Hamilton launches program that pays $30,000 for adding a rental unit to your home

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Published November 11, 2022 at 10:06 am

Hamilton launches program that pays $30,000 for adding a rental unit to your home
Hamilton is implementing a program to increase affordable housing in the private market while creating an opportunity for homeowners to generate income.

The City of Hamilton announced it’s implementing a program to increase the supply of affordable rental units in the private market while creating an opportunity for homeowners to generate additional income.

Through the initial pilot phase, homeowners looking to add or renovate an existing secondary unit in their home may be eligible for up to $30,000 in the form of a $25,000 forgivable loan and an additional grant of $5,000 if accessible modifications are included in the project.

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“Creating secondary suites in existing housing is an innovative way to tackle the housing shortage that our entire province is facing,” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger. “Moreover, secondary suites can meet various housing needs, from older adults who wish to stay in place to multi-generational living. Reducing regulatory barriers and making this grant available is a great way to meet our community’s needs for more housing.”

The Ontario Renovates Secondary Suites Forgivable Loan Program was approved by city council last April through the Ontario Priorities Housing Initiative (OPHI).

Eligible homeowners can receive financial assistance through a 15-year forgivable loan to create affordable secondary suites in existing single-family homes or garden suites on the property.

Only single-family homes that are the owner’s sole and principal residence are eligible, and the amount of rent charged for the unit must be below the maximum permitted during the 15-year term of the agreement.

“Secondary suites provide tremendous benefits to homeowners, tenants and the broader community,” reads an official media release from the city. “They make housing more affordable because of their size and sharing a residence with another property; they provide long-term healthy alternative housing arrangements for households including seniors and families, contribute to community sustainability and are innovative housing solutions.”

“They also increase property value, and potential buyers will use them as an asset.”

Since 2017, there have been 28 building permits issued for secondary dwelling units, including 16 since implementing changes to the city’s zoning by-law in the fall.

The city is currently accepting applications with funding limited to a first-come-first-served basis.

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