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Secondary suites polling shows strong support among Calgarians
ZINC Research conducts poll for University Calgary Student Union
A poll released today by the University of Calgary Students’ Union shows that 79 per cent of Calgarians support the legalization of existing secondary suites, a popular form of student housing, while only 12 per cent oppose the proposed changes coming before City Council on Monday, March 7th. Even more remarkable was the willingness of Calgary homeowners to accept their next door neighbours building legal suites, where 77 per cent supported the idea and only 16 per cent opposed it.

“This research also confirms that 75 per cent of Calgarians support the development of new secondary suites in their own neighbourhoods and that the safety of Calgarians living in suites should be the focus of Monday’s debate at city council,” said Hardave Birk, Vice President External for the University of Calgary Students’ Union. 91 per cent of Calgarians agreed with the statement: in discussing new rules for suites, the safety of tenants living in existing suites should be the most important consideration.
Questions about regulations for suites also highlighted the safety issues with existing suites where 91 per cent of Calgarians thought that compliance with building and fire codes should be mandatory. As for other mandatory regulations, 55 per cent support a requirement for on-site (off street) parking while only 44 per cent support the proposed owner occupancy requirement.
The polling also showed a disconnect between the views of some community associations and the residents of those communities. Only 7 per cent of Calgarians knew the position of their community associations on the secondary suites issue.
“Our poll also includes seven ward by ward breakdowns for the Aldermen that either publicly oppose secondary suites or whose support is uncertain. The Students’ Union wanted to ensure that these Aldermen had real representative data about their ward's opinion on secondary suites to consider, instead of skewed sample they've heard from directly on the phone or via e-mail and referenced in their comments in the media,” said Hardave. “We hope this information positively influences Council’s decision on Monday.”

The University of Calgary Students’ Union advocates on behalf of over 25,000 undergraduates on issues affecting students, including safe affordable housing.

“Calgary Secondary Suites Survey” was conducted by ZINC Research on behalf of the Students’ Union, University of Calgary. The survey was conducted to assess the following: conditions/regulations considered important for City approval; support/opposition for legalizing existing and upgraded secondary suites; and, awareness and support for the Mayor’s, Aldermen’s and Community Associations’ position on secondary suites.

This survey was conducted between February 24 to March 2, 2001, via an online poll (using a 3rd party sample provider) of 900 Calgarians (adults, 18 years+), and a telephone survey of 685 Calgarians residing in specific wards of interest (Wards 1, 2, 5, 6, 10, 13 and 14). The sample is census representative by ward, gender and age. Hybrid methodologies of online panels and telephone have been recognized to deliver accurate results and circumvent the declining use on landlines. Based on global tracking, approximately 89% of Calgarians have access to the Internet (Highest in Canada, Source: Statistics Canada, 2010), and this hybrid methodology is considered representative of Calgary’s population.

To view poll results, click here.

For information on research methodology and protocols, contact:
Brian F. Singh
President, ZINC Research
(404) 269-7526

For further information, please contact:
Hardave Birk
(403) 700-6682
Andrew McIntyre
(403) 629-5263