Moose Jaw Housing Business Plan 2011

Moose Jaw
Housing Business Plan
Developed for Moose Jaw City Council
City of Moose Jaw
Housing Business Plan 2011
Table of Contents
Executive Summary
Section 1: A Model for Housing and Community Development ............................................................ 3
The Housing Continuum & the Role of the Municipality ................................................................... 7
Moose Jaw Housing Business Plan Priorities: An Overview .............................................................. 9
Section 2: Demographic Trends, Projections & Housing Determinants ............................................... 10
Population Growth Projections ..................................................................................................... 13
Education and Labour Force: Trends and Opportunities ................................................................. 16
Section 3: Affordability Assessment Across the Housing Continuum .................................................. 19
Section 4: Community Growth and Development: Ensuring an Appropriate Housing Supply .............. 23
New Home Market ....................................................................................................................... 24
Resale Market .............................................................................................................................. 28
Rental Market .............................................................................................................................. 30
Section 5: Objectives and Strategies ................................................................................................. 33
Priorities ...................................................................................................................................... 34
Potential Incentives ...................................................................................................................... 39
Conclusion ................................................................................................................................... 55
City of Moose Jaw
Housing Business Plan 2011
Executive Summary
The Housing Business Plan for the City of Moose Jaw was undertaken in 2010 in order to
provide City Councilors with comprehensive information about the community that is
important to the direction of residential development in the city. Adequate housing is
necessary for Moose Jaw’s continued prosperity as an industrial center and trade hub in the
South Central Saskatchewan Region. Residential housing shortages, if not addressed properly,
could become a disincentive for continued and increasing business and industry investment in
the region. Growth sectors and business in the region require employees and employees
require housing in proximity to their employment. The recent population increase in Moose
Jaw is occurring on a scale not seen for decades and any unused housing stock has been
eliminated, vacancy rates sit at or around one percent and house prices have doubled or tripled
in the past few years. The City of Moose Jaw recognizes that housing needs in the community
have changed. This Housing Business Plan is an important first step to implementing solutions
that will serve to alleviate current housing market pressures.
The rate of new housing development in Moose Jaw is inadequate to meet the increased
demand from professionals and labourers attracted to the region by burgeoning economic
possibilities. New lot construction rates will not attract a sufficient number of developers and
builders to quickly and efficiently increase housing stock. In order to rapidly increase the
availability of new homes, the City of Moose Jaw must provide more serviced lots to
developers. This will help draw in competition as well as increase the tax base as residents
move to new residential units in the community. The City Council can use some of this new tax
revenue to assist with addressing challenges in various parts of the housing market. Housing
initiatives that address needs for low income workers, seniors and students may have to be
implemented concurrently with efforts to service lots and attract builders; however,
construction and development may also attract further development at a cost savings to
developers and to the City.
In order to assist with Moose Jaw’s efforts to address housing shortages in the City, the
Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Saskatchewan has been contracted to conduct a
comprehensive review of both primary and secondary research in order to assess the status of
the housing market in the City of Moose Jaw and produce a Housing Business Plan. This plan is
intended to present current housing needs and projections for future demand. The research
findings are followed by a section of recommendations that the Association believes can be
viable options for Moose Jaw to address the housing pressures facing current and prospective
residents. All recommendations are suggestive in nature and may or may not be adopted by
Council at their discretion.
City of Moose Jaw
Housing Business Plan 2011
Section 1: A Model for Housing and Community
Municipal Housing Business Plans help municipal elected officials and administrators within a
community understand current housing needs while providing a guideline for residential
development that supports changing demographics and housing requirements. The Moose Jaw
Housing Business Plan is intended to assist the community and the City of Moose Jaw to
determine a role and plan of action for housing and residential development for 2011 and
beyond. The Plan attempts to identify housing market pressures and potential policy solutions
that can most effectively help address the housing necessities of current and future residents.
Additionally, the Moose Jaw Housing Business Plan provides an assessment of the Housing
Continuum and affordability within the community. With careful consideration of projected
growth and development in the region, this Plan outlines various targets, priorities, strategies
and incentives that may encourage investment and residential construction in the region so as
to support economic activity and the needs of a changing and increasing population.
Role of the Municipality
With regard to supporting and encouraging an appropriate supply of housing, many
municipalities have identified a role for themselves in housing and have implemented policies,
programming and incentives as a means of ensuring appropriate housing options are available
within their community. Progressive community planning for healthy growth often requires
municipalities to develop strategies that address deteriorating housing stock while also
supporting and pursuing public and private partnerships that will increase the supply of housing
available to various income levels and those with unique housing demands. Given Moose Jaw’s
recent growth, deteriorating affordability, and lack of suitable housing options, it is
recommended that the City of Moose Jaw consider adopting a more active role supporting and
encouraging the supply of housing through proactive planning, policy development and
initiatives that facilitate rather than hinder the construction of new appropriate housing.
The following includes a brief overview of the information and factors that contributed to the
direction of the Moose Jaw Housing Business Plan development. Each of these items is
explained further throughout the following sections of the Housing Business Plan.
City of Moose Jaw
Housing Business Plan 2011
Factors That Contributed to Developing the Moose Jaw Housing Business Plan
Current and Future Demographics - The province of Saskatchewan has benefitted from
strong economic performance and positive overall population growth over the past ten
to fifteen years. Between 1996 and 2009, Saskatchewan’s population increased by
11,184 people with an additional 34,000 people moving to the province between 2009
and 2010. Accounting for approximately 3.5 percent of Saskatchewan total population,
Moose Jaw has also recorded positive population growth in recent years, the rate of
which has actually outpaced population growth trends experienced by the province. If
these trends continue, Moose Jaw’s population could reach 50,000 by 2025.
Current and Future Housing Stock - Moose Jaw’s housing stock is slowly aging and much
of the current stock is deteriorating. While there are many units that will likely be
improved by renovation and repairs undertaken by homebuyers, replacing older
dwelling units maybe the only option for units that have deteriorated beyond repair. In
most neighbourhoods in Moose Jaw, the predominant housing stock was built between
1905 and 1970 under dated building code standards and construction techniques. In
addition, many of these older units require significant repair and renovation. There also
exists an urgent need to respond to market demand for new housing units, as is
demonstrated by the record low vacancy rates and record high resale and new home
One factor that has contributed to the escalating housing market pressures is the slow
pace of lot servicing in Moose Jaw. Currently, the City of Moose Jaw does not have any
serviced lots available for purchase and plans to develop less than 50 lots in 2011. The
lack of available serviced lots has certainly increased pressures within the housing
market as residential dwelling construction has been severely limited by the availability
of serviced lots ready for development. In order to remedy this, the City of Moose Jaw
must act quickly to service lots and avoid further hindering the residential construction
industry’s ability to supply housing that will support the growth of Moose Jaw’s
Housing Supply, Demand and Affordability - An appropriate supply of housing is
important to the health of any city, especially in times of rapid population growth. In
order to facilitate population growth, the supply of housing must match the needs of
the population. When the supply of housing does not match the need and demand, the
result is often an increase in housing prices and a drop in rental vacancy rates.
The housing market in Moose Jaw exemplifies trends associated with communities that
fail to meet the housing requirements of their residents. The rapid increase in
residential dwelling unit prices and the low vacancy rate discourages those looking to
make a permanent home in Moose Jaw. An increase in all housing types is necessary in
order to ensure current population growth can continue, with a particular emphasis on
the construction of purpose built rental and entry-level housing units. Without an
increase in available housing across the housing continuum, the price of housing will
City of Moose Jaw
Housing Business Plan 2011
continue to increase and vacancy rates will remain low, resulting in the stagnation of
growth as individuals and families unable to access the housing market look to other
Saskatchewan communities.
Housing Stakeholders - Public and private housing stakeholders have a vested interest
in the health and stability of a community’s housing stock. These groups offered
knowledge and insight vital to the development of the Housing Business Plan. Potential
recommendations provided by stakeholders were carefully considered and integrated
into the goals and targets outlined within the Plan.
