What you need to know about Collingwood’s new development charge bylaw

The Town of Collingwood will be approving a new development charge bylaw later in August.

Here’s what you need to know.

What are development charges?

Development charges — or DCs — are levied against new construction. Those levies are put into specified reserve accounts to fund the construction of infrastructure (roads, sidewalks, recreational facilities) that will be needed at some point in the future to accommodate growth. For instance, increasing the number of residential units in a certain neighbourhood could require improvements to local roads to accommodate the increase in traffic. Some of the funding (but not all, because some improvements would be seen to benefit the existing population) for those future road improvements would come from development charges.

Specified reserve accounts?

DCs are broken down into components. For instance, on a levy for a single family home ($30,006), $7,461 is directed to the account that would fund future road-related projects.

In order to enact a DC bylaw, a municipality needs to undertake a study that forecasts what kind of infrastructure it needs in the future to accommodate growth over the next 10 years. It also takes into account life-cycle costs of infrastructure. To use our road example, Collingwood’s DC study identifies that road-related projects will require $81 million over the next decade, of which $43 million would be eligible to be funded through DCs.

What are the proposed rates?

The DC for a single family home will be $30,006; a multiple-unit dwelling, such as a townhouse, would be $22,632 per unit, an apartment would be $18,025 per unit, and the rate for bachelor or one-bedroom apartments would be $10,445.

The current rate for a single-family home is $24,572 — which would make for a 22 per cent hike.

Are there DCs for non-residential development?

The background study proposes a rate of $142.24 per square metre of commercial and industrial space — a 107 per cent increase from the current rate. However, noted Jaclyn Hall of Hemson Consulting, the town’s consultant on the DC background study, the current rate, indexed to 2019 dollar figures, would be $145.05.

Why the big increases?

As Hall noted in her presentation, construction and land costs have outpaced inflation. Municipalities are also doing a better job at asset management.

Council also has the option to implement lower rates or discount certain classes.

Where does Bill 108 fit in?

The Province of Ontario enacted Bill 108 in June. This is an omnibus bill that affects 13 different pieces of legislation, including the Development Charges Act.

Under the act, a municipality is required to pass a community benefit bylaw to collect levies for services such as libraries, parks and other recreational facilities.

After Jan. 1, 2021, only roads, water and other “hard” services will be eligible for development charge funding.

What are the next steps?

Anyone who wants to give their opinion can drop a line to the town’s deputy director of financial planning and policy development, Dennis Sloan, at dsloan@collingwood.ca, by Aug. 2.

A new development charge bylaw is expected to be approved by council on Aug. 26.

by Ian Adams

Ian Adams is a reporter for Simcoe.com, covering community news and events throughout south Georgian Bay, and municipal councils in Collingwood and Wasaga Beach.Email: iadams@simcoe.com

Barrie’s first-time homebuyers get help from new federal incentive

 
Initiative reduces monthly mortgage payments without increasing down payment amounts

 

Got the income but lack the savings necessary to purchase your first home?

The federal government is introducing the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive program in an attempt to help middle-income families take steps toward purchasing property. The initiative, which launches Sept. 2, reduces monthly mortgage payments without increasing down payment amounts. First-time homebuyers who have the minimum down payment for an ensured mortgage can apply to finance a portion of their purchase through a form of shared equity with the federal government.

It is open to households with an income of up to $120,000. 
This program applies to new or existing homes, parliamentary secretary to the minister of families, children and social development Adam Vaughan said. 

“It is designed to benefit those who need more assistance with housing costs,” he said July 25 during an announcement at a more than 100-unit build on Essa Road in Barrie. “Thanks to mortgage payments that are more affordable, many families will have hundreds of dollars more each month in their pockets — money to spend on things like healthy food, sports for their kids or even save for the future. We have to provide a program that’s flexible, but we want to make sure we continue to build on one of our economic drivers, the new home builders.”

Under the program, a family that purchases a home between $200,000 and $500,000 in value can save between $1,372 and $3,430 in mortgage payments each year. The intention is to help families better manage household debt without lowering home values, Vaughan said.

The program is expected to cost the government $1.25 billion over three years, but 100,000 Canadian families could be eligible over the first 12 months, he said.

Sean Mason Homes owner Sean Mason said the federal plan will provide greater certainty for developers.

He estimates about 75 per cent of the homes at his Essa build would have qualified for the program.

“This is very important,” he said. “As lending standards have tightened, (it’s harder) to get the financing on the entire project.”

No ongoing repayment is required; buyers must cover the loan after 25 years, or if they sell the property.

