Attainable Housing Strategy and Resources
The City of Saskatoon plays an important role in encouraging and facilitating the creation of housing in Saskatoon. While we do not build or operate housing, the Attainable Housing Program has administered a number of programs designed to increase the supply of both attainable (subsidized) rental housing and purpose built (market priced) rental housing, as well as entry-level homeownership options.
The City’s 2013-2022 Housing Business Plan has played a crucial role in encouraging and facilitating the creation of affordable housing in Saskatoon, through policy, incentives, research, partnerships and education. In 2023, the City will be undertaking the development and creation of a new Housing Strategy.
More information on the Housing Strategy and engagement opportunities will be posted as soon as possible.
Attainable Rental Housing
Rental housing is considered affordable if the rent charged is 30 percent or less of the tenant's income. Affordable rental units have received grants from the City, the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation and charitable organizations to ensure that the rent charged for these units is affordable to low income households.
Over twenty agencies have affordable rental units in Saskatoon ranging from emergency shelters to long term rental units. To qualify for affordable rental housing, your household income must be below the Saskatchewan Household Income Maximums (SHIMS) as shown in the table below (As of July 2023).
Some agencies use different income limits, so it is best to check with the agency to verify the income limits they are using. Here is a List of Affordable Rental Providers in Saskatoon.
If you currently rent, including from a non-profit organization, housing co-operative, or government-supported housing, and pay more than 50 per cent of your annual before-tax household income on shelter costs (rent and utilities), you may qualify for The Saskatchewan Housing Benefit, a monthly benefit that helps eligible Saskatchewan renters with their shelter costs. Additional information on the Saskatchewan Housing Benefit can be accessed through the following link https://www.saskatchewan.ca/residents/housing-and-renting/renting-and-leasing/saskatchewan-housing-benefit.
Affordable Housing Reserve
The City's housing programs are funded by the Affordable Housing Reserve, formerly known as the Social Housing Reserve.
The Reserve was initially set up in 1987 to provide a 5% municipal contribution to federal- and provincial-funded social housing projects. The amount was later increased to provide up to a 10% grant for a wider range of affordable housing projects.
Where does the Affordable Housing Reserve get its Funding?
Most of the funds in the Reserve have come from revenue generated on the sale of City-owned lands. The City of Saskatoon is the only City in Canada that has maintained and expanded its role as a land bank. This is not a levy on top of the sale price of land, but is a redirection of some of the profits from land sales.
How Much Funding has gone into the Affordable Housing Reserve?
Approximately, $14.4 million went into the reserve from 1987 to 2007 which supported the creation of over 2,400 housing units, including social (public) housing, private sector affordable housing, and new homeowner co-operatives.
Between 2008 and 2012, City Council allocated $14.9 million to the reserve which supported the creation of 2,534 housing units including transitional housing, affordable rental, affordable ownership, market rental and entry level units. Since 2013 $4 million has been allocated to the reserve.
The Affordable Housing Reserve is administered by City Staff who make recommendations to City Council regarding funding for specific projects.
Other Reserve Activities
The Affordable Housing Reserve has supported other activities related to building the capacity of the community to meet housing needs, including housing demonstration projects, housing research and business planning support through the Saskatoon Housing Initiatives Partnership.
A useful resource for information about housing in Saskatoon is the Housing Handbook. Housing bylaws in Saskatoon and the rights and responsibilities of renters and landlords are explained in the handbook. The handbook includes sections on homeownership and a list of agencies and organizations that operate affordable, transitional, emergency and seniors' rental housing. The contact information for affordable housing providers in Saskatoon is also available. A digital version of the Housing Handbook is available on this webpage and paper copies are available at City Hall and Saskatoon Public Libraries.
Housing Information for Newcomers to Canada
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) gives you the tools you need to make your housing decisions and find a safe, affordable home for your family. CMHC offers information in eight different languages on renting, buying and maintaining your home.
There is additional information about Saskatoon for newcomers available on the City's website.
Crime Free Multi-Housing Program
A number of rental properties in Saskatoon have been recognized by the Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) as committed to providing safe rental housing. They are certified by the Crime Free Multi-Housing (CFMH) program.