Failure to Plan Hinders Growth
Planning for municipal growth is central to the efficient allocation of resources and use of
available and potentially under-utilized structures. Economic growth and development in
Saskatchewan requires municipalities to plan for growth with realistic population projections
based on recent trends. The pace at which Saskatchewan’s communities are changing should
not be underestimated, as failing to plan may result in a failure to grow. Municipal planning
departments must be given the resources and tools necessary to formulate and carry out plans
that anticipate growth and can adapt to the changing dynamics of the community. Well
organized and funded planning departments can help ensure future development meets the
community’s needs and makes the best use of existing infrastructure and housing stock.
The Moose Jaw Official Community Plan:
A Catalyst for Proactive Planning and Housing to Support Community Growth
Within the Official Community Plan, the City of Moose Jaw outlines a mandate to ensure that Moose
Jaw grows in a healthy and sustainable manner. With regard to Community Growth and Development
(Section 4), the Community Plan’s objectives include ensuring that development of new areas
encourages variety and diversity in housing; providing services that are environmentally responsible;
encouraging the use of infill to increase use of underused areas; and ensuring that all housing is built
to acceptable standards. The Moose Jaw Official Community Plan outlines numerous objectives and
policies that support an active vision and mission for encouraging the supply of appropriate housing
types in Moose Jaw. The City of Moose Jaw Official Community Plan states that “neighborhoods shall
be the most important level of residential cluster in the City and shall be used as the primary building
block in planning of new suburban areas and the maintenance of existing mature subdivisions.” This
statement should provide the incentive to help neighbourhoods to become the vital backbone of
Moose Jaw’s development and growth.
City of Moose Jaw
Housing Business Plan 2011
City Administrators and elected officials in Moose Jaw must strive to follow through with the
objectives already established in the Official Community Plan regarding residential land use and
housing with specific emphasis placed on:
Developing new residential areas that offer quality living and meet the needs of
various household types and incomes; and
Encouraging infill residential development within already built-up areas, such as
the downtown core and other established neighborhoods, as well as considering
incentive programs to encourage residential infill and redevelopment; and
Promoting/requiring the timely maintenance of all residential buildings (private
and public) to ensure safe, energy efficient and acceptable living conditions for
all residents; and
Allowing higher density housing in all residential neighborhoods, with emphasis
on locations near arterial roads, or as part of mixed use commercial/residential
areas; and
Ensuring the City maintain a minimum of two years to a maximum of five years
supply of serviced residential land; and
Supporting new developments which will incorporate innovative and alternative
energy solutions that increase the cost savings of operating a home; and
Fostering an appropriate supply of housing options (including purpose-built
rental) so as not to discourage potential residents from moving to Moose Jaw.
Vision & Mission for Housing in Moose Jaw
To ensure that Moose Jaw adopts housing vision and mission statements that align with the
City’s Official Community Plan, the following optional statements incorporate the above
residential land use, and housing objectives and policies.
Proposed Housing Vision Statement - “The City of Moose Jaw will strive to be a
community that offers a variety of appropriate housing options that are suitable to
numerous income and age levels.”
Proposed Housing Mission Statement - “The City of Moose Jaw is committed to
encouraging a supply of housing through the implementation of a framework that
fosters partnerships and cooperation with industry, the private-sector, non-government
organizations, community-based groups and other levels of government.”
City of Moose Jaw
Housing Business Plan 2011
The Housing Continuum & the Role of the Municipality
The housing continuum, as described by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation,
includes all housing options on a scale from social housing (which incorporates emergency and
transitional shelter and subsidized housing) to market housing (which includes market rental
housing and market priced ownership housing).1 The value of market priced new, resale and
rental housing is linked to the public’s buying power, which in turn has an impact on the type of
housing built by builders and developers in response to community demands. Without an
adequate supply of housing at various price points, housing affordability for residents is
adversely affected by population increases, particularly at the low to moderate price points.
When housing supply is constrained, population growth will typically result in a surge in the
need for affordable housing at two thresholds: first, the point at which the population increase
occurs (demand-side pressure); and second, following the subsequent price increases in the
housing market (supply-side pressure). Ensuring that there is appropriate and suitable housing
at all levels of the housing continuum requires that housing stakeholders be engaged to help
ease escalating prices by increasing the supply of housing so as not to push residents (current
and potential) to other communities, inadequate housing or homelessness.
Housing Continuum
Social Housing
Market Housing
Social Housing (Low Income & At-Risk-Of Homelessness)
Social housing covers a wide variety of housing types and needs, all of which help those
struggling to afford adequate housing. The intended market for social housing ranges from
those in need of basic shelter and crisis housing to those in need of supported living housing
options, such as low income households and persons with long term disabilities or addictions.
City of Moose Jaw
Housing Business Plan 2011
Affordable Housing (Incomes below Maximum Income Limits)
Affordable housing options come in many forms; however, what remains constant is that this
housing be attainable for those with incomes below the provincially established Maximum
Income Limits (MIL) and that the cost of the units (whether rental or ownership) does not
exceed 30 percent of the household’s annual income. Affordable housing may include
supported or subsidized rental or ownership developments that are owned and/or managed by
government, non-government organizations, community-based and/or faith-based groups, or
private corporations. Often these units have received capital funding, land contributions, or
other support from various levels of government. Government assistance has helped many of
these housing providers maintain affordability despite fluctuating housing market prices.
Developments that are the recipients of funding are typically required to remain affordable for
a period of ten to fifteen years.
Entry-Level Housing (Moderate Income)
Entry-level housing attracts those individuals and families that earn a moderate income. Entrylevel housing generally includes units appropriate and attainable to first time home buyers and
new entrants to the work force. Most entry-level housing is modest in size and located in
neighborhoods with higher densities. The entry-level housing market facilitates ownership;
however, entry-level rentals are also important within a community to accommodate those
moderate income individuals and families not in a position to become homeowners. The typical
housing types for new entry-level products are higher density dwellings, such as townhomes
and condominiums, where costs are reduced because less land is required per unit.
Market Housing (Medium to High Income)
Market housing includes housing of all types that can accommodate the demand for units
among medium and high income earners on the open market. Most of these homes are
purchased by established professionals, either as individuals, couples or families. Market
housing comes in all forms including single-detached, semi-detached, townhouse and luxury
condominiums. In many communities, builders and developers tend to focus their efforts on
meeting the demand for units among this price range due to the higher profit margins
associated with selling market housing. Market housing, especially in new developments,
provides greater returns to the city in return for expenses paid for lot servicing.
City of Moose Jaw
Housing Business Plan 2011
Moose Jaw Housing Business Plan Priorities: An Overview
Established priorities within the Moose Jaw Housing Business Plan incorporate
recommendations from the Moose Jaw Housing Advisory Committee’s Need & Demand
Assessment, the Official Community Plan and the primary and secondary source research
gathered for the development of the plan. It is proposed that the following priorities under
consideration be endorsed and adopted by Moose Jaw City Council:
Develop incentives and programs that support and encourage the construction of
affordable and entry-level housing (ownership and rental).
Foster partnerships that will serve to increase the supply of housing in an efficient
Encourage construction and renovation of current housing stock to acceptable
standards and construction of an adequate supply of housing to accommodate
residents so as to facilitate population growth to approximately 50,000 residents by
Develop efficient land use policies and ensure community planning incorporates
consideration of future infrastructure given projected growth.
Ensure compliance of all builders and developers through monitoring and enforcement
of building standards for housing as outlined by the Canada Mortgage and Housing
Corporation and National Building Code of Canada Standards.
Maintain a minimum two year and maximum five year provision for serviced lots
developed by the City of Moose Jaw.
Promote development of infill housing that will revitalize neighbourhoods and make use
of already serviced land while increasing density within Moose Jaw’s core.
