Dillon Consulting submits Interim Report for Community Improvement Plans

The City of Belleville contracted Dillon Consulting to develop a new Affordable Rental Housing Community Improvement Plan (CIP) while concurrently updating the existing Downtown CIP, with the intention of consolidating these with the Brownfields CIP into one Master CIP document. A CIP is a tool that enables municipalities to establish financial incentives to encourage certain types of development or improvements within a defined area. Dillon Consulting has completed an interim report which is now available online. It provides an overview of the work completed to date on the development of the Affordable Rental Housing CIP and the update to the Downtown CIP. The report includes a summary of the data reviewed, key issues, opportunities and constraints, and initial recommendations for incentive strategies. A trend analysis was also conducted for the Affordable Rental Housing CIP.

Following the March 2019 Housing Summit, a short-term measure was implemented to reduce development charges by 50% for the creation of apartment units where the developer enters into an agreement with the City to charge rent at market rate or less, as defined by the County of Hastings. Ultimately, the goal of the Affordable Rental Housing CIP is to further encourage the creation of new units which increases the supply of affordable rental units in the city.

To gain further insight, the project team met with stakeholders for both the Affordable Rental Housing CIP and the Downtown CIP. The Affordable Rental Housing group consisted of developers, landlords, members of the Planning Advisory Committee and members of housing agencies and community groups. Attendees at the PIC were asked to identify priorities and locations for affordable rental housing. The Downtown meetings included members of the Belleville Downtown Improvement Area (BDIA) and the Façade Committee. Attendees at the PIC were asked to provide feedback on the existing Downtown CIP to identify areas for improvement.

“In addition to local research, Dillon Consulting also conducted a trend analysis of other Affordable Housing CIPs,” stated Stephen Ashton, Director, Engineering and Development Services. “A trend analysis was not completed for the Downtown CIP as it is not a new document and the existing incentive programs will be reviewed to determine whether they require updating. As the Affordable Rental Housing CIP is a new City initiative, a review of best practices was undertaken to assess the incentives offered by other municipalities and contribute to the development of a short list of options for the City of Belleville.”

Based upon this research a number of opportunities and challenges have been identified related to the creation of a new Affordable Rental Housing CIP and the update to the Downtown CIP. To review the complete interim report please visit: https://belleville.ca/business/page/community-improvement-plan

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