Incentives for Builders & Developers
Saskatoon City Council has set a target of 500 affordable dwelling units annually, to be achieved with the participation and partnership of numerous sectors including government-supported providers, financial institutions, developers, investors and faith-based groups.
The Housing Business Plan 2013 - 2022 describes programs and initiatives that the City of Saskatoon is pursuing in order to achieve this target.
Capital Funding & Property Tax Abatements
Eligible Affordable housing projects qualify for funding assistance in the form of a cash grant of 10% of the total project costs. Any affordable rental project that is provided on a non-profit basis is eligible to receive a 5-year abatement of the incremental increase in property taxes. Housing providers must apply to the Planning and Development Branch to be considered for the above incentives.
New to the Capital Funding program is funding assistance for the renovation of existing affordable rental housing. The City now offers eligible projects a capital contribution of up to 10% towards the cost of renovating existing affordable housing. Projects that will be considered for this program must have been in the affordable rental market for 10 or more years, and must incorporate upgrades that achieve a significant reduction in energy use. Applicants must also include a 10 year business plan demonstrating the financial sustainability of the proposed project over the long term. Housing providers can apply to the Planning and Development Department to be considered for the above incentives.
Mortgage Flexibilities Support Program
The Mortgage Flexibilities Support Program (MFSP) is a partnership between the City, Genworth Canada, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, and home builders. Through this initiative, a non-repayable 5% down payment grant is available to eligible homebuyers that are purchasing a home in a development that has been designated under the program. The builder contributes 3% towards the cost of the down payment grant, with the City contributing the remaining 2%.
Please be advised that homes designated under this program can only be sold to homebuyers below set income limits.
Home builders interested in having their project designated under this program should complete the Application for Developers and review Modesty Guidelines for home design. Builders with potential projects are encouraged to meet with City staff before submitting a proposal for information on funding capacity and to receive feedback on their project.
Land Pre-Designation Program
The City identifies sites in new City-owned neighbourhoods for housing that can be provided at low price points for affordable and Entry-level ownership opportunities. Once identified, these sites are made available to housing providers through a request for proposals (RFP) process.
New Zoning District for Entry-Level and Attainable Housing
The City has created a new zoning district (RMTN1) designed specifically for Entry-level and Affordable housing. This district may be applied in both new and existing neighbourhoods, and includes provisions for higher density that can reduce the cost per unit.
Direct Sale of City-owned Land for Attainable Housing Projects
The City has a policy in place that permits the direct sale of City-owned land to non-profit housing providers for specific affordable housing projects.
Housing providers must apply to the Planning and Development Division for consideration for a direct sale.
Priority Review of Approved Attainable Housing Projects
Permit applications for Affordable housing projects benefit from a priority review process which means that the reviewing branches and departments review these applications first. In order to receive Priority Review status, a housing project must be approved under at least one of the three programs above.
The Vacant Lot & Adaptive Re-Use Incentive Program is designed to encourage development on existing vacant or brownfield sites, and the reuse of vacant buildings in established areas of the city, including the Downtown, by providing financial and/or tax based incentives to owners of eligible properties. This incentive cannot be combined with the Mortgage Flexibilities Support Program.