April 08, 2002

Grant program to offset development charges for non-profit affordable housing

NEWMARKET To help stimulate a new supply of affordable housing, York Regional Council recently passed a motion making non-profit corporations eligible for grants equivalent to the Region's development charges for the development of affordable housing units. Each application for a conditional grant will be brought forward to Council for approval.

"This is the first phase in implementing a strategy to increase the supply of affordable housing in York Region," said Regional Chair Bill Fisch. "The next step will involve the private sector."

Development charges (DCs) are the primary funding sources for financing Regional growth-related capital expenditures such as transportation, water, sewer and general services. Any grant equivalent to York Region's DCs to help generate the development of non-profit housing will be funded by the Region's Social Housing Reserve fund.

York Region's DC for two bedroom apartments and townhouses are currently $6,479 and $8,833 per unit respectively. Total DCs (including local municipality and school board DCs) range from $11,000 to $18,000.

Based on current mortgage rates, the Region's development charges of $6,479 adds approximately $30 to $40 to the monthly operating cost of a two-bedroom unit in order to pay for the amortization of this amount. Waiving the cost of the charge of a new rental unit reduces the overall carrying cost of that unit and the non-profit housing sponsor would be able to rent that unit at a reduced rental rate.

Like other major cities in Ontario and across Canada, York Region is facing a demand for new low-income housing. York Region is developing a strategy to increase the supply of affordable housing that will include creative tools and solutions. One of the tools identified is to eliminate development charges for affordable housing development. Area municipalities and school boards will be requested to adopt similar policies to encourage the development of affordable housing.

York Region's Housing Supply Strategy will be reviewed by Regional Council in June.

For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, the services we offer and links to our nine area municipalities, please visit our Web site at: www.region.york.on.ca.


Contact: Wendy Lewis, Corporate Communications Services, York Region

- (905) 830-4444 or 1-877-464-9675, ext. 1238

- Email: wendy.lewis@region.york.on.ca

The Regional Municipality of York is committed to providing cost-effective, quality services that respond to the needs of our rapidly growing communities.  York Region is comprised of the following nine area municipalities:  Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville.  For more information, visit our Web site at:  www.region.york.on.ca

Contact: Patrick Casey, Senior Media Relations Specialist, York Region

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