The first closing under the program is expected to take place Nov. 1. 

For more, visit placetocallhome.ca.

by Chris Simon

Chris Simon is a journalist with the Barrie Advance. He can be reached at chris.simon@simcoe.com 


 

Ontario Launches Consultation on Building More Homes that People Need and Can Afford

Province Seeks Feedback on Proposed Changes to Provincial Policy Statement 

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

The Ontario Government is cutting red tape that is slowing down the process of building more homes that people need and can afford.

As part of the More Homes, More Choice: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan, the government is consulting on proposed changes to the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) — which sets out direction for land use planning in the province.

“Seniors are looking to down-size and young families don’t see a path to homeownership. That’s why we are proposing changes to provincial policies that would spur and speed up the construction of more and different types of housing that can meet the needs of people in different stages of life,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “I encourage Ontarians to provide their feedback directly to my ministry during this 90-day consultation period.”

The proposed changes to the PPS would continue to maintain protections for health and safety, the environment – including the Greenbelt – and support the province’s vibrant agricultural sector.

Quick Facts

  • The Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) establishes province-wide direction on land use planning matters that guide municipal decision-making.
  • The proposed changes aim to align with A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
  • Currently, it can take years of paperwork before a shovel ever breaks ground on a new housing or business project. Red tape and delays make it hard to get housing to market quickly and to build the right mix of housing in the right locations.

Background Information

Ontario Builds Skilled Workforce with Strengthened Employment Services

Ontario’s Government is putting people first by improving employment services with a new system that focuses on the needs of local communities, workers and employers to help Ontarians get good, quality jobs. These improvements will help job seekers find and keep good jobs and assist employers in recruiting the skilled workers they need to build the skilled workforce that keeps Ontario open for business and open for jobs. 

Preparing the workforce Ontario needs
The Government of Ontario is investing in several initiatives that support significant job creation and economic growth across the province, including:

  • New infrastructure funding to build and upgrade schools, hospitals, roads and transit
  • Making it faster and easier to build housing, help boost housing supply and make housing more affordable through Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan
  • Helping to create the conditions for the automotive sector to thrive and grow in Ontario through the Driving Prosperity plan

These initiatives will create thousands of good jobs in construction, manufacturing and other high-demand sectors that will need to be filled by workers with the right skills and experience. Modernizing Ontario’s employment services is critical to preparing the workforce needed to support the growing economy. A key step in this process will be to launch a new employment services system in three regions.

Engaging with stakeholders

Since announcing Ontario’s plan to modernize employment services in February 2019, the government has engaged with nearly 200 service providers, municipalities, colleges, not-for-profit organizations, Indigenous partners and private sector organizations to get critical input on the new employment system. Engaging with these key stakeholders has helped to:

  • refine the new employment services system
  • determine the interest and ability of local organizations to take on the service system manager role. Service system managers will be responsible for planning and managing the delivery of employment services at a local level in their region
  • encourage partnerships between organizations so they can most effectively address the needs of job seekers and employers in their region

The government will also specifically consult with First Nations partners on the future design of employment services in First Nations communities starting this summer.

Prototype regions

The three regions selected for the phased launch of the new employment services system include diverse urban and rural communities. The new system will launch in fall 2019 in the following communities:

  • Region of Peel (urban catchment),
  • Hamilton-Niagara (urban/rural catchment that includes Hamilton, Brant, Haldimand-Norfolk and Niagara),
  • Muskoka-Kawarthas (rural catchment that includes Muskoka, Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, Peterborough and Northumberland).

The transition to a new province-wide employment services system will happen over time. Those looking for work and employers will be provided with updates on any changes to ensure everyone is aware of how to get the services they need. Employment services across the rest of the province will move to the new system starting in 2022.

Competition for service system managers

An additional aspect of improving the way employment services work is the selection of lead organizations to oversee the employment services system in their regions.

The selection of service system managers for the three prototype regions will be made through a competitive process that is open to any public, not-for-profit and private sector organization. Service system managers will plan and deliver employment services at a local level and receive funding based on achieving results. Interested organizations can learn more at https://ontariotenders.app.jaggaer.com/esop/nac-host/public/web/login.html.

Strengthening services across Ontario

As the new employment services system is implemented in the prototype regions, the government will continue to strengthen services across the entire province by:

  • Increasing the focus on getting results by tying more funding for service providers to outcomes of people finding a job or businesses finding the right workers
  • Working with municipalities to plan more locally-focused employment and social assistance services
  • Improving wrap-around supports for social assistance clients so they get the services they need when they need them to help them find and keep good jobs

Additional Resources