Encourage the conversion of identified existing structures (i.e. commercial buildings in
the downtown) to residential or mixed residential/commercial developments where
Continue support for the Replacement Housing Incentive Program that provides a tax
incentive for demolition and replacement of inadequate housing in Moose Jaw.
City of Moose Jaw
Housing Business Plan 2011
Section 2: Demographics Trends, Projections & Housing
Housing needs and demands within a community are directed by changing demographics and
economic trends. This section of the Moose Jaw Housing Business Plan provides an overview of
important demographic and labour market changes in the province and the region surrounding
Moose Jaw. Accurate projections can indicate the direction City Council should take in order to
address current housing shortages and future housing challenges that may arise. With a clear
view of how the city is growing and changing, Moose Jaw’s City Council can be in a better
position to avoid ineffective policy decisions that will negatively impact development as the
community grows.
Population growth trends are directly related to the economic performance within a province,
region and municipality. In general, greater incentives for talented individuals to reside within a
community exist where there are varied career opportunities. Therefore, the demographics of
a community can be attributed to education, employment and business opportunities that
exist. However, without access to affordable, appropriate and adequate housing options,
individuals and families are discouraged or even restricted from settling into a community
regardless of opportunities available to them. Employment and career options in Moose Jaw
are increasing, but the city’s growth is currently being hampered by a limited supply and variety
of housing stock. To maintain the current and projected growth of Moose Jaw’s economy, an
appropriate supply of adequate and attainable housing options is required to meet the
community’s needs.
In 2009, the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce set a provincial population target of
1.5 million people by 2030.2 According to the most recent population statistics reported by the
Saskatchewan Health Information Network, Saskatchewan’s population reached 1,070,477
persons in 2010.3 Over the last 10 years, Moose Jaw experienced an increase in population of
15 percent and is now growing faster than the provincial average of nine percent.4 Most
recently, the same statistics indicate that Moose Jaw’s population increased by 2,730 persons
between 2009 and 2010.5 Because of Saskatchewan’s economic growth, the Conference Board
of Canada, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and Royal Bank of Canada
Economics among others are forecasting positive provincial growth in the years to come, which
will be reflected in Moose Jaw as well.
Rapid population growth and demographic changes in Moose Jaw require careful analysis
before a viable and long term housing plan can be considered. Accurate population projections
and appropriate community planning require that City Council understand that growth in the
province will likely result in continued growth in Moose Jaw, too. Accelerated and extended
growth at levels not seen over many decades will present new housing challenges for Moose
Jaw. The following subsections provide a summary of demographic changes that will influence
growth patterns in Moose Jaw.
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Young Professionals, Recent Graduates, and Students
The community of Moose Jaw has a higher proportion of people within the 20 to 45 year age
range, a group that comprises a community’s working core. However, in 2006 there was a
noticeably lower percentage of 20 to 24 year olds when compared to 2010. This suggests that
young people from smaller communities are migrating towards larger urban centers like Moose
Jaw.6 The city’s 25 to 45 year old demographic also increased 33 percent between 2006 and
2010, compared to a provincial increase of 20 percent during the same period.7 This highly
mobile young professional demographic is typically comprised of post-secondary students,
entry-level employees and those filling positions that require less specialized training and
experience. The fact that Moose Jaw has managed to draw in more population in this
demographic is a positive sign for Moose Jaw’s economy. It should be noted that the 20 to 24
age group has specific housing requirements because a large percentage of them are postsecondary students or new entrants to the workforce; therefore their purchasing power in the
housing market is limited.
For those attending post-secondary colleges or training institutes, Moose Jaw offers the
opportunity to study at the local branch of the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and
Technology (SIAST). Satellite campuses like Palliser Campus in Moose Jaw allow young people
to stay in their home community and also draw in students from surrounding communities.
The challenge is retaining this newly educated and skilled workforce, and encouraging them to
remain in Moose Jaw rather than seek other opportunities in the larger centers. As
employment prospects in and around the city increase, a larger working population base will be
attracted to Moose Jaw; however, concerted efforts will still be necessary to create
infrastructure and opportunity that ensures a higher number of SIAST graduates stay in, or
move to, Moose Jaw. In order for this to happen, Moose Jaw must encourage development of
an appropriate supply of housing that is attainable for this demographic group, as well as factor
in the likelihood that growth of this segment of the population will lead to a greater numbers of
young families and young professionals.
Young Professionals
Considered to be “young professionals,” the population segment aged 25 to 45 generally has
higher household incomes and younger family members. If this demographic believes Moose
Jaw provides both economic opportunities and desirable housing, they will be more likely to
move to and settle in the city. As a group, young families are essential to active, vibrant and
healthy communities. Statistics show that between 2006 and 2010, population in this
demographic increased 18 percent in Moose Jaw with 11 percent of this growth occurring
within the last two years.8 Housing needs among this rapidly growing demographic group will
result in higher demand for entry-level, larger, single family homes or rental units that reflect
growing households and earning potential, demand which developers can meet if given the
opportunity to build (i.e. serviced lots). Young professionals are skilled, educated and more
experienced members of the workforce, often with middle to high middle income earning
potential and higher household densities who are typically able to purchase market price
housing that is available to moderate income earners.9
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Senior Citizens
Senior citizens comprise a large demographic, not only in Moose Jaw, but nation-wide. Seniors
have traditionally accounted for 25 percent of Saskatchewan’s population and 29 percent of
Moose Jaw’s population over the past decade.10 The number of seniors residing in Moose Jaw
increased by 22 percent between 2001 and 2010, and with 11,015 persons over the age of 55
residing in Moose Jaw, seniors currently account for 30 percent of the total population in the
community.11 The Canada West Foundation believes that seniors will account for a quarter of
Canada’s total population by 2061;12 because the 45 to 55 year old demographic is dominant in
Moose Jaw, there is no expectation that the senior population will decrease in the future.
The unique fixed-income situation, and desire of some seniors to move into smaller, more
manageable housing units, will have a significant impact on Moose Jaw’s development plans as
well as the provision of services. As seniors age, many consider alternative living
accommodations that offer less demanding yard, interior and exterior maintenance, greater
security and the social support networks offered in retirement communities or residences. A
common trend among persons between 60 to 80 years of age is to sell the homes they
currently own and move into condo-strata housing or seniors’ rental communities that offer
these benefits as well as various other supports and services.
Unfortunately, Moose Jaw, like many communities across Saskatchewan and Canada, is
unprepared for the impact this large aging demographic group will have. Affordable and
accessible housing for seniors will be increasingly important and in shorter supply in Moose Jaw
as time progresses.
Aboriginal Population
The population growth of Aboriginal people has steadily increased within Canada’s urban
centers over the past decade due to urban migration patterns. Saskatchewan and Manitoba
currently share the largest proportion of Aboriginal population in the country and more
Aboriginals are now living in and around urban municipalities.13 Although Moose Jaw has
traditionally maintained one of the lowest Aboriginal populations in Saskatchewan, according
to the 2006 census, the City recorded a 12.9 percent increase between 2001 and 2006. 14 The
Aboriginal population comprises one of the largest, youngest and fastest growing demographic
groups in Canada. The 15 to 24 year old category dominates Aboriginal groups generally and
overall, Aboriginal communities have higher birth rates.15 Moreover, Aboriginal households
tend to have higher household densities than non-Aboriginals, with approximately 3.6 persons
per household compared to the 2.5 persons per household average for the rest of Canada.16 If
Aboriginal migration trends continue, Moose Jaw will face a demographic shift in its youth
population coupled with escalating demand for houses that can accommodate higher
household densities.
The education gap between Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals means a disproportionate number
of Aboriginals are employed in the five lowest paying industries. A shortage of appropriate and
affordable rental or homeownership options has a substantial impact on these households and
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may lead to Aboriginal overcrowding and a tendency to live in unsuitable living conditions (a
trend more common among the Aboriginal population).
