YORKTON - Yorkton has a new Show Home Rebate Program Policy following a unanimous decision of Yorkton Council Monday.
“Over the past few years, the Economic Development Committee (EDC) has prioritized the promotion of residential development within Yorkton,” explained Michael Eger – Director of Planning, Building & Development with the city in presenting the proposed policy to Council.
In response to this objective, the Residential Construction Incentive (RCI) was adopted by Council in 2022, offering a five-year, 100 per cent tax refund for the construction of new one and two unit dwellings. The RCI was renewed in 2023 and expanded to include new three and four unit dwellings, said Eger.
“The RCI received little interest in 2022 and 2023, prompting the EDC to seek alternative methods to stimulate residential development, with a preference for upfront incentives rather than extended benefits over a five-year period,” he continued.
At the June 8, 2023 EDC meeting, the Committee recommended that Council and Administration consider the feasibility of discounting a select number of residential lots as part of a Parade of Homes event, a strategy proven successful in other municipalities such as Saskatoon.
The response was to revive the idea of a Parade of Homes in the city.
Parade of Homes events were held in Yorkton in 2002 (six houses on Ross Drive) and 2004 (four houses on Aspen Place).
Egers explained that Administration has developed the Show Home Rebate Program Policy (SHRP), a derivative of Saskatoon Land’s Show Home Rebate.
“While traditional Parade of Homes events typically featured new homes on the same street, contemporary practices favor organizing city-wide parades featuring new homes in various neighbourhoods. This approach allows home builders the flexibility to develop housing on a City owned lot of their choice, avoiding restrictions imposed by a limited set of lots,” he said.
The incentive is a significant one.
“The SHRP offers a $20,000 rebate which may be used toward the purchase price of the lot or other expenses associated with the development of the show home. This rebate is intended to be offered in conjunction with current tax incentives, which currently includes the RCI’s five-year, 100 per cent tax rebate,” said Eger.
A budget allocation of $100,000 is proposed for the SHRP, designated for the development of new housing on up to five City-owned residential lots. Funding for this allocation will be sourced from the 2024 Business Improvement Incentive Program (BIIP). That program will continue to be in effect in 2024, supported by funding from the BIIP reserves, comprising unused resources from the program's initial three years.
The application window will be accessible for a duration of four weeks throughout the month of November.
While the program is available to all eligible contractors, preference will be given to local builders, added Eger.