New incentives to encourage rental housing development in Kingston

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By Robin MacLennan

Ottawa Construction News staff writer

Applications are open for Kingston’s new Community Improvement Plan, which offers property tax incentives to encourage new rental housing development in the city.

“Addressing the housing crisis and supporting housing affordability requires a lot of new homes but also a wider range of housing types including rental units,” said Paige Agnew, commissioner of growth and development services. “As the city we don’t build new homes but we create conditions to support its growth, this plan helps create conditions for more rental housing growth.

“With high interest rates and other economic headwinds, housing starts are way down in Kingston and across the province, so this incentive program is aimed at getting more shovels in the ground faster.”

Developers can apply to the program through Dec. 31, 2026. Applications can be submitted online or in-person at 1211 John Counter Blvd.

To qualify, the following conditions must be met:

  • Development must be within the urban boundary, create a new rental apartment building of seven or more rental units, and result in an increase in property taxes.
  • At the time of application, property taxes must be in good standing.
  • The property must not be exempt from paying property taxes.
  • Must be eligible for and obtain full building permits between May 31, 2024 and December 31, 2026.
  • Must be eligible for and obtain occupancy permits and address all building deficiencies within three years of the receipt of full building permit.
  • The property cannot be subject to fire or building code orders.

The Community Improvement Plan is split into three incentive programs, but they are not mutually exclusive and developers can apply for more than one.

Tax increment equivalent grant program 

  • Provides a property tax grant equivalent to 50 per cent of the municipal portion of incremental property taxes (the difference between pre-construction and post-construction taxes) for two years following occupancy of the new rental apartment buildings. The property owner will be required to enter into an agreement with the City to maintain the units as rental units for a minimum of 15 years following occupancy.

Vacant land Ttx program

  • Provides a property tax grant equivalent to 100 per cent of the municipal portion of the property tax for the vacant property while an eligible rental apartment building is under construction, for a maximum period of two years.

Affordable rental incentive

  • A bonus financial incentive intended to encourage the construction of rental units that meet the CMHC definition of affordable for low to moderate income households. This incentive only applies to affordable rental units, but it can double the benefits for Tax Increment Equivalent Grant Program for those affordable units. Benefiting from this program requires a 15-year commitment to maintaining those units at affordable rents.

More information and application details are available on the program webpage.

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