Niagara Region will rebate development charges for builders of new market rental housing units in the City of St. Catharines.
Council approved the program during its meeting of July 26. The initiative will help increase the supply of rental stock and reduce vacancy rates locally with funding to support over 48 units per year for a total of almost 250 over five years.
Rebates will be given to developments that offer unit rents that are less than 175 per cent of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Average Market Rents.
Earlier this year, the Government of Ontario announced St. Catharines would receive $2.8 million over five years to fund this program aimed at encouraging construction of new, purpose-built rental housing.
The funding is part of a Ministry of Housing program that reimburses developers for development charges levied by municipalities to cover infrastructure upgrades associated with new development.
St. Catharines does not levy development charges, but collects fees on behalf of Niagara Region and the province. The new funding will be used to reimburse developers of new purpose-built properties in St. Catharines for the regional and education portion of development charges they pay.
Applications open July 30, 2018 at noon. Approvals will initially be granted on a first come, first serve basis.
Other program requirements include:
"The Development Charges Rebate Program will support developers to create new rental units that will help individuals and families to find housing in our community. Adding new rental housing to Niagara will give residents more options when looking for a home and create communities that are dynamic and vibrant."
~ Alan Caslin, Niagara Regional Chair
"St. Catharines is a growing city and this funding will help ensure we continue to grow in an affordable way so that people can continue to live, work and invest here. The DC rebate will enhance the work we are already doing with Niagara Regional Housing, the St. Catharines Housing Action Plan, and provide incentives for developers and home builders to be a part of the housing solution."
~ Walter Sendzik, Mayor, St. Catharines
905-980-6000 ext. 3747