Housing Law Information Project

The Housing Law Information Project from the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta (CPLEA) will be the best source of easy-to-understand, accessible, and accurate legal information in Alberta about being a landlord or a tenant; buying, selling, or owning a condominium, including being on a condo board; and buying, selling, and owning a home.

This project will provide vital information to Albertans online, in print, and in-person on:

  • Renting a home – CPLEA’s Residential Tenancies Legal Information Project has provided up-to-date, plain language information on residential tenancies law for Albertans since 2000. There are currently 37 free renting publications available through our very successful website www.landlordandtenant.org.
  • Condo ownership – The Condominium Law Education Project began in 2016 after extensive consultation with the industry. Condo Law provides free plain language information on condominium law in Alberta. There are currently 22 Condo Law publications available through www.condolawalberta.ca. AREF funding has supported the work of
    updating all resources to match new regulations brought in as a result of recent substantial changes to the Condominium Property Act
  • Homeownership – CPLEA will create plain language information about the many legal aspects of homeownership. Purchasing a home is one of the most significant contracts that a person will ever enter into in their lifetimes. The process of buying a home engages the law via legal documents, the land titles system, lending, and lawyers involved. Legal issues and disputes can also arise during and after the home purchase process. Whether backing out of a deal or defaulting on future mortgage payments, there are legal consequences when a home purchase or homeownership goes wrong.

Real Estate Leadership – Improve the capacity and understanding of real estate professionals and/or consumers on real estate issues.

Condo Management Licensing & You: A Resource for Condo Owners & Boards

As of December 1, 2021, Condominium Management is now a licensed profession under the Real Estate Council of Alberta. While this is a welcome and much-needed change that will enhance consumer protection, the transition has been rapid and will have widespread impacts on the condominium community. According to 2016 census data, approximately 13% of Albertans live in condominiums. With about 500,000 Albertans living in condominiums, changes to the industry have widespread impacts on the Alberta housing market.

There is presently a gap in the education and awareness being offered to condominium corporations. Condominium corporations who work with licensed managers will have to adapt to some of the new requirements of licensing including service agreements and working with a brokerage. Self-managed condominiums need to understand how they must approach their self-management arrangements in order to ensure they do not employ an unlicensed person to practice licensed activity.

The Alberta Condominium Management Education Consortium will create and offer a free-to-access webinar series and companion resources that will provide tailored information to condominium corporations, including self-managed corporations about the implementation of condominium manager licensing will mean for them. This includes: what does it mean to be a licensed professional; practical & financial considerations for condominium corporations; licensed activity – things to know for self-managed condominiums; and, the disciplinary process.

Real Estate Leadership – Advance the condominium sector within the wider real estate market.

Enhancing Alberta Condominiums & Apartments through Electric Vehicle Charging

The purpose of this initiative is to equip the real estate industry as well as other stakeholders with the information and tools needed to address a growing need in the condominium and apartment building stock for Electric Vehicle (EV) charging. This is a key pathway for making EVs more accessible to Albertans. In a 2022 poll by KPMG, 56% of Albertans shared that their next vehicle purchase within the next 1-5 years will be hybrid or fully electric. Alberta’s current building stock in the condo and apartment category falls very short of being prepared for this demand, both in the chargers currently available to residents and in the owners’ and developers’ plans to provide this infrastructure.

Real Estate Leadership – Explore the impact of emerging technology infrastructure on real estate.

REET Institute Improvement & Expansion Project

The Commercial Real Estate industry has stated a desire to take tangible steps to advance its Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion goals. This project will focus on improving and expanding the REET Institute’s current program directed at training BIPOC youth in commercial real estate by developing the infrastructure required to meet the industry demand. They will also add a certificate program for mentors/commercial real estate executives who will be working with participants of the REET Institute. It is imperative that there is education and training provided to these executives to ensure that they are creating a psychologically safe environment to foster inclusion and engagement within their organizations.

Real Estate Leadership – Elevate the real estate industry through continuous improvement, inclusion and representation, and professional standards.

Meanwhile Lease Pilot Project

The Meanwhile Lease Pilot Project connects real estate professionals with interim tenants active in the creative economy. This process is de-risked for the real estate industry through vetting, tenant education, and management of City property tax exemption through this project. This pilot project mobilizes the use of under-utilized real estate inventory to the benefit of the real estate and arts sectors.

Meanwhile leases leverage vacancies and lulls in property development. They are typically short-term and are often granted to local nonprofit or charitable groups, usually for a non-commercial purpose. Meanwhile leases will help the real estate industry and the creative economy as they recover from the pandemic.

Built Environment – Supports the re-imagining of under-utilized real estate inventory.

2022 Quantitative Consumer Research Project

This project builds on the Alberta Real Estate Association’s (AREA) 2016-2017 Standards of Professional Excellence report, supported by the Foundation. The 2016-2017 project allowed AREA to build meaningful metrics upon which to measure the Alberta consumer experience.

Returning to the field five years later allows AREA to gain insight into how they have moved the needle on professional excellence in the real estate industry and how consumer expectations have shifted. AREA will engage a variety of industry stakeholders, including local Boards and Associations, brokerages, individual REALTORS®, and Alberta’s consumers to assist on this project. Results from this research will continue to inform and shape AREA’s formal and informal learning programs for members.

Real Estate Leadership – Improves the capacity and understanding of real estate professionals and/or consumers on real estate issues.

Advancing the Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies

The Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies exists to create entrepreneurial and ethical leaders for Canada’s real estate industry by acting as a catalyst for the development of real estate industry professionals and a leading centre of excellence for real estate studies. The next step for the Westman Centre is to expand its presence and ensure its longevity. Anchored by the real estate value chain, the Westman Centre will ensure its programs, community engagement, and research activities are comprehensive, future-focused, and impactful to the industry. This program funding will ensure the voice of industry is involved in all aspects of the centre, setting it apart from other post-secondary programs. The Westman Centre will focus on engaging students from different disciplines and faculties to create entrepreneurial and ethical leaders for Canada’s real estate industry.

Real Estate Leadership – Advance the real estate industry as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic through research and/or implementation of policy, practices, or educational initiatives.


Enhancing Real Estate and Land Use Planning through Urban Farming in Alberta Municipalities

Municipal decision-makers and planners recognize the key benefits in urban farming but knowledge or integration of sustainable practices with real estate opportunities is limited. Both promotion of sustainable practices and a better understanding of what occurs in urban farming in Alberta can aid cities to improve real estate values in order to attract diverse residents and maintain/improve our quality of life. This project aims to provide the real estate industry with knowledge on urban farms and the potential to maximize vacant real estate for Albertan cities. This research will benefit the real estate community by exploring alternative usages of urban spaces while improving industry and/or commercial use and the quality of life for residents in the area through policies and practices related to urban farming and sustainability.

Real Estate Leadership – Mobilize the use of under-utilized real estate inventory through research into and/or implementation of policy, practices, or projects.

Supporting Diversity through Inclusion in Commercial Real Estate

The commercial real estate industry lacks diversity. A recent study that included over 50 commercial real estate firms indicated that less than 15% of firms had diversity and inclusion programs; under 5% of companies had a budgetary item dedicated to diversity and inclusion, and only 23% of companies believed their diversity and inclusiveness efforts were effective. These statistics indicate that there is a need to make positive inroads towards fighting the systematic inequalities in the workplace and our communities.

