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Council Embraces New Multi-Family Development Incentive Package

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 @ 3:59 AM


Primary and secondary  growth areas  for  incentive package – image courtesy City of Prince George

Prince George, B.C.-  There is a new incentive for  the development of multi-family  dwellings in Prince George.

Prince George City Council has approved a  program that would  give  5 or ten year  tax exemptions  for multi- family units that  meet certain  criteria.

The  incentives  designed to  correct the mismatch in housing options in Prince George as  there is  a shortage of  multi family dwellings,  and a shortage of affordable  housing, especially for seniors.

For a 10 year  break,  the development  must be   built in a  primary area ( denoted in green in the  image above).  The  area were selected because  they are serviced by transit and are close  to amenities such as grocery stores, medical services .  Five year exemptions would be  available for  projects in the secondary (pink) areas noted on the image above.

But building  the project in a certain area is not the only  criteria.  To qualify, the development must involve three or more units, each unit must have a private balcony or porch or access to a green space.   The project must  have a minimum value of $300 thousand dollars and meet  all design standards.  One half of the units must be “adaptable” in that they have wider hallways, and the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom on the main floor must have a 1.5 m turning radius  plus  lever-type door hardware.

For  non profits,  there is a potential for development cost charges to be waived if the project meets all of the  tax exemption  requirements, plus be non profit housing, and  agree to a covenant  that limits tenancy for 10 years.

There is also  an opportunity for some other reductions  if the project  meets certain environmental criteria and  there is a proposal  before the Northern Development Initiative Trust that would  see an  incentive of $5,000 per door if the multi units are seniors housing within the preferred areas.  That proposal will be discussed by NDIT in February with a decision to be made  at that time.

“I’m  extremely pleased with this” says Mayor Lyn Hall  “We heard loud and clear (during community consultations) about seniors housing, about affordable housing, and think that there needs to be a mechanism in place so we are competitive with the market, and this ( incentive package) hits the nail on the head.”

Mayor Hall says  the package will help not only local developers, but those from out of town who  are looking for opportunities who can  find incentive packages elsewhere.   He also says it will go far to  keeping Prince George residents  in Prince George “Those folks   who want to move into a smaller footprint home can  do so here,  they don’t  have to think about  moving out of Prince George, they can stay here  and they can access this kind  of development in their  backyard.  So now, , quite often they start talking about leaving Prince George  and  moving to other communities.”

The Mayor says this incentive package will make Prince George a competitive market  when it comes  to development of affordable and seniors housing.


$300 thousand dollars and meet all design standards is an affordable retirement housing solution?

Posted on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 @ 8:01 AM by Loki with a score of 0

$300 thousand dollars and meet all design standards is an affordable retirement housing solution?


My first thought as well. I’d really like to see the study that said this was feasible.

Knowing this city, they probably just took the word of some smooth talking developer.

Nevermind about the tax paying, hard working, families in single family dwellings. You work hard for a roof over your head, then you get taxed so much that you can’t afford nor enjoy the roof over your head. This will Only benefit investors from lower mainland buying PG properties, retrofitting them and benefitting from high rent with a tax break. C’mon PG city coucil! Give your heads a shake!

This was about time, we need to encourage multi family dwellings in our city, way below average.

As for the 300k… I think it refers to the total cost of development, specifically, to stop developers from buying a house and renovating it just to receive the incentive. (Of course, if they spend 300k renovating a house they likely aren’t going to make money from it.)

This is meant for Town/Row houses or condo buildings. So in that sense, makes a lot of sense.

Seems to me the $300,000.00 is the minimum for a three unit or more project. That’s how I read it.

forgive me, but I’m not seeing where the $300K is mentioned! Nor am I seeing where this could be applied to a renovation. It seems pretty clear that this only applies to newly built multi family complexes (minimum 3 units) in the designated areas. Besides, $300K for 3 units is going to be pretty modest accommodations!

The city’s website in regards to the proposal on Nov/30 shows the provincial stats from 2011 and PG stats from 2011 (Almost 4 years ago). Why was there not more digging done to bring in more correct numbers? Why not use cities that are closer to the size of PG?

How does one get 50% of 3 units to be Adaptable Units?

Under their heading of options are:

1 Infill Housing
2 Duplex Mid-Rise Apartment
3 Row/Townhouse
4 Narrow Lot House
5 Laneway House
6 Estate Lots
7 Secondary Suites
9 Mobile Homes
9 Seniors Communities
10 Shelters & Temporary Housing

What I find amusing is Secondary Suites and Mobile Homes in the equation. Does the city not already have problems with these?

Anyone know if Lombardy trailer court was approached by a developer or two since spring time? I believe there is also another trailer park that cannot move any new trailers into it thus limiting the owners business. But certain others can still bring in older trailers and fix them up to rent out?

Did the researchers not look into other areas of the province that are increasing trailer parks for seniors due to affordability to seniors?

I support this idea as long as there is not over-saturation of units like the Upland Street area. There should be a limit of how many units are allowed within close proximity to each other. We do have a need for affordable housing for seniors, low-income families and people with disabilities. Keep them small and manageable, and they will be a great asset to the city.

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