Essex to rebate development charges on affordable housing projects

The Town of Essex will rebate development charges for builders of affordable housing.

Town says high percentage of residents spending too much of the income on housing

Essex council unanimously approved a rebate for development charges for builders of affordable housing. (Aadel Haleem/CBC)

The Town of Essex will rebate development charges for builders of affordable housing.

Council unanimously approved the idea at this week's meeting.

It's the latest move to encourage such projects, and aimed to meet the demand for new homes at an affordable price. 

"The rising cost of housing, paired with an aging population looking to downsize, has put a strain on available affordable housing stock in our community," Jeff Watson, policy planner with the town, said in a press statement.

Housing is considered affordable if it costs less than 30 percent of an average family income. 

The town said that in 2016, 10 per cent of Essex-centre families spent more than 30 per cent of their income for homes they own, with an even greater percentage spending above average for rental units. The town expects those numbers to rise in the next census release.

Essex was already offering community improvement plan grants of $5,000 for creating affordable housing in former commercial spaces or existing homes.

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