Marginalization happens earlier on in the lives of individuals, creating barriers for potential candidates to even apply or become aware of opportunities. As it relates to real estate, rates of investment in real estate assets are lower within minority communities. The REET Institute believes that lack of awareness and access is the key reason for the lack of diversity in the industry and will address this by engaging Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) youth in these communities at the stage in their lives when they are making critical decisions on future career prospects. By creating a pipeline of diverse talent into the commercial real estate industry, we will be able to improve the outcomes for communities that are underrepresented in the space and improve the real estate industry by partnering with corporations to improve the different diversity and inclusion objectives.

This project is a small first step in helping the REET Institute is to develop the next generation of owners and business leaders in the commercial real estate industry by providing access to skills and resources.

Real Estate Leadership – Improve capacity and understanding of real estate professionals and/or consumers on real estate issues.

Real Estate Leadership – Advance the real estate industry as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic through research and/or implementation of policy, practices, or educational initiatives.

Protecting Real Estate Value Through Water Remediation Using Native Wetlands Plants

Phase 3A – Low-Cost Water Treatment Technology for Agricultural Real Estate

Albertans are all stakeholders in recognizing that the preservation of water, land, and environment is vital to human sustainability for generations to come. This project is a continuation of Phases I and II, both funded by the Foundation.

According to the Alberta Cattle Feeders Association, 80% of Canada’s cattle processing capacity is located in Alberta. Feedlot runoff can contain many different contaminants, including solid and dissolved organic matter, nutrients, salts, and heavy metals, among others. Conventional feedlot wastewater management often involves diverting it to a contained holding pond, where settling processes reduce high total suspended sediment loads, which is critical for reducing the concentration of nutrients. Constructed wetlands have been used to successfully treat feedlot wastewater, but lower-cost options, like floating treatment islands, are still largely uninvestigated, particularly in the Alberta climate. To date, only a handful of studies show the potential of floating treatment islands to treat feedlot effluent. This phase will seek to answer what designs are suitable for livestock feedlot operations, and what plants are suitable for the application of the floating island technology in cold climates.

Learn about Phase 1 and Phase 2 of this project.

Land – Protect or enhance the value of real property through educational initiatives in both rural and urban spaces that inform and increase land stewardship, land use planning, and land management.

Studying the impact of COVID-19 on the Commercial Real Estate Industry

The Calgary Commercial Real Estate industry needs an updated economic impact analysis. Since the last analysis, more than 10 years ago, much has changed in the market. The COVID-19 pandemic and a sustained slump in the price of energy have impacted lease and vacancy rates.

Through an economic impact analysis, this study will establish a baseline understanding of the current state of commercial real estate in Calgary. The research will be used to guide policy and legislation within the industry, and with decision-makers.

BOMA Calgary is also undertaking a comprehensive survey of the perceptions and attitudes of commercial landlords and tenants, which will feed into this study.

In the short term, BOMA Calgary aims to create a road map to recovery, identifying and keeping track of key data points over time. In the long term, they aim to establish a census-style research database. This research will extend to Edmonton in partnership with BOMA Edmonton, with plans to expand to the broader commercial sector in Alberta.

Real Estate Leadership – Advance the real estate industry as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic through research and/or implementation of policy, practices, or educational initiatives.

Advancing the Rural Alberta Real Estate Market Through Innovative Local Co-operatives

Real estate prices in rural communities are dependent upon two interrelated factors: the availability of good jobs, and the availability of a variety of services that make a community a desirable place to live. It is well known that rural communities have, for at least 2-3 decades, faced significant job losses and population decline in the face of globalization, the competitive pressure for economies of scale in agricultural production, and, most recently the fossil fuel industry downturn.

The struggle to attract outside investment, the traditional path sought in rural economic development across the province, will continue to grow more difficult for most rural communities going forward, placing significant downward pressure on real estate prices in these locations.

This project aims to stabilize and improve the real estate market throughout rural Alberta over the long term by exploring and advocating for the potential inherent in new and innovative local cooperatives to act as significant stimulants in rural economic and community development throughout the province.

The research component of the project will be summarized in a Final Report, a Guide for Municipalities, a Guide for Interested Citizens, an academic article, a magazine article, a series of shorter “Policy Briefs”, and an online Webinar for wide dissemination. The Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities will also host a two-day conference on local co-operatives and rural development for representatives of rural municipalities and organizations across Alberta.

Real Estate Leadership – Increase resilience and population retention in rural communities to support a stable real estate market through research into and/or implementation of policy, practices, or projects.

Towards a Future Free of Radon in the Residential Built Environment

As of 2020, long-term radon gas inhalation in Alberta is responsible for one new case of lung cancer every 23 hours. Exposure to radon, which is radioactive and DNA-damaging, is overwhelmingly something that happens within the residential built environment. Unfortunately, lung cancer remains incurable, with nine of every ten people losing their lives to it within only two years of diagnosis. 1 in 5 people diagnosed with lung cancer in Alberta have never smoked, and the frequency of non-smoker lung cancer is increasing. Exposure to radon (and the extraordinary burden of disease associated with it) is entirely driven by our built environment and is preventable. Actual prevention requires concerted action in terms of knowledge generation, knowledge implementation, and, effective education and communication across sectors.

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 is avoidable. Finally, the deadline for changes to the 2025 Canada Build Code is fast approaching in April 2023. 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’s 30th Anniversary Legacy Grants program supports distinctive and high-impact projects which drive transformational long-term change to advance the real estate industry and real estate across Alberta.

Telework Impacts on the Real Estate Industry in Alberta

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.

Building on a recent research project with RFS Energy that SAIT completed for the City of Edmonton to support their Remote Work Program, and relationships built through a municipal WFH working group with 9 Alberta communities (Calgary, Strathcona, Lethbridge, Airdrie, Rural Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Leduc, Edmonton, Spruce Grove, and St. Albert), the proposed project will focus on how WFH impacts the Alberta real estate market, including gathering data and researching the current and future status of:
• Economic, zoning, and tax implications to communities and downtown cores
• Commercial facility space – such as downsizing and design implications
• Residential purchase practices – including location (e.g. moving outside of city centers), space needs/size (e.g. Home office needs), retrofit considerations, and housing affordability

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 and real estate across Alberta.

Enabling Housing Choice through Policy Refinement, Integration & Collaboration

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’ ability to grow and prosper. Yet new housing development is continually hampered by inadequate, outdated, or just plain poor municipal policies. This happens in part because small municipalities usually rely on outside contractors to create their policies, and in part because councils lack the capacity and knowledge to accurately understand the big picture for their community. This creates a confusing, fractured policy system, and huge delays for development which severely limit the growth and availability of local housing stock.

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. This three-year project will be completed in four phases: data gathering and project setup; partner collaboration and policy implementation; policy change guide development; and dissemination and promotion of the policy change guide. This project will help increase rural communities’ capacity through the creation of a guide and recommendations regarding policies that will promote housing development throughout rural Alberta, which all municipalities will be able to use to make their own policy changes.

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 and real estate across Alberta.

Mortgage Broker Education Initiative

It is increasingly important that new and experienced mortgage brokers are fully prepared to provide the consumer with the best possible knowledge and advice. As an industry association with a strategic plan that includes a significant emphasis on education and professional development, AMBA is uniquely suited to provide mortgage broker candidates, new professionals, and existing industry professionals with the insight and knowledge—as well as real-world skills and experience—required to ensure that the public’s interests are being protected and indeed well served by the real estate industry. AMBA is dedicated to educating the industry to the highest of standards.

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.

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 and real estate across Alberta.

Uncovering Real Estate Value Through Digital Home Label Pilot

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.

REALTORS® are critical players in the low carbon transition of housing stock in Alberta. Residential buildings account for approximately 30% of the urban emissions in Calgary and Edmonton. REALTORS® can lead the next generation of homes and homebuyers by leaning into the energy efficiency, electric vehicle, and on-site renewable revolution that is occurring. However, they need tools and support which this project will help provide.

