interest earned on the deposit is accumulated and forwarded to the Foundation for reinvestment into Alberta’s communities. On individual transactions, it is just a few cents, but across the province it really adds up.

Since its inception in 1991, the Foundation has invested over $26.5 million in grants to over 665 initiatives across Alberta.

See the Legacy Grants initiatives we funded in June 2021.

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