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Summerside looking to incentives affordable housing builds

A woman snaps a photo of Summerside City Hall in this undated photo.
A woman snaps a photo of Summerside City Hall in this undated photo.

SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. - The City of Summerside is launching an Affordable Housing Incentive Program in response to the province’s ongoing housing crunch.

Council unanimously passed and adopted Phase 1 of the two-part program during its Monday, Jan. 21 council meeting.

Summerside city Coun. Carrie Adams
Summerside city Coun. Carrie Adams

Coun. Carrie Adams, chairwoman of the bylaw and policy review committee, introduced the motion and spoke about the city’s intention to be a partner with the provincial and federal governments on the housing file.

Affordable housing is technically not something that falls under the mandate of P.E.I. municipalities, but there has been a strong push from other levels of government, among others, to get them more directly involved.

“Phase 1 is immediate. Phase 2 will be more like ‘how long are we going to be do this for,’ and ‘what do we have more long-term to offer?',” said Adams. 

Phase 1 of the program encompasses things the city has direct control over and can influence without outside involvement.

Some of those initiatives include grants providing property tax relief for up to 10 years, waiving regular permit fees on new housing starts, bonus incentives for building in the downtown and potentially granting city-owned land to new developments. 

There would be caveats for each of those incentives, such as each project must be applied to affordable housing as described by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

As for Phase 2 of the program, Adams said that is still a work in the progress. The city will be setting up a task force and meeting with stakeholders and funding partners to come up with some solid incentives to attract builds here.

There is no timeline yet as to when Phase 2 might be implemented, though Adams said council was hoping quickly get started.

No estimate as to how much Phase 1 might cost the city was available Monday night. 

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