This project will help position REALTORS® as trusted experts at the intersection of real estate and home energy efficiency. The pilot will measure the value to REALTORS® and home buyers from 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 to other municipalities.

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 and real estate across Alberta.

Advancing the Real Estate Industry for Albertan Immigrants and Newcomers

This project will implement proven education and support practices to newcomer and immigrant Albertans who have little experience and understanding of Albertan homes or the Canadian real estate industry. This project will educate immigrant and newcomer Albertan’s who are new or future homeowners on the structure of Albertan homes, how homes ‘work’, how to understand and sign up for energy services, and the typical operating costs associated with Albertan homes. This consumer education will ensure newcomers and immigrants have the information and education they need to make informed home-buying decisions. This project will ensure new and future Albertan homeowners are empowered and educated to understand and plan for affordable homeownership.

Real Estate Leadership – Improve capacity and understanding of real estate professionals and/or consumers on real estate issues.
Built Environment – Expand access to housing options that are affordable and support homeownership through the adaption of best practices to the Alberta context or experimental pilot projects.

Enhancing Rural and Regional Real Estate through Community Learning

Residential, commercial, and industrial real estate are crucial to rural economic revitalization. This initiative will create learning resources for related professionals and the public in respect to the role that real estate can play in the economic, environmental and social recovery of rural and regional Alberta. This will help communities across the province design their own future – a future in which Alberta communities are healthy, sustainable, resilient, and safe. The resources and evidence-based best practices will be shared with communities across the province using a three-part delivery system consisting of: 1) Design charettes or workshops, 2) Online modules to supplement the workshops, and 3) Some material will be shared as open educational resources via the University’s social media channels.

Real Estate Leadership – Increase resilience and population retention in rural communities to support a stable real estate market through research into and/or implementation of policy, practices, or projects.

A New Approach to Energy Efficiency in New Homes

Energy efficiency is among the most cost-effective ways to reduce a homeowner’s ongoing monthly utility costs, and the most influential time to affect the efficiency of a home is during its initial design and construction. Decisions made during home design and construction impact not only the initial homebuyer, but all future owners. This project will leverage the launch of the Clean Energy Improvement Program in the province to demonstrate how it can be used to significantly increase the energy efficiency of new homes constructed. The successful demonstration could present an opportunity for all new buildings in the province (both multi-unit residential and commercial) to be built to a higher efficiency level for the same sticker price as a standard efficiency building – benefiting both the initial owner and all subsequent owners.

Built Environment – Expand access to housing options that are affordable and support homeownership through the adaption of best practices to the Alberta context or experimental pilot projects.

Advancing Placemaking and Innovation in Downtowns – Fellows Program

As part of their vision to advance 10,000 creators through a million square feet, they developed the 1M Fellows Program – a creator and talent development accelerator aimed at students, founders, and emerging leaders in real estate and urban development. The Fellows Program is designed to train young people to maximize their ability to make an impact in the industry and their communities. Fellows want to make an impact, are curious to learn about emerging trends and technologies, and want to solve big problems. Through a structured, 4 month core program offered to three types of cohorts: Student, Industry, and Founder, this program empowers fellows with the mindset, experience, and networks to solve new challenges in city-building through hands-on projects and forums.

Real Estate Leadership – Advancing the real estate industry as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic through research and/or implementation of policy, practices, or educational initiatives.
Real Estate Leadership – Mobilize the use of under-utilized real estate inventory through research into and/or implementation of policy, practices, or projects.

Online Open Data Centre of Alberta Urban Real Estate

Created with and for real estate industry professionals, researchers, policymakers and Albertans who need access to high-quality deep real estate data, the Online Open Data Centre for Alberta Urban Real Estate is a free public online data portal designed with the potential to be integrated with Alberta real estate industry databases, that informs on urban real estate, local economy, and quality of life. Unlike library collections directing users to databases or their providers, the Online Open Data Centre for Alberta Urban Real Estate develops and integrates neighbourhood-level data from different sources in one place that can be accessed by anyone anywhere, anytime.

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 and real estate across Alberta.

Transformative Revitalization in Alberta’s Underutilized Downtown Assets

The Civic Commons Catalyst aims to take underutilized spatial assets in the City of Calgary and catalyze them into positive assets for the community that can revitalize the downtown. In Phase I of the project, the Catalyst identified zones of opportunity so that assets can be networked together and help focus strategies for economic development and impact investment. In this Phase II of the project, The Catalyst aims to mobilize the research produced in the first year in two key ways: 1) develop at least 6 in-depth project proposals for the City of Calgary, and 2) create a catalog of civic assets for three rural communities in Alberta—culminating in a series of both private and public knowledge mobilization and dissemination activities that will include one lecture event, at least one public exhibition, and at least one regional/national forum hosted by Evergreen that can center the Alberta real estate sector’s innovative approach to the revitalization of downtowns.

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 and real estate across Alberta.

Indigenous Inclusion and Career Development in Alberta’s Commercial Real Estate Industry

Indigenous Inclusion and Career Development in Alberta’s Commercial Real Estate Industry is the first collaborative project of its kind in real estate in Canada. The project will start as a pilot in the Edmonton region and Northeast Alberta and has three goals: (1) to raise awareness about Commercial Real Estate career opportunities among Indigenous people and invite them into the industry through a targeted campaign and outreach, (2) to provide training and employment opportunities to Indigenous people of various ages and stages in their lives, and (3) to provide Indigenous awareness education and engagement support to commercial real estate companies. Led by an experienced steering committee of Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations and companies, the project is designed to become a full program that can be rolled out across Alberta and Canada by other organizations.

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 and real estate across Alberta.

Real Estate Industry / Community Sponsorships and Small Grants 2020-2021

Accessible funding in an uncertain economic environment in the province. The purpose of the Small Grants and Sponsorship fund is to improve the Foundation’s reach across the province and strengthen its connection to industry through the support of industry-related initiatives and community events. This fund allows the Foundation to respond nimbly to the needs of its stakeholders. Small Grants and Sponsorships have proven to be a successful method to reach out to new organisations and have led to larger future grants and more defined partnerships.

Studying the impact of COVID-19 on Alberta real estate markets

This project uses data-driven approaches (e.g., machine learning) to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Alberta’s real estate markets. The University of Alberta will collaborate closely with the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton so that the research aligns with industry stakeholder interests. The main objective is to analyse the impact of COVID-19 on:

  • Market prices
  • Listing durations
  • Valuation of specific property attributes
  • How these impacts vary by neighbourhood or region
  • How these impacts vary by property type

The Edmonton real estate market will act as a pilot project for the development of statistical methods, analytical tools, and workshops. As the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton and other organizations seek to generate value from proprietary transactional data, the results and outcomes of this project will serve as the basis for the analysis of other real estate markets across Alberta.

Toolkit for healthy, resilient homes and communities in times of pandemic recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic and related public health have drawn people’s attention to how critically important their homes, neighbourhoods, and communities are to their health. Public health works proactively to create the conditions for long-term recovery by focusing not only on the disease, but on promoting the health of people. Healthy people are the foundation of a healthy economy.

This project will engage real estate professionals, planners and developers, consumers, and municipalities to identify critical ‘healthy community’ factors in the face of COVID-19 pandemic recovery, related economic uncertainty, and environmental stewardship. The engagement process and resulting easy-to-use online toolkit will help provide supports for Albertan’s healthy home choices. The toolkit will identify factors needed to drive economic growth, sustain community vitality and resiliency, promote environmental stewardship, and improve citizens’ health outcomes.