Immigrants & Inter-Provincial Migration
Over the last several years, Saskatchewan has implemented a number of policies and incentives
to encourage interprovincial and international migration to the province. Moose Jaw has
traditionally accounted for between three percent and five percent of Saskatchewan’s total
immigrant population, but immigration numbers are steadily rising. Increasing 55 percent
between 1991 and 2006, the immigrant population now comprises 4.81 percent of Moose Jaw’s
total population.17 New immigrants require more and different services to support integration
into communities; houses suitable and attainable to this demographic group are best located in
close proximity to these sources.
Depending on the culture in their country of origin, immigrants often have unique household
situations that include higher household densities and extended family arrangements. Upon
arrival in Canada, immigrants generally begin employment in lower paid professions and live in
higher density households in order to mitigate high housing costs. Settling into a new country is
not an easy task and some will require additional support to locate housing as a first step to
familiarizing them to their new country. This housing generally must be affordable or entrylevel, frequently of larger size to accommodate large family configurations and with clear
guidelines for home procurement and ownership. Cities that assist skilled migrants to find
housing and appropriate employment, either through government provided agencies or with
designated housing or support programs, are in a better position to enable their active
contribution to their new community and integrate effectively.
Population Growth Projections
Moose Jaw has received a substantial percentage of Saskatchewan’s population influx. Over
the last four years alone, Moose Jaw’s population grew by over 13 percent, compared to a
provincial average of just over five percent.18 In 2006, Moose Jaw’s population accounted for
3.2 percent of the total provincial population; in 2010, Moose Jaw’s population accounted for
3.5 percent of the provincial population.19 Currently, Moose Jaw has a population of 37,046
people, and recorded an increase of 4,914 people over just four years,20representing an
average increase of 1,228 persons per year. If these trends proceed and Moose Jaw’s economy
continues to grow at or near its current pace, it is reasonable to assume that Moose Jaw’s
population could reach between 50,000 and 60,000 people by 2030. If the Saskatchewan
Chamber of Commerce’s estimated provincial population projection of 1.5 million people for all
of Saskatchewan by the year 2030 is realized and Moose Jaw’s percentage of the province’s
total population remains constant, the total population could increase to 52,500 people. 21 It
should be noted, however, that Moose Jaw has outpaced past provincial growth rates,
suggesting that even this estimate could prove conservative for the time frame.
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Income Trends
As Saskatchewan’s economy expands, so too does its workforce and population. Therefore, it
should come as no surprise that the average household income is rising, both in the provincial
averages and in the City of Moose Jaw. Statistics Canada census data for 2005 indicates that
the median annual income for a full-time employed person over the age of 15 in Moose Jaw
was $38,070, while the provincial median was $35,948 and the household average income for
2005 was $54,440. 22 The Moose Jaw Regional Economic Development Authority released its
2009 estimates for average household income for Moose Jaw, reporting a six percent increase
in the annual income to $57,742, compared to an overall provincial forecasted increase of 9.2
percent.23 Despite the rise in annual income levels, the increasing costs of housing in the new
home, resale and rental markets has far surpassed income growth levels across the province
and in Moose Jaw. Therefore, real wage in Moose Jaw have not grown as much as it appears
because of the increased cost of living.
Income as it Relates to Housing
An assessment of current income and demographic data for Moose Jaw is essential for
producing a viable housing strategy that addresses the needs of all residents in the community.
Having adequate income to cover essential costs of living in addition to securing appropriate
housing is vital to attaining a higher quality of life.
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) defines “acceptable housing” as adequate,
suitable, and affordable shelter that can be obtained without spending over 30 percent of before-tax
household income. Adequate shelter is housing that is not in need of major repair, while suitable shelter
is defined as un-crowded housing with sufficient number of rooms to accommodate the occupying
household members according to National Occupancy Standards requirements.
In 2006, Statistics Canada surveyed the average household incomes in the City of Moose Jaw
and categorized the data into “income blocks”. According to the data, 735 households reported
an income of less than $10,000 annually while 1,985 households reported income between
$10,000 and $20,000. This means that nearly 20 percent of all households in Moose Jaw had an
annual income lower than $20,000.24 According to current Canadian guidelines that stipulate
housing affordability benchmarks be no more than 30 percent of income, the most this income
group could reasonably afford to pay for housing, whether ownership or rental, is $500 per
Age as it relates to income is an important factor when considering housing needs in a
community, as one’s age is linked to their earning potential, income situation and housing
requirements. For example, retired seniors on fixed incomes require housing that protects
them from sudden increases in market prices, whether in affordable and designated seniors
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housing developments or in supportive rent-geared to income units. Younger people often
students on limited budgets or heavily reliant on financial assistance, are in need of housing
that is attainable and within close proximity to educational institutions or public transit routes.
If not students, then these individuals are typically new entrants to the workforce who require
housing options that include affordable, entry-level and market rental product so that they may
gain work experience, participate in the community and ideally begin a family and remain active
residents of the community. As opposed to those nearing retirement, students and new
workers usually have positive rather than static earnings potential.
Household Income by Location
The Moose Jaw Regional Economic Development Authority has identified four major areas
within the City of Moose Jaw: East, West, South and Central. According to data obtained in
2006, Moose Jaw’s population is more or less distributed evenly, with the exception of Moose
Jaw West, which contains 1,300 more households than Moose Jaw Central. Moose Jaw West
was the most affluent area of the city in 2006, with 760 households earning over $100,000
annually. In contrast, Moose Jaw Central was reportedly the least affluent neighbourhood with
550 households reporting incomes below $19,999 annually. Moose Jaw East and South each lie
between the high and low income levels of Moose Jaw West and Central, indicating the
presence of middle-class neighbourhoods.25
Neighbourhood Composition in Moose Jaw
Moose Jaw is divided into residential districts, commercial and industrial districts and green
zones. Due to economic growth of the city, the City of Moose Jaw is planning to expand for
residential and commercial purposes. The majority of high-income neighborhoods are located
in the northwest sector of the city, in predominantly low density residential areas. As well,
some high-income residential properties are located in neighborhoods in the southwest end.
Low-income households are mainly concentrated in the downtown area.
High population concentration neighborhoods are located in the downtown area along Main
Street North. This includes the neighborhoods of Rosemont, High Park, CPR, Hill Crest, Windsor
Park, and Crescent View. Other highly populated neighborhoods are located near Palliser
Campus, including Palliser Heights, Regal Heights, Caribou Heights, City View and Dunmore.
Moose Jaw’s population is less concentrated in commercial and industrial districts where heavy
and light industrial production takes place. As well, neighbourhoods such as Sunnyside,
Westmore, Prairie Heights, Fairview, University Heights, Crescent Heights, Rothesay Park, and
River Park are not densely populated, due mainly to larger lot and house size. According to the
City of Moose Jaw, these sites range in size from 0.75 acres to 3 acres and are priced from
$150,000 per acre to $225,000 per acre. While there is no clear division regarding the age of
the population in Moose Jaw neighbourhoods, there are several nursing homes and seniors
residences located throughout the city. Senior residential developments are mainly located in
the downtown area in close proximity to hospitals, commercial districts and other amenities.
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Currently, there are no designated student housing units or residences provided or maintained
by Palliser Campus. Students rent only what they can afford while some are able to live with
relatives while attending Palliser. The high density neighbourhoods around Palliser are ideally
located for student housing; however, other considerations are important when implementing
plans for student housing. Ideally, student housing should be located near potential
employment, public transit, entertainment and amenities such as grocery stores and
Commercial and Industrial Developments: Locations & Relevance for Housing
Land intended for commercial and industrial development exists, and is for sale in the
expanding area along Thatcher Drive East, located close to the Trans Canada Highway with
access to both the Pacific Railway and Canadian National Railway.26 Since the industrial and
commercial districts are currently concentrated in this new area, it is ideal for proposed
expansions. Industrial and commercial lots, are currently available in the Grayson Industrial
Park subdivision, situated in the northeast corner of the city. Ideally, commuters employed in
these developments would be able to access transportation routes that allow for a reasonable
commuting time from residential neighbourhoods. For this reason, the development of new
subdivisions should be completed the involvement of from transportation departments and
should consider the infrastructure requirements of commuters.
