Calgary extends Secondary Suites Amnesty Program until 2026

Calgarians who want to construct a secondary suite in the home will be able to cash in on a municipal program for another two years.

City council voted unanimously to extend the program — which waives development permit and registration fees for secondary suites — through 2026.

“Since the beginning of the Amnesty Program in 2018 we have seen a significant increase in the number of safe, legal suites registered with The City. Currently there are over 11,000 suites on the Registry,” Brenda Desjardins, director of development, business and building services with the city, said in a statement.

“Legal and registered suites provide safe and affordable housing choices for renters and owners.”

A secondary suite is a seperate living space located in a home, often found in the basement. It has seperate living, cooking, sleeping, and bathroom facilities from the main residence.

The city says secondary suites are allowed in most low-density residential districts.

Owners of a suite built before March 2018 must make sure their existing suites meet the minimum life safety requirements, the city says.

This explains providing a bedroom window exit, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, a protected exit route from the basemet to the exterior, drywall barriers between suites and drywall barriers in the mechanical room.

“We encourage everyone with a secondary suite to make it safe and legal,” Ulrik Seward, manager of business and building safety approvals. “We encourage everyone to pull the right permits and meet the necessary safety code requirements. This will ensure that a secondary suite is safe for others to live in.”

Renters can make sure their secondary suite is compliant by checking the Secondary Suites Registry, an online map that shows all registered suites in Calgary.

More information about developing a new secondary suite or legalizing an existing suite is available on

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