Improving Transportation Options for Rural Alberta

Rural Transportation: Knowledge Sharing for 2020 and Beyond – Access to transportation is a ubiquitous issue facing rural Albertans. In many cases, if a resident lacks access to a private vehicle, it is nearly impossible to live and work in a small Alberta community. To make matters worse, over the past several years, the few existing transportation services have begun to disappear. In collaboration with partners like Alberta Rural Development Network, Association for Life-wide Living (ALL) of Alberta will revitalize and reconnect Alberta’s rural transportation stakeholders to seek viable solutions to this every growing problem. Transportation options will help ensure that people can continue to live, work and thrive in rural Alberta.

Value of Heritage Districts

The Calgary Heritage Initiative will create educational resources for real estate professionals, residents, and municipal leader on the impacts of heritage policies and bylaws to protect Calgary’s heritage districts. Heritage districts and heritage places of interest can create niche markets for shopping, living and eating in “differentiated” heritage environments that contribute to urban liveability and the attraction of talent.

Market Assessment for Accessible Housing in Calgary

With the current economic and health crisis, Albertans need options related to accessible, suitable housing more than ever. This feasibility study and market assessment will identify gaps in Calgary regarding accessible, affordable housing and establish plans to meet the demands in community, including what type of programs and services need to be developed.

Protecting Albertans’ properties from invasive plants

Updating the Identification Guide for Alberta Invasive Plants – Invasive species threaten Alberta’s environment and economy. They outcompete the native species that provide food and habitat for wildlife; some pose risk to public safety; others are problematic in crop fields, resulting in reduced yields; and other species like Japanese knotweed exhibit such vigorous growth that they can break through concrete building foundations. The Alberta Invasive Species Council will to work with local municipalities and the Alberta Association of Agriculture Fieldmen to update and reprint the widely popular Identification Guide to Invasive Plants in Alberta.
The new version of this guide will include provincial distribution maps, information on prevention initiatives, and will also indicate the species that are problematic in specific habitats (e.g., urban areas, farmland, in grassland ecosystems forests, etc.). There are several invasive plant species that are particularly problematic in urban areas that homeowners and realtors should be aware of. These can be a liability as landowners are responsible for controlling or eradicating prohibited noxious or noxious invasive plant species that persist on their property as per the Weed Control Act.

Impact Assessment of Collaborative Initiatives on Land-use and Watershed Planning

Alberta’s 2003 Water for Life strategy marked a major shift in the management of Alberta’s water resources to better enable shared responsibility and environmental stewardship. The province’s 11 Watershed Planning and Advisory Councils (WPACs) cover the entire province and were created as the main mechanism to foster collaboration at the watershed level. Given that municipal governments play a central role in the management of land and water, they are crucial WPAC partners. In collaboration with four WPACs, this study will evaluate the effectiveness of joint WPAC-municipal initiatives that enable land stewardship and planning, water management, and ecosystem resiliency for sustainable communities in Alberta.

Additional Small Grants and Sponsorships 2019-2020 for COVID-19

In March, as the COVID-19 lockdown began, AREF’s Board recognized that the province’s real estate industry required additional short-term support, and in response, the Board more than doubled the Sponsorship and Small Grants budget by adding an additional $150,000 to ensure the Foundation responded nimbly to the needs of its stakeholders.

AREF has since collaborated with its valued industry partners and stakeholders—including Real Estate Boards, the Alberta Mortgage Brokers Association, and the Building Owners and Managers Association—to discuss how to use sponsorship funding to support them and help strengthen their ability to serve their members.

Updating and Enhancing the Green Communities Guide

Assisting Communities manage development while conserving valuable natural assets – This project will update and re-print a highly successful and impactful educational and awareness resource called the Green Communities Guide (GCG), a resource that has resonated deeply with the municipal and stewardship community. This essential update to the GCG will enable us to offer an enhanced resource to realtors, municipalities, land-use planners and developers to help communities plan and implement strategies to conserve valuable natural assets in the face of development and expanding communities.

Renewable Skills to Support Economic Recovery in Remote and Indigenous Communities

If Alberta’s real estate market is to recover, we need to see overall economic recovery. Iron and Earth is an initiative that focuses on putting people back to work which will ultimately support economic recovery and directly impact movement in the real estate market.

The rapidly shifting energy industry has led to increased job insecurity for many fossil fuel industry workers since the downturn in 2014. The Renewable Skills Initiative is designed to empower fossil fuel industry and Indigenous workers to fill these new jobs and build the infrastructure required to meet climate targets through tailored upskilling training programs and career support.

Investigation into Present and Future Cooperative Housing

Co-op housing is an essential piece of the housing continuum in Alberta and Canada. However, as government subsidies continue to dwindle and current co-op assets face increasing maintenance costs, a number of units are threatened. This project will assess the financial needs of current co-ops, research solutions, and put forward recommendations for new co-op housing models such as the Limited Equity Housing Co-Ops (LEHCs), land trusts, and other models.

Green Building Education Development

The Green Building Education Development project will provide a high-quality educational opportunity for Real Estate Professionals to learn best practices on green building standards. The intent is to equip Real Estate Professionals with the knowledge they can share as the front line of the industry with consumers, building owners, and property managers. As the demand for green building standards increases, so will the need for this type of training.

Fragmentation and Conversion of Agricultural Land

Managing tradeoffs in a context of climate change – This project will survey the attitudes of Alberta residents, leaders, and planners towards open space, farmland conversation, and economic development features in urban and peri-urban areas, providing qualitative research to realtors, municipal leaders, planners, and the public to inform decision-making.

Enhancing Rural Properties and Communities Values

This project will directly impact real estate practices by educating Albertan landowners of all sizes on the management of the forested portion of their lands. This includes supporting municipalities, hamlets, and summer villages in understanding opportunities for improved management of rural forested lands.

Rural properties benefit from woodlots and shelterbelts (eco-buffers) by reducing possible forest fire risks, reducing soil erosion and wind impacts on buildings, and enhances overall aesthetics. Proper woodlot management ensures the health of forested lands and increases the value of the land.

Real estate professionals authorized to trade in rural properties can provide clients with access to professional advice on the forested portions of rural land through the Agroforestry and Woodlot Extension Society (AWES). AWES’ referral card can be shared with clients who may require one-on-one onsite consultation to assess the health, maintenance, or re-establishment of their forested areas. Through these consultations, landowners and managers can work with AWES to develop provincially recognized Woodlot Management Plans. Initial consultations are free of charge.


The Alberta Real Estate Foundation is mandated to support the education of real estate professionals and the public in respect of the real estate industry as well as advance and improve the real estate industry.

This project fits under the Foundation’s Land Stewardship & Environment area of interest which enables Albertans to understand and respond to changing land-use patterns, growth pressures, air, and water management issues and enhance the ecological quality of their communities.

Creating emergency accommodations for Wood Buffalo Housing

This project will provide 30 multi-family units in one of Alberta’s most progressive communities that through the last few years have been going through extraordinary change. This project will meet immediate needs in this extraordinary time of multiple stressors in the community with industry in flux, COVID-19 and now in the wake of a major wildfire and now a flood. In the long-term, these units will provide bridge accommodations as people look to longer-term real estate options.

Civic Commons Catalyst

Supporting Transformative Revitalization in Alberta’s Urban Development Sector Through Uncertain times – The Civic Commons Catalyst is a timely, creative, shared platform that brings together organizations and institutions to research, convene, evaluate, and develop public and private real estate opportunities in Alberta. The Catalyst is a solutions lab that will address the challenges facing the Alberta and Calgary urban development sector including the potential impacts of COVID-19 on the built environment, impacts of the downturn in the oil and gas sector and the vacancy and underutilization of assets in Calgary’s downtown core.

