Council Embraces New Multi-Family Development Incentive Package
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.