As Calgary continues to grow and evolve, the need for multifamily housing developments becomes increasingly vital to accommodate our expanding population and diversifying housing needs. However, these developments are often met with local community concerns and opposition that can pose challenges. 

Read on to learn more about these common concerns, along with insight into how developers can work collaboratively with communities to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.

Community Concerns of Multifamily Homes in Calgary

The first step in navigating the complexities of multifamily developments is to understand the root of community concerns, so let’s explore these first. Common issues Calgary residents often express include:

  • Increased Traffic: More residents mean more vehicles, which can lead to congested streets and parking difficulties.
  • Environmental Impact: Concerns about green space, wildlife, and local ecosystems are often at the forefront of community discussions.
  • Aesthetic Changes: Changes to the neighborhood’s look and feel can worry long-standing residents.
  • Infrastructure Strain: There can be concerns about the adequacy of existing infrastructure to support additional residents.
  • Lack of Affordable Housing: This type of housing is increasing in price, making it more difficult for low-income families to buy a home or find a rental property.
  • Inadequate Parking Solutions: Multifamily homes can exacerbate parking issues, with inadequate parking facilities leading to overflow on neighborhood streets and frustration among residents.
  • Enlarged Building Scale: The larger massing of multifamily buildings, especially when placed next to bungalows or smaller-scale neighbors, can overshadow these homes, potentially devaluing them and disrupting the existing architectural harmony of the area.
    Homes depicting new housing bylaws in Calgary Alberta

    Benefits of Multifamily Housing

    Though there will be issues and concerns in the community about new multifamily units, many benefits accompany them. 

    • Economic Growth: Multifamily developments can bring jobs and additional business to local areas, boosting the economy.
    • Diverse Housing Options: They provide a range of housing options that can make living in Calgary more accessible to various demographics.
    • Community Enhancements: Developments often come with improvements to local infrastructure and public spaces.

    Understanding these benefits allows you to relay information to the concerned community for better clarity and enhanced project success.

    Navigate Building Multifamily Homes Amidst Concerns

    It’s important to listen to community concerns when building multifamily homes. The project you develop should take these concerns into account. But how can you strike a perfect harmony between development and community? 

    There’s a tactful way to approach it, and it starts with community engagement.

    Engage with the Community

    Engaging with the community early and often is crucial when building multifamily homes. You can foster a positive relationship through:

    • Community Meetings: Hold open forums where residents can express their concerns, ask questions, and provide feedback.
    • Transparent Communication: Offer clear, consistent information about the development process, timelines, and potential impacts.
    • Partnerships with Local Leaders: Work with community leaders and elected officials to ensure all voices are heard and considered.

    Address Concerns Through Design and Planning

    It’s normal for people to fear change—especially if they’re happy with the way their neighbourhood is designed. However, smart design can alleviate many concerns associated with multifamily developments and bring solutions to problems many neighbourhoods face. This can include:

    • Traffic and Parking Solutions: Consider implementing adequate parking solutions and supporting public transit to reduce traffic increases.
    • Environmental Preservation: Integrate green building practices and maintain as much open space as feasible to minimize ecological disruptions.
    • Aesthetic Integration: Design buildings that complement the existing neighborhood’s architectural style to blend new developments seamlessly.

    With our extensive experience in multifamily developments, we assure you that we are well-equipped to navigate both community concerns and city approval processes effectively. Our proactive approach in addressing these aspects through thoughtful design and planning can significantly smooth the path to successful project realization.

    Share Case Studies and Success Stories

    Sharing success stories where Calgary multifamily developers have successfully integrated multifamily units into communities can be particularly powerful. 

    For instance, if a recent development in Northeast Calgary worked closely with residents to design a traffic plan that addressed concerns about increased vehicles while also adding new parkland to preserve green spaces, it would be a great idea to bring this to light.

    Striking a balance between your plans as a developer and the needs of the community is possible, but starting a conversation is key. While you may initially be met with hesitation, approaching developments with tact and ingenuity can help build confidence and trust.

    Designing a Multifamily home

    Building Multifamily Homes Together

    The path to successful multifamily housing in Calgary involves understanding and addressing community concerns. This is made possible through thoughtful engagement and innovative planning. 

    By fostering open dialogue, respecting the community’s needs, and emphasizing the benefits, developers can enhance their projects’ success and contribute positively to Calgary’s growth and livability.

    For developers in Calgary, your approach to community engagement can be just as important as the quality of your construction. Contact Ellergodt Design today to learn more about multifamily home design in Calgary.


    What is a multifamily home?

    A multifamily home is a residential building with multiple separate housing units within the same structure. They are designed to accommodate more than one family living independently. 

    Types of multifamily homes include apartments, condominiums, townhouses, and duplexes. Each unit has its own kitchen, bathroom, and living space, though there may be some shared common areas.

    Is multifamily real estate a good investment?

    Multi family real estate can be a good investment property for several reasons, particularly for those looking to generate steady income and build long-term wealth through rental income. These developments have great appreciation potential and tax benefits, though they can come with challenges.