WellWiki.org Alberta v4.0 & Educating Alberta’s Landowners on Policy Changes

This project will update WellWiki.org data on more than 600,000 Alberta oil and gas wells; add new features to the website including township search function, inactive and abandoned wells, and municipal tax revenues related to oil and gas activity.  It will also make available on WellWiki.org a version of the content developed as part of the Pembina Institute’s Landowners’ Guide to Oil and Gas Development and Primer.

The University will also work with the Pembina Institute on the policy review of oil and gas liabilities by the Government of Alberta. The goal will be to inform landowners on what the proposed policy changes are and how they may potentially impact them. A roundtable will convene various experts in this area including representatives from landowner groups, WellWiki, University of Calgary, government, industry, the Orphan Well Association and the Alberta Energy Regulator. Based on discussion and conclusions from the roundtable, resources will be developed for rural Albertans.

Proposed Cities Institute

The Cities Institute looks to be a global leader in facilitating collaboration in urban research, teaching, and partnerships which will ensure that Edmonton, and other cities in Canada, can benefit from the latest advances in technology and city building. The Cities Institute will launch in spring 2021 with a conference what will engage researchers, teachers, government officers, NGOs, and industry members who are involved in city building. The ultimate goal of the Cities Institute’s conference is to foster ‘city builders’ both on and off campus and kick-start projects that will help to make Edmonton and Alberta a more viable, livable, and competitive city and province.

Soil Health: Policy, Science, and Law in Action

The Alberta Land Institute, together with other stakeholders, will engaged in promoting scientific research, government policy, producer practices, and public education and outreach related to soil health.  ALI will convene a stakeholders’ working group, conduct a scan (policy, regulatory, governance, and social action) in Alberta and across Canada, and compile a resource guide for policymakers and members of the public.

Defining Challenges and Opportunities for South Saskatchewan Watershed communities under a rapidly changing climate

This project will prepare urban and rural communities in the South Saskatchewan Watershed for climate change in two ways. The project will provide an extreme weather events analyses necessary to adapt infrastructure and operations systems to cope with increasing weather stresses.  Second, it will provide transition opportunities to renewable energy systems that provide community resiliency, energy security and price stability with a meaningful greenhouse gas management plan.

Welcome to the Lake Program

The Welcome to the Lake Program engages realtors as healthy-lake stewards to help generate awareness about healthy-lake practices that will protect the lake and support a resilient ecosystem and strong community. This program provides training and resources for Alberta realtors selling properties in watersheds in Alberta. The professional development themes include watershed basics for maintaining a healthy lake, low impact development solutions, and lake wise landscaping with in-person training options for realtors selling in the Pigeon Lake watershed and online options for realtors selling properties in other watersheds across the province. To share their knowledge, this program offers realtors with a welcome stewardship package that they can provide to new home owners.

Fort Vermilion & Area Seniors’ & Elders’ Lodge

There is an under-reported demand for supportive living facilities in Fort Vermilion and the surrounding area. The Fort Vermilion & Area Seniors & Elders Lodge Board 1788 is leading a community based initiative to create more supportive living space. By working with subject matter experts in various fields, this group will create a hopefully replicable process for other grassroots movements to follow.

Diversity Certified

e4c and Edmonton Shift Lab will co-develop a training curriculum and toolkit for market landlords and non-market housing providers on the prevention of discrimination in housing.  This training will reflect input and collaboration between landlords, housing providers, and renters.  Diversity Certified will set up housing professionals for success through encouraging positive and reciprocal relationships between landlords and tenants, through reduced tenant turnover and tenant satisfaction, and through growing more cohesive rental communities where residents from diverse backgrounds are welcome.

Condominium Law Education Project

This phase of the Condominium Law Education Project will update resources to reflect recent legislative changes while continuing to deliver credible and plain language materials to Albertans, staying up to date on condominium law developments and condo industry issues. This project currently reaches over 70,000 resource users per year, which include condominium buyers, owners, board members and real estate professionals.


ANPHA Regional Housing Collective

ANPHA seeks to provide leadership to advance the affordable housing sector and act as a convener and resource to connect stakeholders from a wide variety of sources who could benefit from information sharing, networking and direct support. This project will establish an opportunity for individuals and organizations within the non-profit housing sector to establish strong regional relationships with one another, and both the provincial and national sector. Uniting the sector together will result in a stronger unified voice that can accomplish collectively what could not be done individually.

Calgary Project 2.0

THE CALGARY PROJECT: urban form / urban life (by Sandalack and Nicolai), was a national award-winning book published in 2006 by the University of Calgary Press. It is a richly-illustrated examination of urban development in Calgary up to 2005. Widely consulted and used by urban professionals, academics and students, it soon sold out its initial run of 1,000 copies and has not been updated. The goal of The Calgary Project 2.0 is to revise the 2006 book and update it so that it captures and reflects the past 14 years of Calgary’s development, in order to provide a resource to help guide the city into the next decades of the 21st century. The Calgary Project 2.0 will focus on the most recent chapter of the city’s history and discuss projections for its growth and development. It will add to the discussion about Calgary’s future and its urban quality, in order to aid citizens, developers, realtors, planners and design professionals, academics and policy makers in articulating a vision of the desirable future of the city.

Cold Lake Build

This project will support the Habitat for Humanity single-family home build in the community of Cold Lake. Cold Lake is one of Alberta’s communities that was hit hard by the recent economic downturn. The lack of affordable housing is a consistent obstacle to a family’s ability to raise their children in Cold Lake. Habitat for Humanity currently has 24 units in Cold Lake and continues to be the only local organization to offer affordable home ownership opportunities in the community and the province.

The Guide to the Planning Process: Next Generation Planning

This City of Calgary is currently undertaking extensive policy reviews shifting how Calgary will grow and change in the future. By the end of 2020, most of the statutory planning documents will undergo review -incorporating new policies, processes and terminology! One of the most unique and valued aspects of the planning process in Calgary is the involvement of affected residents and their respective community associations in providing community feedback around context and character. To capture the extensive changes, and as a leader in supporting resident engagement and education, the Federation, working with industry and the City of Calgary, will complete a rewrite of the popular “Guide to the Planning Process” (and develop additional supportive tools) to assist residents, community associations, other non-profits and University of Calgary students as they learn to navigate the new planning processes in Calgary.

The New Clean Fuel Standard – what will it mean for Alberta’s building industry?

The federal government has released details on the Clean Fuel Standard (CFS), a regulation that will require all fossil fuel suppliers to reduce the carbon content of fuel or purchase offset credits as of 2022. The CFS applies not only to transportation fuels (as has been done in BC and California) but also – in a global first – to fuels used in industry and in buildings. This project will analyse what the new regulation means for the building sector, industry, consumers and residents, in terms of both cost and complications.

Pedesting App Communications Strategy

Bricolage Calgary’s mission is to build a truly accessible and inclusive world for all and will soon be releasing Pedesting, a way-finding app created for all pedestrians to navigate both outdoor and indoor spaces. Bricolage is currently completing the ‘Minimum Viable Product’ (MVP) of the app. Upon its release, Bricolage will begin development of a communications strategy. The primary goal of this next step is to find as many ‘innovators’ and ‘early adopters’ who are receptive to Bricolage Calgary’s vision and wish to engage in the next stage of product development.

