Land Use Changes and Secondary Suites with CAIP

The Calgary Aging in Place Co-operative (CAIP) is a not-for profit Co-operative working to assist every day folks as they age. Though our focus is on seniors, we welcome members of any age.



Formed in October 2015, our Co-operative believes that as a member you get to help determine what happens within the Co-operative. We believe members should make the decisions about what services we provide and what cost is reasonable for those services.



Many of our members have faced pressures to leave their home because of safety concerns, inability to keep up with yard work or house work, and increasing costs including taxes and utility costs.



Our goal at CAIP is to remove all barriers, so you can age gracefully, in your own home.



Step 1: Membership in the Cooperative



Join the co-operative a service recipient member. This will give you access to our basic services as you go through the steps toward a suite development.



Step 2: Initial Meeting



Meet with a member of the board to discuss the process outlined here and have any of your questions answered ahead of time.



NOTE: Your road to a secondary suite will start at different steps here depending on your current land use designation (RC-1 start at step 3, RC-1s or RC-2 start at step XX), the type of property you have, and the current build form of the property. Visit to see details about the process and use the Property Information Tool on the page to find out what your current land use designation is.



Step 3: Delegation of Representative and Fee Payment

Enter into an agreement with CAIP via a delegation letter to allow the cooperative to make a land use application on your behalf. Photos of the property, both front and back, will be taken at this time which will form part of the application.

A fee of $350 is required to proceed with the application work at this time.



Step 4: Application Package Preparation


After receiving the delegation letter and fee, CAIP will gather the documents to meet the City’s requirements and will complete the application. CAIP will also work on the letter of intent for the application and may need to correspond with you about the content.



Step 5: Application Review



Look over the final application to ensure it is factual and a true representation of your intentions and the property.



Step 6: Talk with your Neighbors



Once the application goes to the City, a letter will be sent to all properties around you which would be considered as affected by the land use change. It is essential to speak to those who will receive a letter ahead of time to let them know your intention and allow them a chance to ask questions. CAIP representatives are happy to come with you to see your neighbors, to provide a handout to explain what we are doing, and/or prepare a letter of support for signature by neighbors.



Step 7: Application Submission



Once the application is complete, CAIP will submit it to the City and work with the file manager to ensure any missing information is provided and all questions are answered. The application will make its way through the City process going first to Calgary Planning Commission (2-4 months) and then to a Public Hearing with City Council (4-8 months).



Step 7: Attend the Public Hearing



Once the date has been set for the Public Hearing, plan to attend with the CAIP representative. At the meeting, CAIP will speak on behalf of your application and you have the option to speak as well. Based on the outcome of the Public Hearing you will either stop your process here (i.e. the land use changes was not approved) or move forward toward putting in your suite.



Step 8: Planning for a suite



After your application for a land use change has been approved or if you already have a parcel zoned for a secondary suite you will need to meet with a CAIP representative and the CAIP approved contractor who will be performing the work. To prepare for this meeting please consider the following questions;



  1. Consider the type of suite you would like to have. Options include a basement suite, garden suite or an above garage suite also known as a carriage house. Check out the examples below from
  2. Consider how you would like to finance the project. Would you like to work with the Co-op on alternate financing options or would you like to seek tradition financing from a bank.
  3. Consider your timelines for a build/renovation and share them honestly with CAIP. It is important to consider family events and travel plans in the near term.
  4. Consider what your off ramps to the project are and what is not negotiable.



At the meeting, the contractor will inspect the property including looking at plumbing and electrical, current built form and discuss your vision with you. At this time they will be able to give you a ballpark figure for the different options. If you are comfortable with the cost, CAIP will work with you to make a plan moving forward including financing, project drawings and costing and reviewing the City process based on your decisions. (i.e. some suites can go straight to the building permit stage while others must go through a development permit phase.) as well as the associated timelines.



Step 9: Formally enter into a contract for construction/renovation



Once you have made the decision to go ahead with construction/renovation CAIP will enter into a contract with you and a separate one with the contractor. Contracts will be individualized based on the project and require a deposit of $5000.



You are protected through CAIP as your agreement is with the co-operative and the co-operative’s agreement is with the contractor. The agreement should not be entered into lightly. The contractor will begin work on planning and pre-construction as soon as it is signed.



Step 10: Check in meetings and ongoing suite work.



This step may take anywhere from 1 month to 1 year depending on the scope of the project. The member, CAIP, and the contractor working on the project will meet as needed to discuss the work and progress. Once the project is complete and the work has been signed off by the City, we will register the suite on the Secondary Suite registry.



Step 11: Seek a tenant and sign a tenant



CAIP will work with the member to come up with term of tenancy and seek an appropriate tenant on your behalf. The contract, like the project will have CAIP as the go between with both the tenant agreement and the property management agreement made with the cooperative. Enjoy your new source of income!



DID YOU KNOW? Secondary suites benefits*

Home owner People Community City
  • Choice to invest in your home.
  • Boosts income and helps pay down a mortgage.
  • Enables extended family to live nearby by providing accommodations for elderly parents, disabled family members or children.
  • Allows seniors to remain in their home and community while on a fixed income.
  • Downsize space without moving out of your neighbourhood.
  • Often increases the value of your property for re-sale.
  • Increases the places people can live and afford.
  • Unlike many apartment units, secondary suites are primarily ground-oriented and have access to a yard.
  • Homes with secondary suites are often in established neighbourhoods near schools, parks, recreation centres, and other amenities.
  • Legal and safe secondary suites have met all the requirements under Alberta’s Safety Codes Act (building, trade and fire codes).
  • Suites help maintain a community’s population with modest growth.
  • Maximizes the use of existing infrastructure in a neighbourhood.
  • Community population is stabilized without significantly changing the character of existing neighbourhoods.
  • Neighbourhoods have more housing options for families, helping bring children back into areas where school enrollment has declined.


  • Improves safe rental stock.
  • Population stability results in better use of land and City services, like transit.
  • Creates choice in Calgary’s housing market, helping to attract and retain employees in Calgary.




Please Fill Out The TW Feeds Slider Configuration First