On Wednesday, October 18th, members of the region’s corporate services committee agreed unanimously to waive approximately $1 million in development charges for our new housing development.
These development charges would total about $3.5 million over 25 years. Penn Terra, developer of the project, has stated that these fee breaks are needed to make the 128-unit building financially feasible.
As non-profit housing providers, there is very minimal access to capital development funds to build rental affordable housing.
Lori Beech, Executive Director of Bethlehem Housing, says, “Property values and the cost of building housing developments are increasing at a fast pace. We are being asked to innovate and modernize our approach to the provision of social housing while trying to motivate private sector developers to get involved.”
The Niagara Region Council and Municipal governments have listened and collaborated to vote unanimously to change bylaws that will create municipal tools as incentives for private sector developers to invest in affordable housing development.
Beech adds, “This is a game-changer. Although there will be a loss of municipal revenue, the economic cost of homelessness and a severe lack of affordable housing results in a much greater cost to a community and all taxpayers.”
Click here to read the full article by Niagara This Week.