Real Estate Industry / Community Small Grants and Sponsorship 2019-2020

Accessible funding in an uncertain economic environment in the province. The purpose of the Small Grants and Sponsorship fund is to improve the Foundation’s reach across the province and strengthen its connection to industry through the support of industry-related initiatives and community events. This fund allows the Foundation to respond nimbly to the needs of its stakeholders.

Small Grants and Sponsorships have proven to be a successful method to reach out to new organisations and have led to larger future grants and more defined partnerships.

Perceptions of Neighbourhood Walkability, Bike-Ability, Livability, Health, and Vibrancy Among Real Estate Stakeholders

During the past few decades, there has been increased research, practice and political interest in creating healthy, vibrant neighbourhoods. Despite interest from a broad range of stakeholders on this topic, the perspectives of real estate and community development professionals are often not represented. Using a qualitative research approach, this project will explore, compare, and contrast perceptions of “walkability”, “bike-ability”, “vibrancy”, “livability”, and “healthy” as they relate to neighbourhood design among urban residential Real Estate Professionals, current homebuyers, and developers with a view to developing a standardized language to describe these concepts in order to enhance communications, expectations and public satisfaction around quality of life lived in urban settings.

Using Science and Storytelling to Spur Action

This project is about stories, science, and using creative communications to inspire people in central Alberta to take improve their land-use and practices to protect watershed health and enhance real estate value and livability . We will engage people in central Alberta to hear their real-world water and land-based stories, complement these stories with a suite of science based messages, and ultimately develop a “Story of the Red Deer River watershed” to be shared widely using creative communications and digital media. Imagine National Geographic meets Central Alberta – this project is a bit like that, in that it will harness the power of stories and compelling visuals to raise awareness and encourage action around key water and land-use issues.

Remediation of Water from Livestock Feeding Operations, Farmlands, and Residential Areas Using Native Wetland Plants

Contamination of water is a critical problem within Agriculture and Urban areas across Alberta and western Canada from nutrient loading. Although past research has proven that wetland plants are effective in capturing nutrients to effectively clean water while harvesting off the vegetation for other productive uses such as compost for soil remediation, there is a lack of critical information to successfully carry out water remediation using native wetland plants. This knowledge gap is related to the quantification and proof of concept of the hyperaccumulation capabilities of each of the various native wetland plant species and the specific nutrients for which each plant species is most effective. Phase 1 of this project provided the quantification data relating to the hyperaccumulation properties of native wetland plants. Phase 2 will confirm the actual performance of native wetland plants and provide proof of concept by: (1) using plant data and proven floating island technology acquired from Phase 1, and (2) subjecting the plants to feedlot runoff water to prove their efficiencies and capabilities in remediating the runoff water from livestock feedlots so that the water can safely be reused for irrigation and livestock drinking water.

Watch the webinar reporting on Phase 2:

Market & Non-Profit Partnerships for Affordable Age-In-Place Housing

The Jack Long Foundation proposes to develop a template for affordable age-in-place housing via market/affordable housing partnerships using East Village (EV) as a demonstration community. EV was chosen because of its high concentration of low income seniors, and accelerated new and re-purposed development. The project will engage relevant stakeholders who can help to resolve barriers to working partnerships between the Market and Non-Profit sectors and ultimately to increase affordable housing by integrating it with market housing projects.

The Impacts of Community Housing Developments on Local Neighbourhoods

Community housing continues to be a significant need in Alberta and across Canada. At Capital Regional Housing alone, they currently have more than 10,000 households on a waitlist for the housing programs they provide. In 2018, the City of Edmonton introduced a new five-year affordable housing framework that seeks to have 16 per cent affordable housing in all Edmonton communities.

This project will investigate the impacts of community housing developments on local neighbourhoods. Local community members are often concerned about the potential impacts of community housing developments on their neighbourhoods. Concerns may relate to urban intensification, densification, sense of place, crime and safety, property maintenance/upkeep, and impacts on property values. These concerns may at times be grounded in stereotypes and discriminatory beliefs about tenants living in community housing.

Enhancing Rural Property Values through Extension/Education

The project will educate and assist rural landowners in improved management of their forested lands. The project will assist the real estate industry in understanding and promoting increased property values through improved management of rural forested lands by current and future owners. The project will assist in increasing property values of rural lands.

Collaborating With our Rural Municipal Partners in Alberta to Enhance the Value and Resiliency of the ALUS Model

ALUS Canada will collect, synthesize, and articulate the current and potential value proposition of the ALUS program in Alberta to streamline program delivery and achieve more environmental restoration and conservation. This project will strengthen the coordination within ALUS and evaluate its programs by working with partner municipalities, analyse their program success and failures and use the information to improve the project delivery to improve respond to the growing interest in ALUS in Alberta. This work will clearly show how ALUS helps build more resilient communities by maximizing the value of marginal land on agricultural operations that are then better able to mitigate risk of extreme weather events.

The Next Step: Examining the Real Estate Foundation Revenue Model & Modernization

The Alberta Real Estate Foundation will celebrate its 30th Anniversary in 2021. Now is the time for reflecting on what has worked well with the AREF model to date and how the Foundation can position itself in a changing world of payments, interest rates and community investment and continue to innovate for its next 30 years.

Modernization will help improve efficiencies throughout the industry to make every dollar earned go further. This project will provide the Foundation the opportunity to work with stakeholders to improve industry workflows, promote regulatory best practices and protect consumers, and enhance Foundation revenue.

Managing End of Life of Oil and Gas Wells

The School of Public Policy continues its research into the growing problem of orphaned and abandoned oil & gas wells. The project will advance research on effective and equitable policy approaches to address public and private challenges from these wells.

AirBnb and the Secondhand Economy

This project will research the second-hand housing market will seek to improve understanding of the impacts and trends of home sharing services such as Airbnb, particularly on rental and housing markets, with a focus on Calgary and other cities in Alberta. Specifically, the project will seek to understand the main impacts of home sharing in Calgary and factors influencing these impacts; what it means for home ownership and affordability and community characteristics; what are the trends and what might the market and its effects look like in the future; what are similar cities doing to address related issues; and what are policy options for the City of Calgary to develop a suitable framework for regulating the market and how might such a framework be implemented?

Anchor Institutions: Diversifying Economic Growth Engines for Calgary’s Urban Core

This interdisciplinary project will study a new development solution based on anchor institutions to revitalize Calgary’s declining urban core. The economic downturn has brought considerable negative impacts on the urban core represented by the high vacancy rate of downtown’s Class-A office buildings and dilapidated housing and aging infrastructure in the urban core areas. To develop solutions to these challenges, the project will 1) conduct research on best practices of urban revitalization catalyzed by anchor institutions, 2) study supporting planning policies (e.g., financial incentives, development regulations), and 3) produce development scenarios through interdisciplinary studio courses.

Mobility-as-a-Service and Parking in Alberta and Canada: Implications for the Real Estate Industry

Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) describes a shift away from personally-owned modes of transportation and towards mobility solutions that are consumed as a service. MaaS is being made possible by massive investments in the synthesis and integration of automation, connectivity, electrification and sharing in vehicles. Given the movement towards MaaS and its potential disruption of parking in Canada, it is important to be able to quantify the amount and value of the land that could be released for other uses, as well as the potential foregone capital and operating costs of providing and maintaining parking infrastructure. To address this need, CESAR will conduct the research and carry out the analyses needed to first provide an inventory of parking supply in Canada and in Alberta. These data will then be combined with estimated unit costs for the building and maintaining of that inventory. The report will end with a discussion of the potential implications of MaaS on the real estate sector in Alberta and across Canada.