Education & Labour Force: Trends & Opportunities
In recent years, Canada has begun to recognize that a large portion of the skilled and
experienced labour pool in the country will be leaving the workforce upon retirement. This loss
will result in competition among many industries and communities to fill skilled labour
shortages, this is already a problem in industrial and mining locations. Moose Jaw has a large
demographic of 45 to 55 year olds that are preparing to retire within the next five to 10 years.
This shift will present challenges and opportunities for Moose Jaw: the City will have to
leverage the resources necessary to address rapid demographic shifts and labour market
changes. Recent labour force participation rates are positive, and increased immigration and
Aboriginal and Métis labour participation may help offset future shortages.
Labour force trends and shifts in available employment are essential factors in the age and
income of people who are attracted to particular urban centers. Therefore, labour needs, as
well as employment and education opportunities associated with economic performance in the
Moose Jaw region, are linked to new demand patterns for housing as well. As previously stated,
different income levels associated with various employment opportunities also have an impact
on housing need and demand. For this reason, an assessment of the labour force is required to
provide a better understanding of why Moose Jaw’s housing requirements are changing and
how future trends are predicted.
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Economic Growth & Development: Saskatchewan, the Corridor & Moose Jaw
Saskatchewan is projected to experience strong economic performance over the short-term,
with positive forecasts for 2010 to 2020.27 Given the strong projections for natural resource and
agricultural production in the area, Moose Jaw is likely to experience significant investment
directly and indirectly related to these industries, especially in mineral extraction, processing
and transportation. Industry and business are attracted by Moose Jaw’s proximity to resources
and the availability of affordable infrastructure services (water, power, communications and
transportation networks). These and other opportunities have been the foundation for
projected economic growth within the Moose Jaw-Regina Industrial Corridor and within the
City of Moose Jaw itself.
The Moose Jaw-Regina Industrial Corridor offers considerable advantages including significant
cost-savings, a favorable location for the transportation of goods and resources, and research
support. These advantages coupled with low utility costs and property taxes, competitive tax
rates conducive for business investment, existing infrastructure to support industrial expansion,
and an ideal location with access to four major highways and two operating railways and the
largest rail terminal between Winnipeg and Calgary have been instrumental in driving economic
development for the province. 28 The Corridor region also produces some of the highest quality
agricultural products in the world and is a central hub for nitrogen, potash and phosphate
distribution.29 The Moose Jaw-Regina Industrial Corridor has opportunities and resources that
facilitate growth in the entire region. Currently, the Corridor has the largest labour force in the
province, home to 175,000 workers and is unsurprisingly the most populous region in
Saskatchewan with 24 percent of the province’s total population.30
Since 1996, the fastest growing industries in Moose Jaw have been the mining, oil and gas
industries, each of which has grown at a rate of nearly nine percent per year and 103 percent
over the past 15 years, followed by the commercial and residential construction industries,
both of which have grown at a rate of seven percent per year and 98 percent over the past 15
years.31 Examples of industrial interest in the area include a contract, signed in 2009, between
the Mosaic Company and SaskWater to construct new pipelines that will supply non-potable
water for the solution potash mine in Belle Plaine in order to accommodate expansion there. 32
Other expanding sectors include the agricultural, manufacturing and wholesale industries;
Britco Pork was recently provided with a loan from the federal government to refurbish a hog
processing plant in Moose Jaw. 33 Examples of international investment in the region include
the potential development of a wholesale distribution center for Chinese manufactured
products by Queenstower Developments of China.34
These new investments and national and international confidence in the region have provided
an economic boost that benefits the entire province. The problem that arises with sudden
spikes in industry and infrastructure investment is finding and retaining the skilled labour force
to make growth possible. Despite substantial immigration to the Corridor, there are increasing
concerns that the rate of attrition of workers coupled with steadily and rapidly increasing
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demand could cause a serious labour shortage. Efforts that ensure these new employees have
access to appropriate housing is vital to protecting the national and international reputation of
the Corridor as a place to invest capital and locate industry.
Academic Institutions
In order to address the challenges associated with the pending deficit of skilled labour within
the region, educational institutions and industry leaders within the Corridor must continue to
focus and increase training and recruitment efforts. SIAST’s Palliser Campus in Moose Jaw can
play an essential role in addressing the shortages within the skilled trade sector by providing
additional opportunities to train and retain skilled labour within the region. SIAST has taken on
the responsibility of encouraging and supporting the pursuit of occupations in the skilled
trades, applied sciences and technologies; these efforts help to ensure economic growth in the
province through an adequate supply of an expertly trained workforce.35
In 2009, Moose Jaw retained or gained only four percent of SIAST graduates as part of their
labour base.36 This low retention percentage may mean that Moose Jaw will be unable to
adequately meet the increased need for skilled labourers in the region. A concerted marketing
effort by all stakeholders, including industry, communities, municipalities and educational
institutions could help increase awareness among new graduates throughout the province
about career opportunities within the region. Regional and municipal growth in Moose Jaw
depends on the supply of skilled workers to fill available positions within new and existing
industries and in the expanding resource sector through the corridor. Any effort intended to
increase the flow of skilled workers into Moose Jaw must be coupled with efforts to increase
the supply of appropriate housing stock be available to individuals, students, new families and
new entrants to the workforce. Regardless of new employment opportunities in and around
Moose Jaw, without housing for new workers, many labour opportunities may remain unfilled.
Housing the Current & Potential Labour Force
The Moose Jaw Housing Business Plan can help ensure that the community is in a position to
capitalize on the opportunities associated with recent and projected growth while also keeping
pace with population growth and demand for housing so as not to hinder development and
prosperity in the region. The Moose Jaw-Regina Corridor can only continue to attract
interprovincial migrants, immigrants, new graduates and families to the region if an appropriate
supply of housing options is available and attainable to a variety of income levels. The need to
address the limited supply of housing is urgent as is the need to maintain housing affordability
as potential employees will not move to Moose Jaw if housing prices escalate beyond their
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Section 3:
Housing Business Plan 2011
Affordability Assessment across the Housing
Municipalities can play a role in directing development within the community and surrounding
areas. Provided that elected officials and administration understand how housing impacts
economic stability and future growth, municipalities can plan to accommodate, support and
encourage growth through housing policies and agendas. Changing demographics and an influx
of population also require municipalities and housing stakeholders to consider the affordability
and suitability of available housing options in their community. Statistics Canada and the This
section will help clarify these terms and put them in context with current income levels in
Moose Jaw, as well as help identify gaps in the housing continuum.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation offer definitions and guidelines for what constitutes affordable
and attainable housing for different income levels. Affordable housing is defined as housing that can be
obtained without spending over 30 percent of before-tax household income.
Affordability among Key Demographic Groups
This section is intended to highlight some of the demographic groups that characteristically
have characteristically unique housing needs, often requiring access to affordable housing
options that are both suitable and appropriate to their situations.
Retired seniors living on a fixed income are more susceptible to even slight price fluctuations.
According to Service Canada, a single person with no other income can receive to $1,185.92 a
month from Canada Pension and Old Age Security, 30 percent of which is $355 per month.
Those seniors who choose to move from owner-occupied single family residences to higher
density housing with fewer maintenance responsibilities, and supports and services need
affordable rental and ownership options. Ideally, designated seniors housing or retirement
communities will be located near hospitals, public transit and shopping centers in areas that are
safe and encourage active community involvement.
It should also be noted that, many seniors today are healthier and more active upon retirement
than has been the case in the past. Though they may wish to downsize, they may not yet
require access to supports and services offered by assisted living seniors’ residence. Options are
necessary to accommodate these seniors as well, including gated townhouse communities or
condominiums. The decision to sell and move from single, family homes into more manageable
units also releases single family dwelling housing onto the resale market, which can ease
housing market pressures in a community.
