Downtown Housing Development Program Planned

By Brian Schultz

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Downtown residential development received a boost on Thursday, as the city and province jointly announced $20 million in incentives to developers over the next three years.

The Downtown Residential Development Grant Program will aim to create affordable urban lifestyles for those wanting to live in downtown Winnipeg. Developers could receive up to $40,000 in grants for each rental or condominium housing unit built or renovated downtown. The grant would be provided equal to the incremental taxes on improved property for up to 15 years.

The new program will target the maximum grants to new condos assessed with values of $250,000 or less, and to new apartments with rent levels at or below the Winnipeg average.

At least 10 percent of new housing under this program will be for families and individuals considered low-income, or living with a disability.

The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ fully supports the new program. “An increase in downtown residential population is the single most important long-term strategy to creating a safer and even more vibrant downtown that will draw more commercial activity, making it the place to live, work, shop and play,” said Stefano Grande, executive director.

The program will be officially launched in May.