Winnipeg: Applications open for new downtown residential housing tax credits
Developers interested in creating new downtown residential-housing units can apply today for a new round of city-provincial tax credits.
In June, city council approved a new downtown-housing incentive program to piggy-back on a fully subscribed, $40-million city-provincial grant program that helped build approximately 1,300 units, most of them condominiums.
The new program won’t offer grants up front, but will allow developers of pre-approved projects to receive a rebate of any property-tax increase that results from the improvements to their land or buildings.
The new incentive program is aimed at stimulating the creation of 750 to 900 rental-apartment units. It offers developers a de-facto property tax freeze for a minimum of 12 years for constructing rental units in specific areas of the downtown.
The tax freeze would be extended for another four years if the project is built in a strategic area with high visibility that supports adjacent development. The freeze can be extended an additional two years if the project is constructed on an existing surface parking lot – and yet another further two years if the project includes a parkade.
Developers must set aside a minimum of 10 per cent of the rental units for what city planners call “affordable housing” – rents geared to median market rental rates, as determined by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp – for five years.
Eligible projects must include a minimum of five rental units and devote 80 per cent of the space to residential housing.
Projects within the 11-block sports, hospitality and entertainment district around MTS Centre aren’t eligible because another tax-incentive program already covers this area.
Story by: Winnipeg Free Press – ONLINE EDITION