Secondary Suite Initiative


Secondary suites are widely recognized as an important means of increasing a municipality's housing supply while satisfying the demand for affordable rental accommodation. 

Benefits of secondary suites:

  • Increased supply of low-income housing, for which Lacombe has a demand
  • Provides opportunities for affordable home ownership, by providing affordable options for renters to save for home ownership or allowing property owners to subsidize the cost of their property
  • Increases housing supply within existing city boundaries, utilizing existing infrastructure
  • Gently increases density without disrupting neighbourhood character

Secondary suites need to be regulated to: 

  • Ensure the safety of both the residents in the suite and the home by ensuring that the Alberta Building Code is met
  • Provide local emergency services the location of these residences so that they can appropriately respond to incident calls on site
  • Ensure that the supply of suites within a neighbourhood compliments the overall character of the neighbourhood

Regulation of secondary suites

The regulation of secondary suites occurs in three key ways:


  1. Enforcement of existing, unauthorized suites:
    • In 2010, the City of Lacombe developed an enforcement program to ensure existing, unauthorized secondary suites meet the safety requirements of the Alberta Building and Fire Code. 
    • If you have an existing secondary suite, you are responsible for ensuring that it complies with provincial safety regulations and City of Lacombe bylaws. Inspections and potential suite closures of unauthorized suites began in 2010.
  2. The regulations for developing new or converting existing suites, contained in both the Land Use Bylaw and the Alberta Safety Codes.