Secondary suite incentives approved in Kitimat

Layers of grants to homeowners to develop secondary suites are now available to add stock to Kitimat's rental market.

Kitimat Council has approved a secondary suite incentive program that will kick money back to homeowners who develop their homes with secondary rental suites.

The program is one of the options the District of Kitimat had been researching as ways to potentially alleviate some of the trouble associated with low vacancy rates in town.

The amount of secondary suites in Kitimat has dropped significantly since 1985, when there were 274. Today only 95 secondary suites remain.

While this new incentive program won’t apply to existing suites, it is designed to help absorb some of the construction cost in establishing it.

Kitimat planner Daniel Martin said the incentives start at up to $2,500, or up to 33 per cent of the construction. If you design you suite with accessibility in mind — for instance wheelchair accessible — you get an extra $2,500 grant. More grants, either $5,000 or $7,500, is available if you rent it out as an affordable housing unit, as defined by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, and the grant amount depends on how affordable you make the unit.

The largest concern in debate came from Mario Feldhoff who was concerned that taxpayer money could potentially go to homeowners who then turn around and rent out to family members.

I personally don’t feel that’s an appropriate use for taxpayers money,” he said.

Director of Community Planning and Development Gwen Sewell said that staff decided not to pursue those restrictions primarily because human rights legislation make restricting persons who can rent units very challenging.

As well, even if a unit is rented to a family member that’s still a rental unit that is freed up elsewhere, such as an apartment building.

Feldhoff attempted to have the program tabled until council could receive a legal opinion regarding limiting renting to family members, but was ultimately defeated with the rest of council opposed.

In calling for finally approving the program as a whole, with a $50,000 budget, all of council stood with it.

 

Just Posted

Kitimat resident is Conservative choice for fall election

Claire Rattée is a former Kitimat councillor

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

LNG Canada sponsors driver’s license training in Terrace, Kitimat

The $80,000 contribution is part of the company’s commitment to hire locally

Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project searches for partners

TransCanada is renewing permits for its natural gas pipeline project to North Coast.

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Market volatility, mortgages loom over upcoming earnings of Canada’s big banks

Central bank interest hikes have padded the banks’ net interest margins

Hearings into SNC-Lavalin affair start today, but not with Wilson-Raybould

She has repeatedly cited solicitor-client privilege to refuse all comment

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

Tilray to acquire hemp food company Manitoba Harvest for up to $419 million

Tilray will pay $150 million in cash and $127.5 million in stock.

Tears, flowers at impromptu memorial for Syrian children killed in Halifax fire

The family had only lived in the Quartz Drive home for a few months

NDP candidates push for stronger climate action as Singh supports LNG Canada

Singh has tried to project unity in the party while facing internal criticism for poor fundraising and low support in the polls

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

Most Read