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Where post-secondary educational institutions exist, so too does the need for appropriate
affordable housing options for students. Appropriate options include student residences
(owned and operated by educational institutions,) secondary suites within existing dwelling
units, room and board, or rent sharing single dwelling units or apartments. It should be noted
that student housing is rarely occupied as “permanent housing”: the average degree or
certificate program requires four or fewer years to complete, therefore, there will be a high
turnover rate among student housing. Ideally, student housing options should be located in
and around their educational institution and be relatively accessible to amenities such as
grocery stores and retail areas as well as entertainment (where student may also be employed).
Student housing that is situated in close proximity to Moose Jaw Palliser Campus and allows for
ease of access to the campus and public transit increases the likelihood that students will
attend Palliser Campus.
New Entrants to the Workforce
As new workers gain experience their incomes typically increase as well. New entrants to the
workforce require access to entry-level and affordable housing options that provide them with
stability and permanency, allowing them to increase their earnings and move upwards on the
housing continuum. There is a strong demand for housing among new workers that both meets
their needs and allows them to gain a foothold in the housing market, whether by increasing
their equity through homeownership or renting units that allow for a savings margin. With an
estimated entry-level annual income of $25,000 to $35,000, the most these new entrants to the
workforce should spend on housing and housing related costs is $625 to $800 per month
(based on the 30 percent affordability threshold). On the housing continuum, these new
workers fall under the ‘affordable housing’ category.
Low Income Categories
Statistics Canada has determined that there is a level of annual income for individuals and
families below which it is expected that they devote a larger share of their income on the
necessities of food, shelter and clothing than average due to the high cost of living compared to
income.37 According to Statistics Canada, these “low income cutoffs” indicate a reduced
standard of living but not a level of poverty. In 2009, the low-income cutoff in Moose Jaw for a
household with two people was $18,725 after taxes.38 At this estimated income, these groups
fall under the ‘social housing’ or affordable housing category on the housing continuum and
could afford to pay no more than $460 per month on housing and housing related costs. There
are three main demographic groups that are most likely to be disproportionately represented in
the low income cut-off categories: families, Aboriginal and Métis persons, and new immigrants.
Families - Statistics Canada data from 2006 indicates that out of 13,345 households in
Moose Jaw, 2,600 reported income of less than $20,000 per year and within range of the
low-income cut-off threshold.39 In order to meet the recommended shelter cost to income
ratio, this income category should be spending no more than $500 per month on housing.
However, families typically require more bedrooms for children and room for growth as
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their children get older, as well as proximity to amenities such as schools and grocery
Immigrants and Newcomers - With similar needs in relation to the shelter cost-to-income
ratio, immigrant newcomers also require different services in order to assist them to
integrate into the community and to increase their earning potential. New immigrants
especially experience a number of barriers to accessing good jobs that can support them
and allow them to access appropriate housing. This is reflected in higher percentages of
new immigrants that have to pay over 30 percent of household income on housing.
Housing that is appropriate for new immigrants has to be affordable to those earning less
income with larger families to support. Higher household densities may be the result of
larger families, but may also result from attempts to reduce costs of living by residing with
multiple or extended families. High household densities are not the solution to housing
shortages or to the gap between income and cost of housing: more needs to be done to
increase the number of appropriate housing options for new immigrants.
Aboriginals - Aboriginal demographics have similar household characteristics to immigrant
households, with higher household densities and extended families living in one dwelling.
As previously mentioned, Aboriginals characteristically need larger houses because of larger
families but are also disproportionately represented in lower paid professions. While
susceptible to the same disadvantages as immigrants, Aboriginals are fast becoming a
recognized source of labour potential which increases the likelihood that more Aboriginal
people will be moving to larger urban communities to take advantage of work
opportunities. Affordable housing of adequate size is required to allow Aboriginals to settle
permanently in these larger centers so that they may move up on the housing continuum.
Entry-Level Housing
Young professionals are typically recent entrants to the workforce. Often first-time home
buyers, this group may be employed in careers with upward earning potential and have
expanding household sizes. As their careers become more established, the likelihood that their
entry-level housing will be upgraded to market priced housing increases. Intended as the first
step into the housing market, entry-level housing may include mid-priced and medium density
condominiums, town-houses and smaller and older resale homes in established
neighbourhoods. These units are generally more affordable for new buyers that can only handle
a modest down payment but wish to exit the rental market.
Families with a combined household income close to the median income in Moose Jaw (around
$45,000) are considered to be moderate income families. These households can afford to buy a
house given a mortgage payment (and other household related expenses) of approximately
$1,150 per month. For moderate income families, suitable housing means appropriate space
for the size of family with no major repairs needed that would push them over the 30 percent
affordability threshold in the long term. For a household with a $3,700 per month combined
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income, assuming approximately $100 per month in property tax and a down payment of
$10,000, an attainable mortgage would be within the $200,000 range.
Market Priced Housing
Market price houses are sold to the highest bidders on the open real estate market or rented to
tenants able to afford rents set according to demand. These units include housing in new
developments, existing resale homes, condominiums and town houses and any rental units
outside the range possible for other lower income categories. The City of Moose Jaw’s target
to provide a certain number of serviced lots for the foreseeable construction period will be
necessary to ensure new market priced housing continues to meet demand. Due to this
increased demand, market housing in Moose Jaw is now priced to suit income demographics
earning over $70,000 per year. Established professionals and high income earners are most
able to buy what is provided by this level of the market.
It should be noted that the value of market priced housing and rentals in relation to average
income in a community is an excellent indicator of how current housing supply is able to meet
demand. Sudden, unexpected or overwhelming increases in price may indicate serious
shortages in the amount and quality of market housing provided. In addition, new market
housing subdivisions are an essential component of a healthy community tax base. Purchases
of new housing in new developments contributes the tax revenue collected by the municipality
which, when coupled with appropriate pricing for serviced lots, can help pay for more services
and subsidize or support housing initiatives that meet demands along other areas of the
housing continuum.
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Section 4: Community Growth and Development:
Ensuring an Appropriate Housing Supply to
Meet Needs and Demand
This section provides an overview present housing conditions in Moose Jaw and focuses on
community housing determinants, including an assessment of the housing market. In order to
determine status and needs of housing in Moose Jaw, a full diagnosis of the new home, resale
and rental market was completed. Previously presented information regarding future
demographic pressure points will also be used to outline appropriate housing options relative
to current and future supply as well as housing needs in the community. Future housing supply
will be contingent upon the amount of residential development within the community,
including the availability of serviced land.
A Brief Overview of the Housing Development in Moose Jaw
The City of Moose Jaw’s housing market remained somewhat stagnant between 1950 and
2000, with population holding steady at about 32,000. Between 1980 and 2000, Moose Jaw
experienced a minor decline in population, as did most of Saskatchewan. Due to slow growth or
sometimes declining population, the need for new housing was low and demand was met by
the existing housing stock. However, the result of the slow population growth and limited
number of new housing starts has become evident in the average age and condition of existing
housing which has deteriorated. Additionally, the lack of new purpose built rental units
between 1970 and 2000 has resulted in a decline in available rental units, a situation worsened
when apartments are converted to condominiums, and older buildings deteriorate due to lack
of investment.
Between 1980 and 2000, Moose Jaw’s housing sales activity shows a steady but slow increase
in both the volume of housing bought and sold and the average price of housing.40 These two
decades experienced only moderate price increases, with the average sales price of homes
rising 43 percent over twenty years, from $43,035 in 1980 to $64,157 in 2000.41 This gradual
rise is remarkable in comparison to the price increase over the last decade; between 2006 and
2010, the housing market became more costly to enter due to increased demand the and low
stock of new, resale and rental housing available tightening the market and driving up price.
