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Congregate living refers to a residence where four or more unrelated individuals occupy sleeping units in a building with shared access to cooking, laundry, or sanitary facilities.

About the Service

Congregate living refers to a residence where four or more unrelated individuals occupy sleeping units in a building with shared access to cooking, laundry, or sanitary facilities.

These facilities include Group Homes, Limited Group Homes, Lodging Houses, and Fraternity and Sorority houses.

These facilities are now recognized as commercial businesses operating in residential zones. Owner/operators are required to obtain a City of Edmonton Rental Accommodation business licence.

These changes do not currently affect how secondary suites and apartment buildings are regulated.

The Development Compliance Team is available to help answer any questions.

How Do I Obtain the Service?

A congregate living facility combined application form has been developed to streamline the application process. This combined application obtains the necessary information for the:

  • development permit, 
  • building permit, and 
  • rental accommodation business licence

If you currently own a building or lodging house in which four or more unrelated individuals occupy sleeping units in the building and share access to cooking, laundry or sanitary facilities, then you require a development permit, building permit, and rental accommodation business licence to continue operating.

If you operate a group home, fraternity or sorority house, then you require a development permit, building permit, and rental accommodation business licence to continue operating.

The Congregate Living Information Guide, along with the FAQ below, have more details. 

Fees

For a first time application the following fees apply:
Licence Fee: $230 effective February 1, 2017
High Risk Fire Inspection: $70 effective February 1, 2017
Consultation Fee: $74 effective February 1, 2017
Total: $374 effective February 1, 2017

Licence renewal fee: $230 effective February 1, 2017

Contact the City About This Service

Edmonton Service Centre

2nd Floor, 10111 104 Avenue NW
Edmonton, AB  T5J 0J4

Hours of Operation
Monday to Friday
8am to 4:30pm

Telephone

In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

Email developmentservices@edmonton.ca
FAQ
What do I need to operate a Group Home, Limited Group Home, Lodging House, or Fraternity and Sorority Houses?
They all require a Development Permit, Building Permit, and a Rental Accommodation business licence.
What other regulations apply to these types of housing facilities?

These types of accommodations will not be approved on sites that already support Major Home Based Businesses, Secondary Suites, Garden Suites or Garage Suites.

Group Homes, Limited Group Homes and Lodging Houses need to meet parking requirements.

Group Homes, Limited Group Homes, Lodging Houses, and Fraternity and Sorority Houses must also meet the threshold requirements. A maximum of three facilities per 1,000 persons shall be allowed in any neighbourhood. For example, if the population of a neighbourhood is 3,000, then a maximum of nine facilities are allowed.

Operators of Group Homes, Limited Group Homes, Lodging Houses, and Fraternity and Sorority Houses need to comply with the ‘Best Practices’ for Rental Accommodations Business Licences. Failure to do so can result in fines, licence suspensions and licence revocations.

What is the process to obtain a Development Permit, Building Permit, and a Business Licence?

The following processes must be completed to obtain the required permit:

  • Land use inspection conducted by the RCT team
  • Pre-application meeting with Safety Codes Officer and Development Officer
  • Development permit application
  • Building permit application
  • Rental Accommodation business licence application
If I already have a development permit, will I require a new one?
As long as you have a development permit for a Group Home, Limited Group Home, Lodging House, or Fraternity and Sorority House that matched your operation at the time it was issued and your operation has not changed since then, you will not be required to obtain a new Development Permit.
How do I know if I have a valid development permit?
To find out if you have a valid development permit, you can do a Search of Records.
If I already have a building permit, will I require a new one?

As long as you have a building permit for a Group Home, Limited Group Home, Lodging House, or Fraternity and Sorority House that matched your operation at the time it was issued and your operation has not changed since then, you will not be required to obtain a new building permit.

However, you may be required to obtain a development permit. It is recommended that you contact the Residential Compliance Team coordinator to discuss your property.

If I don’t have a business licence, will I need to apply for one?
Yes, you will need to obtain a Rental Accommodations Business Licence. The licence has to be renewed annually.
What happens if I don’t obtain the required permits and licence?
If you are operating without the required permits and licence you will be subject to enforcement actions such as a violation notice, fines, stop order, court injunction, and any remedial actions necessary, including being forced to shut down the operation.
In which zones are Limited Group Homes, Group Homes, Lodging Houses, and Fraternity and Sorority Houses allowed?
The zoning matrix shows where these housing facilities are considered permitted or discretionary uses, and in which zones they are not permitted.
How many residents are allowed in congregate living facilities?

The maximum number of residents in a Limited Group Home is six. The Development Officer can restrict the number of residents to less than the maximum where a lesser number is warranted.

In zones where Group Homes and Lodging Houses are Discretionary Uses, the maximum number of residents is six.

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