SPRUCE 2022: Stonewall Program for Rental Unit Construction and Expansion
In 2019 the Town of Stonewall passed Policy 12.1 the Stonewall Program for Rental Unit Construction and Expansion (SPRUCE) in response to the need for additional rental housing stock. This issue was raised with the Council of the Town of Stonewall since both total rental units and the percentage of rental units within the housing inventory of the community are well below the provincial average. This shortfall is not only seen as a barrier to retaining and attracting people to Stonewall but also as a potential economic development opportunity.
The benefits of SPRUCE and the desire to extend the successful program has resulted in the Town of Stonewall proposing SPRUCE 2022.
The Town has therefore created a program to provide incentives to encourage the construction and operation of multiple-family rental housing developments. Multiple-family developments that add 5 or more dwelling units and that are available for rent are eligible to apply for a SPRUCE incentive grant.
Subject to the criteria set out below, the grant (“Grant”) will be awarded on a per rental unit basis and paid in installments over a three-year period, as follows:
Year 1: $750.00
Year 2: $500.00
Year 3: $250.00
1. "Rental Housing” means any formation of multiple-family housing development owned by a single owner and containing dwelling units that are available for rent.
2. Owners of Rental Housing developments that create or add 5 or more dwelling units are eligible to apply for the Grant.
3. The Grant is for new, previously unoccupied, units in Rental Housing. Units may be new construction or created as a result of the renovation of an existing building ("eligible rental unit”).
4. The Grant for each eligible rental unit will be made in the three annual installments set out above.
5. The Grant will be awarded to the owner of the Rental Housing in which the eligible rental unit is located.
6. The terms to be met by an owner to be eligible for the Grant will be set out in an agreement between the Town and the applicant ("Agreement”).
7. The Grant will not be awarded retroactively for Rental Housing projects that had already been issued a building permit prior to December 31, 2021, including permits that had been cancelled or were lapsed as of that date and reapplied for in an effort to receive the Grant.
8. Condominium developments are not eligible for the Grant. If an eligible rental unit becomes part of a condominium corporation or ceases to function as a rental unit at any time during the four-year period, the agreement between an owner and the Town will become void and the owner will be required to repay any installments of the Grant received for that unit.
9. Property taxes for the eligible rental unit must be up to date and in good standing. The eligible rental unit must be in compliance with the Town’s by-laws.
10. Payment of the Grant is subject to annual budget approval by Council.
1. Owners may submit applications for a Grant to the Chief Administrative Officer in a form prescribed by the Town as Schedule "A” to this Policy. Applications can be submitted at any time of the year. Applications must include
a. a copy of the current certificate of title for the property in which the eligible rental unit is contained,
b. a copy of the occupancy permit for the eligible rental unit, and
c. the Agreement (Schedule "B” to this Policy), signed by the owner.
2. The Chief Administrative Officer will review all Grant applications and prepare and submit a report to Council. Council is the approving authority for all Grant applications.
3. If Council awards a Grant to an owner, the Town will process the year 1 installment on December 1st of the year after the year in which the occupancy permit for the eligible rental unit was issued. The remaining installments will be processed on December 1st of each of the three subsequent years, provided the owner is in compliance with all requirements of this policy and the Agreement.
1. SPRUCE is a 3 year program. Applications for a Grant under the Program will be accepted from January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2024. Before the end of the term, Council will review SPRUCE and may extend the term and/or change the criteria. Even if the term of SPRUCE is not extended, the Town will continue to make Grant payments for those projects approved under the program.