Energy Futures Roadshow

The Energy Futures Roadshow is an initiative to strengthen community resilience in Alberta by helping communities explore the opportunities and challenges arising from the energy transition.

It harnesses the combined knowledge, skills, and networks of the Energy Futures Lab Fellows and the assets of the Energy Futures Lab to create a program tailored to the community’s interests and delivered in collaboration with the host community. The engagement will typically include a series of workshops over a few days with a diversity of community members, including businesses, governments, schools, economic and community developers, and the public. Roadshow communities will be invited into a support network to facilitate ongoing learning and sharing of lessons, collaborative projects, and action across communities. The project also includes direct engagement with rural community leaders. The Roadshows will result in greater energy literacy and constructive dialogue between the energy industry, communities, and Alberta citizens.

Alberta’s energy system is at the center of an ongoing complex, fragmented, and divisive debates (us vs. them; job vs. environment community health and wellbeing vs. resource development). This is a very timely project and affects all Albertans.

Landowners’ Guide to Oil and Gas Phase III

Landowners have a number of concerns with abandoned (but not reclaimed), orphaned and/or inactive sites on their property. Backlogged oil and gas liabilities pose fiscal, environmental, and health risks. The recent Supreme Court ruling on the Redwater case means that operators must fulfill their environmental obligations before paying back creditors. However, when an operator goes bankrupt there is a strong likelihood that the revenues generated from liquidating assets will not cover cleanup costs —and the Orphan Well Association’s (OWA) inventory will continue to grow. The Landowners Guide will educate landowners on how to navigate the complex system of abandoned wells on their property.

Residential Tenancies Legal Information Program

The Residential Tenancies Legal Information Program is the best source of easy to understand, accessible and accurate legal information about landlord and tenant matters in Alberta. The program provides vital information to Albertans online, in print and in person.

Provincial Environmental Recognition Program

The Alberta Emerald Foundation is Alberta’s environmental good-news storyteller connecting the province’s environmental leaders and providing a voice to share their positive examples to engage, inform, and inspire others.

Through their year-round programming, they celebrate and showcase initiatives that demonstrate leadership and collaboration in land and water stewardship, improving air quality, reducing land disturbances, and encouraging eco-tourism in Alberta.

Water Innovation Lab Alberta 2019

This project will support the foundations for a robust Water Innovation Lab 2019 program, with diverse partners and content across Alberta. Water Innovation Lab Canada 2019 (WIL2019) will bring 100 young water leaders and 25+ resource guests from across Alberta and Canada together for 7 days of leadership training, community/industry visits and local action projects in Autumn 2019. WIL2019 is designed to accelerate collaborative innovation, fast track regional and global water knowledge sharing, showcase local leadership and bring water talent closer to employers. Goal at WIL2019 is to build long-term skills for the sector and support multiple seed funded teams from WIL2019 for teams to test, pilot, prototype water innovation projects.

Understanding Behavioural Environmental Design Contributors of High Radon Exposure to Protect Canadian Health

Canada contains many radon gas-generating regions and, because we have constructed population centres across all of them, radon is the primary cause of lung cancer in 10,000- 40,000 Canadians per decade. We have conducted detailed radon gas analysis of 11,000+ homes spread across Alberta and Saskatchewan, finding that 1 in 6 contain hazardous amounts of radon with newer homes in many regions (but not all) having much higher total radon. We have revealed an unknown “X factor” within environmental design practice across regions that is a major contributor to radon exposure, and our goal now is to understand this and develop solutions to protect the population. We aim to (i) identify modifiable behaviors and environmental design practices influencing chronic radon exposure in our changing world and (ii) define engineering and community intervention solutions applicable within the Canadian context to eliminate radon as a source of cancer in the future.

Land Access Strategies for New Farmers in Alberta

New farmers report that land access is the biggest barrier to entry they face. At the same time, older farmers looking to retire are wondering how to transfer their land to the next generation of farmers. This project will support research, consultations and surveys of new farmers, older farmers and land experts to better understand the land access and land transfer context in Alberta. Resources will be developed to support land access for new farmers and pilot workshops will test land access outreach and education approaches for new and older farmers.

Jobbers House – Repurposing and Upgrade Plan

The 100 year old house that stands next to the Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park Society office has remained empty since around 1957. It was part of the ranch upgrades carried out by Patrick Burns in 1918, and is one of only three buildings remaining from the Burns period, a significant time for the ranching industry in Canada. This house has been part of the charm of Fish Creek Park for three generations and is important to the community. However, this building is subject to demolition at the stroke of a pen. This project will look at the feasibility to renovate and repurpose this building to support the Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park Society’s growth, support community to provide a facility to serve as a hub for less established non-profit groups and ensure the survival of this piece of Calgary’s history.

Moving from Conversion to Conservation: Stopping the Loss of Agricultural Lands in Alberta

This initiative will look at the challenges and opportunities for moving from conversion to conservation of agricultural lands which will result in a primer on agricultural lands law and policy in Alberta and a gap analysis to identify the legal challenges for conservation of agricultural lands. These reports will be conveyed to government, politicians, stakeholders and interested Albertans and will provide direct advice and support for emerging agricultural land conservation efforts.

Changing Our Community Through Story

By capturing, analyzing, better understanding and then translating the story of the new 45-unit home called Inclusio, Accessible Housing will be better positioned to share their learning with government funders and policymakers, corporate partners, and community organizations. The intention of this initiative is to combine the documentation of key learnings with employee learning and development opportunities, and to ensure these employees have the skills, knowledge, and tools required to share this story with other communities. When well-shared, this story will inspire others to create similar developments in Alberta.

ArtsCommon 118 Community Engagement

AREF funding will support the ECDC’s community engagement of Alberta Avenue around the project, design elements, foot print, economic impact, housing impact of the ArtsCommon 118 project, a two-facility Arts/Culture Hub with live work space for approx. 80 artists, retail/exhibition space, performance space, a rooftop farm and more.

Resiliency through Industry Partnerships

This project was created to explore and develop creative partnerships with the Real Estate Industry (e.g. Landlords, property owners, builders, and developers), secure much needed housing for young single mothers, fill vacancies in market rental housing, and support the community. The project will engage real estate development consultants to work with Highbanks’ Board of Directors to develop a vision and strategy for growth. It will also engage with industry to establish a partnership model building resiliency for both.


A study on implementing the psychology of aesthetics in affordable housing developments

Through an innovative approach, the ARDN’s Sustainable Housing Initiative (SHI) is creating the first ever building standard for developing affordable housing, which will act as a step by step guide for groups looking to replicate it. The creation of an affordable housing standard will not only redefine how affordable housing is developed and built, but will redefine how the broader community perceives new affordable developments. With the support of AREF, this new standard will be built on knowledge gathered through research that explores and tests how to incorporate the psychology of aesthetics when building affordable housing. The key goal is to improve the mental and physical health of tenants through the incorporation of the psychology of aesthetics.

Use of Native Wetland Plants and Floating Islands Systems for the Remediation of Contaminated Water

Water for Life is the key ingredient and vital for human survival throughout the world but remediation, preservation and conservation has become cost prohibitive. Environmentally sustainable management of stormwater, wastewater, filtering runoff and water from snow melt through a changing climate to ensure a continuous fresh water supply is the focus of this project. The use of native wetland plants and cost effective floating island technology to clean the water prior to safe release into natural waterways, preserves aesthetics and enhances natural functionality of water sources, as well as providing a medium for additional food production. Research, education, and demonstration through proof of concept are key components to change and success for a healthy environment and resulting land stewardship.