These trends pushed the average resale price of a home from $101,254 in 2006 to $186,360 in
In addition to the housing pressures on the resale market, the new home market has not kept
pace with demand given limited servicing and residential construction capacity. The decrease
in building permits issued in 2010 reflect the reality that most of the available housing stock in
Moose Jaw is pre-owned and new housing is not being added to supply. Most housing available
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today was built between 1905 and 1970 and in need of varying levels of repair or even of
replacement in order to bring residential buildings into compliance with current building code.
Fewer permits also reflect Moose Jaw’s limited supply of serviced lots to provide to builders
despite record high demand for new housing; unfortunately builders and developers are unable
to acquire lots for new home starts at this time. This further constrains supply and exacerbates
housing prices. As the population increases and the housing market tightens, much of the
housing stock has become unattainable or ill-suited to meet the population’s needs. Therefore,
the cost of living in Moose Jaw has increased (and will continue to do so) because of the costs
associated with owning or renting, the low availability of housing, and increasing demand.
Recent trends in Moose Jaw indicate that the available housing stock will not be able to
accommodate current, or future, housing demand.
New Home Market 2000-2010
The new home market in Moose Jaw has not kept pace with demand given the lack of
opportunity for developers and builders to come into Moose Jaw with long term expansion
goals that can increase efficiency and decrease costs. Builders are most attracted to
communities that offer critical mass building opportunities or long term development options
so that they can build a higher number of houses at one time. The fact that population in
Moose Jaw has increased coupled with increased prices for homes indicates that demand for
new houses exists and is sufficient to attract developers and builders—provided enough
serviced land is available.
The supply of new housing is low, and most available homes for sale in Moose Jaw were built prior to
1970. Due to high demand, people are forced to purchase older homes that may require extensive
repairs and are much more expensive to maintain. The most recent multiple listing service (MLS) data
indicates that there are only five new residences available for purchase: three single detached/ semidetached dwellings and two condominium/townhomes. The average listing price of the single detached
homes was $450,000 and the condominium/ townhomes were listed at $390,000. The price of both
dwelling types far exceeds that which can be afforded by most of the working population in Moose Jaw.
The supply shortage has meant that the market lacks new housing at attainable price points. In
February, there were no new houses listed for sale below $350,000 and the average listing
price for a new built home in Moose Jaw was $441,850, about seven times the average annual
household income.42 This situation intensifies the problem of housing shortages and puts up
barriers for those that earn entry-level or higher wages and wish to enter the housing market:
available housing options are inaccessible to them. This has the effect of making Moose Jaw
uninviting even to those who know there are quality employment opportunities available to
them in the community.
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Given the limited number of units available in the new, resale and rental markets, the age and
appropriateness of much of the housing stock, and current prices, immediate efforts are
required to address the deficit of housing in Moose Jaw. Increased population is resulting in a
higher demand for housing; one of the most important means for ensuring housing is available
to address limited servicing and enable residential construction activity within and surrounding
Moose Jaw. The Moose Jaw Official Community Plan stipulates that the city should maintain a
minimum of two years and maximum five year provision of serviced lots; despite this, the City
of Moose Jaw currently has no available serviced lots for purchase and plans on developing
fewer than 50 lots in 2011. An appropriate supply of serviced lots will help attract builders and
developers, thereby increasing the capacity of the residential construction industry to complete
new subdivisions in an efficient timeframe. The construction of appropriate housing options in
these subdivisions could also help ease the housing market pressures across the housing
Moose Jaw’s New Home Market Statistics
The new housing market in Moose Jaw currently caters to a small portion of the overall market,
with the present level of two and three bedroom home construction not being sufficient to the
needs of Moose Jaw’s changing demographics. Real estate listings do not include any new two
or three bedroom homes. As mentioned earlier, Moose Jaw’s residential building permits have
fallen since 2008 despite the increase in demand. In 2007, the City of Moose Jaw approved 81
building permits for single-detached residential dwelling units, and 10 permits for multi-unit
residential dwellings. In 2008, building permit approval increased to 107 for single-detached
residential dwelling units and 26 for multi-unit residential dwellings; these numbers have
decreased in 2010 to 68 single-detached residential dwellings units and 6 multi-unit residential
dwelling permits (see Table 1).
Table 1: City of Moose Jaw Building Permits
Approved Single Family
Approved Multi-family
Source: City of Moose Jaw Building Permits 2010
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In 2010, of the 68 single family building permits approved, 53 were located in four Moose Jaw
neighborhoods. Westheath had the most new development with 29 building permits, followed
by Old 96 with 10 permits, Sunningdale with eight building permits and Victoria heights with six
building permits. Building permit data indicates that the estimated building cost per unit is also
rising. The average estimated building cost for residential building permits in 2010 was
$289,850; only two building permits had estimated building costs below $200,000. The
estimated average building cost of the 53 residential permits in the Westheath, Old 96, Victoria
Heights and Sunningdale neighborhoods was nearly $300,000, with the highest average
estimated building cost being $377,000 (see Table 2).
Table 2: Estimated Building Price
Moose Jaw Building Permits
# of Permits Estimated Build Cost Avg.
Old 96
Victoria Heights
Crescent View
Park Pac
Prairie Heights
Windsor Park
289,846.15 (avg.)
Source: City of Moose Jaw Building Permits (2010)
Residential multi-unit building permit activity has also not been sufficient to accommodate
current and expected need and demand in Moose Jaw. Multi-unit residential building permits
have fallen to 26 multi-unit residential building permits issued in 2008, and only six permits
issued in 2010. The decrease in building permits is not a result of decreased demand but rather
a reduced capacity to build due to the lack of available land for multi-unit residential dwellings
and an overall decrease in residential construction. The six multi-unit residential building
permits approved in 2010 will increase supply by a total of 50 units: four buildings will be
located in Sunningdale and will add 10 units total, and two in Old 96 .
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The two projects in Old 96 will provide 40 new units but will cater only to those looking for
luxury market housing. Terrace East, one of the two approved multi-unit residential building
permits located in the Old 96 neighborhood, will accommodate 36 units ranging in price from
$300,000 to $900,000 per unit.
Residential Development in 2011
Although there has been a decline in housing activity in Saskatchewan, CMHC forecast the
housing market in Saskatchewan to remain balanced. This implies that increases in new home
construction will likely move inventory levels higher next year. A slower pace of price increases
may benefit resale home buyers in Saskatchewan as the number of homes on the market is
expected to remain high throughout 2010 and going into 2011.43 If Moose Jaw intends to keep
pace with provincial growth trends, the rate of readying and supplying serviced residential lots
(water, sewer, electrical, gas) must be increased. The current proposals for development in
2011 do not increase stock sufficiently, nor will it address shortages in the supply of housing
across the continuum (other than market priced housing).
Moose Jaw’s proposed residential housing development for 2011 is located in three separate
residential subdivisions: West Park, Iron Bridge and an extension of Westheath. Each
development will consist primarily of single-detached residential dwelling units with a total of
219 lots available for development in 2011. The West Park development will encompass 84
single-detached dwelling unit lots and an option for 81 multi-unit residential dwellings in the
form of townhouses or 130 apartment style condominiums, and will be the most expansive
development scheduled for 2011. Proposed development in Iron Bridge is focused on
development of market priced housing and will result in the addition of 91 single-detached
residential dwellings at sizes to start at 1,400 square feet. The City of Moose Jaw is also
proposing an addition to the Westheath neighborhood that will contribute approximately 44
more single-detached residential market priced dwellings. Despite new home stock increases
promised by these proposed residential developments, the total number of units being added
to the market will only accommodate half the projected population increase (based on 2.5
persons per unit) in 2011.
The three new developments in 2011 are intended to attract those looking for market housing
with only West Park including provisions for multi-unit residential dwellings that could offer
more attainable and entry-level price points; however, the final price of these units will be
determined at the discretion of the individual builder. Given current and planned residential
development activity, the community of Moose Jaw will not be able to accommodate
individuals and families in need of affordable and entry-level housing options.
