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.
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 4% towards the cost of the down payment grant, with the City contributing the remaining 1%.
Please be advised that homes designated under this program can only be sold to homebuyers below set income limits. Home-buyers will need to be within the Maximum Income Limits (MIL), which are currently set as follows, one person: $70,050, two persons: $74,720, one dependent: $79,390, two dependents: $84,060, three or more dependents: $88,730. These limits are subject to annual change.
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.
New Rental Construction Land Cost Rebate Program
The City of Saskatoon has allocated funding under the New Rental Construction Land Cost Rebate Program to encourage the construction of new market rentals, 400 new units are to be completed in 2017. Incentives offered include:
- Up to $5,000 per unit capital grant, depending on final assessment
- Five year incremental property tax abatement
- Program Requirements:
- Multiunit Construction
- Units must remain on the rental market for 15 years
Note: The City is not currently taking applications for the New Rental Construction Land Cost Rebate Program.
HeadStart on a Home Program
The HeadStart on a HomeProgram helps to finances construction of Entry-Level homes. The Credit Union partners in to provide purchasers with down payment assistance through the HeadStart Equity Builder Program.
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 Affordable 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.
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 in 2018.
Direct Sale of City-owned Land for Affordable 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 Affordable 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.