Affordable housing from Oshawa to Hamilton to be exempt from some development charges – Province

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Published June 3, 2024 at 10:20 am

affordable housing

Local government will now have to exempt new housing units from development charges if the units rent for under the affordable housing threshold, a definition determined by the provincial government using both market prices and household income as a base.

In Oshawa that means new bachelor units renting for $1,068 per month will be exempt from some or all development charges. The figures increase to $1,425 for one-bedroom units, $1,653 for two-bedrooms and $1,940 for three or more-bedroom units.

The threshold for the other six municipalities in Durham Region is set at $1,036 for bachelor units, with the development charge break for builders ranging from $1,129 for one-bedroom units in Scugog to $2,224 for a three-bedroom home in Ajax.

The thresholds in Hamilton are $1,017 (bachelor), $1,326 (one-bedroom), $1,543 (two-bedrooms) and $1,670 (three or more).

The numbers reflect only the base rent for the units.

New homes are also exempt from some development charges if it sells for under $362,900 (Oshawa), $384,200 (Brock), $459,900 (Scugog), $470,700 (Clarington), $495,800 (Ajax), $499,400 (Pickering) and $517,400 (Whitby and Uxbridge).

Under the More Homes Built Faster Act, the Province made changes to the Development Charges Act that would exempt affordable housing units from development-related charges. The goal, according to the provincial housing ministry, is to make it “cheaper and easier” to build affordable homes, since development-related charges can add $100,000 or more to the cost of a single-family home.

The changes, while giving some incentive for builders to add more affordable housing to the mix, have made it difficult for local municipalities to make growth pay for growth, with costs for services in new developments like sewer, water and roads, now being borne by taxpayers instead of developers.

The bill was passed last September, with the income and market rent threshold numbers released last week. The legislation went into effect June 1.

The province said the updated definition would “more closely align” with what the Conservative government believes to be affordable, which is when the purchase price is less than 30 per cent of a low- or moderate-income household’s annual income or is at least 10 per cent below the average price of a resale home.

“This proposed legislation will increase the supply of affordable housing across Ontario and make it easier for people to find a home that truly meets their needs and their budgets,” Housing Minister Paul Calandra said when the legislation was announced.

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