Smart Ag Digital Story Map

The creation of a multimedia Smart Ag Digital Story Map showcasing the application of science and technology for greater efficiencies in land use and water management, thus improving quality and quantity of food production (Smart Ag) at Olds College. With agriculture and agrifood production predicted to be the top drivers of Alberta’s future GDP growth, there is a need to tell the story of the learning, success and implementation of Smart Ag practices at Olds College to the wider Alberta community.

Collective Kitchens Programming

Food4Good has been providing support through innovative programming addressing food insecurity since 2013. We have recognized the need to increase our programming and would like to expand our collective kitchens to a monthly event. Collective kitchens are group cooking opportunities for 15-20 people to prepare healthy recipes together and take food home. Each participant leaves with 12-15 servings of food to last the week or freeze.

Sylvan Lake Sustainable Housing Initiative

This project was created to develop a sustainable housing strategy to identify housing needs and gaps within the community and propose innovative solutions to addressing affordable housing and aging-in-place challenges. The project will recommend new models for collaborative partnerships that could be implemented in our community to address housing challenges.



Advancements in Irrigation Agriculture for Economic/Community Development and Environmental Stewardship in Alberta

Irrigation agriculture provides the foundation for economic and community development as well as environmental stewardship in southern Alberta. This study will focus on the adoption of recent important advancements in irrigation agriculture (commonly referred to as ‘precision agriculture’) and implications for the ongoing benefits of irrigation in southern Alberta.

Effective Biodiversity Conservation and Municipal Innovation

In Alberta, municipal jurisdiction over the environment, generally, and biodiversity, specifically, is experiencing expansion as a result of amendments to the Municipal Government Act. This project explores the implications of this expansion.

Coping with the Pressures of Fragmentation and Conversion of Agricultural Land in Alberta

A province-wide survey will assess attitudes of Alberta residents and municipal authorities toward fragmentation, conversion, and conservation policy tools. This research will help Alberta’s developers, provincial and municipal governments to better manage the fragmentation and conversion of agricultural land. This project involves two work streams with different deliverables at different dates: one on attitudes towards land use and the different policy tools; the other on the economics of land use change and the GIS planning tools. Final results will be disseminated in parallel.

ReFraming the WaterShed

This project approaches watershed management for drought and flood resiliency from a Low Impact Development land-use perspective to literally build upon the success of the Piper Creek Restoration Agriculture Project. Conventional outreach activities by environmental non-profit organizations can be enhanced to deliver important lessons by offering hands-on experiential / skill-building learning that engages new audiences who otherwise would not be reached. Our initiative addresses watershed management through both active and passive rainwater and solar energy harvesting through a series of workshops that culminate in the raising of an open-air timber frame barn dubbed, “The Water Shed.”


Rural Routes to Climate Solutions – Online Resources and Broadcasting

The project is to create and publish a podcast series and website covering on-farm climate solutions—from solar power to better land management—in order to empower members of the rural community with the tools and understanding to be part of the clean energy economy of the future. This is an extension of an already existing program funded via the Alberta Government Community Environment Action Grant program to provide workshops and learning related to climate-positive agricultural and land-use practices.

New Energy Economy

With our New Energy Economy project, we will reflect investments (and the associated jobs) in energy efficiency, renewables and clean tech already happening within Albertan communities, create a uniquely Albertan energy-climate narrative that appreciates a diversity of perspectives, and build the skills and capacity of Albertans to effectively communicate about energy and climate. The result will be a discourse surrounding energy and climate that is less polarized and more informed.

Residential Tenancies Legal Information Program

The Residential Tenancies Legal Information Program is the best source of easy to understand, accessible and accurate legal information about landlord and tenant matters in Alberta. This program provides vital information to Albertans online, in print and in person. Funding of this program will enable CPLEA to continue reaching and responding to the needs of over 700,000 resource users (and growing) per year.

Building a Sustainable Non-Market Sector

Building a Sustainable Non-Market Real Estate Sector will help position housing providers for long-term sustainability and create capacity so that they can make strategic use of real estate assets. Based on feedback collected from the sector, we will develop training workshops and a speaker series for housing providers, empowering them to make use of strategies such as identifying redevelopment potential, real estate financing tools and investment strategies, or leveraging assets through strategic collaboration and partnerships.


Moderate-Income Calgarians’ Attitudes on Homeownership

In many other Canadian cities, most moderate-income jobs can accommodate a home purchase. In Calgary, it’s a little more challenging. The average price tag on a home in Calgary has increased greatly while salaries have not kept pace. We want to investigate three broad categories pertaining to moderate-income Calgarians who do not own a home:

  1. Are they renters for life or do they eventually want to buy?
  2. If they want to buy right now, what are the barriers (e.g. price too high, mortgage payments greater than rent, no down payment, lack of green options, waiting for right house)?
  3. Are there housing forms they would like to see that are not currently provided in the development community?

Environmental Recognition Program

The Alberta Emerald Foundation (AEF) is a unique and necessary charitable organization in Alberta. From celebrating environmental excellence during the Emerald Awards with 12 cross-sectoral categories and independent judges to recognizing the impact, innovation and achievements of Albertans through our Emerald Day events and Eco-Sharing. AEF shares these achievements and connects businesses, organizations and individuals which support environment to make a difference locally, provincially, nationally and internationally.


Watershed Legacy Program

OWC’s niche and ultimate goal of Connecting Urban and Rural Communities in the Oldman Watershed Legacy Program is to foster strong community ties between rural producers and urban consumers. Through rural community discussion sessions, OWC has gained a clear sense that the agricultural community feels misunderstood by their urban counterparts and wants to show the consumer that they can feel good about the food they eat, and the water they drink because of the best practices of agriculture. By bridging the gap and fostering strong community ties OWC can expand our capacity to help the agricultural community communicate their positive stories to the urban consumer, thus improving the producers social license, as well as the consumers understanding of food production and how the land and water is used.

Septic Sense: Solutions for Rural Living

The Septic Sense program is a multi-agency initiative being undertaken in order to implement and evaluate a coordinated and collaborative septic system operation and maintenance workshop program for rural residential landowners and realtors in Alberta. Septic Sense fills an important gap in education and will raise awareness about proper septic system maintenance to Albertans. Through education and awareness, this workshop series will enhance and protect water quality of source water in Alberta as well as homeowner property values.


Sustainable Action Canmore Client Package

The project is to update, improve, post and then reprint, our highly popular Sustainable Action Canmore booklet and online supporting materials which AREF helped us produce in the fall of 2013. The booklets were developed with the help of local Real Estate Professionals who wanted easily accessible local information on water, energy, transportation, garbage and recycling for their clients new to Canmore. The booklets are creatively wrapped and packaged together as newcomer packages with the AREF TNS Sustainability at Home Toolkit, the Town of Canmore Recycling brochure and the local public transit brochure. Packages are given out to clients by Real Estate Professionals, property managers, the Town of Canmore and other organizations and businesses.

Youth Water and Climate Change Summits

Two separate two-day youth summits programs: S3 – a regional program in Wood Buffalo related to sustainable living in the North targeting and junior high and high school students in Fort McMurray and surrounding areas. Navigate Youth Water Summit – a province-wide water and climate education and action summit aimed at student leaders from 20 Alberta high schools. An important focus for both programs be household/home/school water and energy efficiency – this will include tours of ‘NetZero’ housing, discussions of energy efficiency best practices. For the Wood Buffalo (S3) program we will also feature energy efficiency home (re)building post-2016 fires.

SpaceFinder Alberta

Expand SpaceFinder Alberta beyond Calgary and Edmonton, in partnership with Arts Habitat Edmonton, giving all Albertans access to this innovative online marketplace linking organizations with space to rent with those who need space.