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Moose Jaw’s Resale Housing Market
Moose Jaw’s resale market changed during an economic growth phase between 2004 and
2010, and as such, the average price of a house increased by 120 percent in a six year period.1
In fact, the average price of a home in Moose Jaw was $84,847 in 2004; by 2010, it had more
than doubled to $186,360.44 The increase in prices results from greater demand for housing in
Moose Jaw, and can be quantified by the amount of residential housing sales during this time.
For instance, between 2004 and 2007, the resale market improved 55 percent, increasing from
529 to 818 listings. Although the number of sales has declined since 2007, sales have remained
higher than in 2004. In 2010, 625 units were sold in Moose Jaw, representing an 18 percent
increase over sales reported for 2004. While annual sales have increased by 18 percent, the
value of the listings has grown by 120 percent which indicates an increase in resale home values
due to shortage of housing stock. If more people want to purchase homes and only a fixed
number of dwelling units are available for immediate occupation, competition for available
housing will drive up market prices. Units sold in Moose Jaw in 2004 were undervalued relative
to income and quality; however, market trends have caused similar units to become overvalued
in 2010.
In 2006, the average price of resale housing was approximately $100,000 and the average
household income was $57,000, representing a housing affordability rating of 1.75 (this rating is
determined by dividing average price of housing by average household income and are listed
for comparison in Table 3). While housing in Moose Jaw was considered “very affordable” in
2006, by 2010 the average price of resale housing had increased nearly 85 percent to $185,000
(see Table 4) and average household income only increased 7 percent to $61,000. Hence, the
affordability index rating rose to 3.0, just under what is considered marginally affordable. If
housing prices continue to increase faster than income levels, housing in Moose Jaw may soon
become moderately unaffordable based on these ratings.
Table 3: Housing Affordability Rating Category
Median Multiple
3.0 or Less
Moderately Unaffordable
3.1 to 4.0
Seriously Unaffordable
4.1 to 5.0
Severely Unaffordable
5.1 & Over
Source: 7 Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey: 2011
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Table 4: Moose Jaw Resale Housing Market
Value of Units Sold $116,475,100 $123,017,100 $105,605,500 $106,550,800 $61,157,300
No. of Units
Avg. Value of Units
Yearly % Change
% Change since 2006
--Source: Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) Database
Based on average household incomes, Moose Jaw’s current housing may be considered
affordable by the standards outlined by CMHC and in comparison to the rest of Canada, but the
dominant income group within Moose Jaw earns less income than the average Canadian.
Approximately 19 percent of Canadians have an annual household income above $100,000;
However in Moose Jaw, 15 percent of the population falls within the $10,000 and $20,000
income group, comprising the dominant income group in the community. The affordability of
housing within Moose Jaw is based on average income which does not indicate the percentage
of population that would be considered without affordable housing options, despite overall
Current Listings
There are no longer many units listed below $150,000 in Moose Jaw and those on the market
are either in unsuitable living condition or inadequate to sustain an average sized family. With
only a few new houses on the market, the median age of homes currently listed were
constructed in 1964 but the average price of a home listed was $236,798, which would require
almost four times the average annual household income in Moose Jaw. 45 Unfortunately, this
price point is out of reach for many individuals and families hoping to enter the housing market.
While the average price of a listed home built before 1950 is $168,240 (lower than the market
average for all resale homes), these houses may fall short of the acceptability standard and
require extensive renovation and investment to render them acceptable, costly renovations
ultimately makes these homes unaffordable.
As in any city, location also factors into the price of a house. In Moose Jaw, the most expensive
resale units were listed in newer subdivisions such as Sunningdale, Victoria Heights and
Westheath, with more attainably priced homes located in City View, Elsom, and Prairie Heights.
For example, the average resale price in Victoria Heights is $418,875, compared to $181,891 in
City View.46
Many of the resale listings within Moose Jaw are centered in a small number of neighborhoods,
including Old 96 and Sunningdale, which have 55 of the 153 current listings in Moose Jaw, (32
and 23 respectively). Hillcrest and City View follow with 12 and 11 listings. Old 96, Hillcrest and
City View all represent established neighborhoods and the large number of listings from these
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areas demonstrates that many of the homes currently for sale are most likely older, and that
repairs and renovations are more likely required on these homes listed.
Moose Jaw’s Rental Housing Market
Moose Jaw’s rental market has become more competitive as demand has increased and stock
decreased. An overall decrease in rental units between 2007 and 2010, due mostly to
conversions of rental apartments into condominiums, resulted in the overall number of units
dropping by 221. Additionally, over the six year span between 2004 and 2010, vacancy rates in
Moose Jaw decreased as rental prices increased. For example, vacancy rates have dropped as
much as 85 percent in certain residential areas while the average rental price increased as
much as 55 percent during this same period.47 In fact, vacancy rates have been consistently
decreasing over the last several years in Moose Jaw, with the current vacancy rate nearing one
percent. As of October 2010, Moose Jaw had the second lowest vacancy rate in the province at
1.4, second only to Regina and below the provincial average of 2.5 percent. The vacancy rate
for a bachelor apartment in 2005 was 12.4 percent; in the fall of 2010, the vacancy rate for the
same category had decreased to 1.6 percent.48 Unfortunately, not all rental units are in
adequate condition, and as vacancy rates decrease, some units are continually occupied even if
major repairs are necessary.
The average rental price for a bachelor apartment increased by 55 percent from $297 to $462
in the period between 2005 and 2010.49 The increase in rental accommodation prices has
outpaced the income levels in Moose Jaw. Over a nine year period from 2001 to 2010, average
wages increased 28 percent from $54,773 to $61,423 in Moose Jaw,50 while average rent over
all apartment types increased 40 percent, from $470 in 2004 to $658 in 2010.51 Although
average rental prices typically rise over time, average rent prices have outpaced the rate of
wage increase, in recent years. This means that tenants will have to pay a higher percent of
their income towards household accommodations. (See Table 5 and 6)
Table 5: Private Apartment Vacancy Rates (%)
1 Bedroom
2 Bedroom
3 Bedroom
Fall 2010
Spring 2010
Fall 2009
Fall 2008
Fall 2007
Percent Change
Source: CMHC Housing Market Outlook: Prairie Region Highlights. 2004- 2010
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Table 6: Private Apartment Average Rent Prices ($)
1 Bed
2 Bed
Fall 2010
Spring 2010
Fall 2009
Fall 2008
Fall 2007
Percent Change
3 Bed
Source: CMHC Housing Market Outlook: Prairie Region Highlights. 2004- 2010
Housing Stakeholder Concerns in Moose Jaw
As part of the Moose Jaw Housing Business Plan development initiative, community
stakeholders with a vested interest in the supply of housing were engaged to provide insight
and input into areas of concern related to recent community and housing market trends. This
information was considered and included throughout the development of the Moose Jaw
Housing Business Plan. The following includes a brief overview of the highlighted concerns
among stakeholders.
Areas of Concern
Common areas of concern centered on the lack of affordable and suitable housing available to
low income families and individuals. The majority of stakeholders stated that finding affordable
housing is the main challenge within Moose Jaw and indicated that the lack of appropriate
affordable housing affects young adults, seniors, disabled persons and immigrant families,
people that are in the most need of affordable and entry-level housing options. Affordable
rental housing providers reported long wait-lists for units, with some wait-lists far exceeding
the total number of units managed.
Many stakeholders also acknowledged that the most suitable housing types required to
accommodate community needs included multi-unit residential ownership and rental housing
(with and without support), at affordable and entry-level price points. It was further stated that
the number of housing units in Moose Jaw does not match the needs of the community and
that there are too few seniors’ residences to support the current and future population.
Stakeholders also suggested the implementation of programs and initiatives to encourage the
supply of affordable housing, specifically to increase the supply of appropriate purpose built
rentals for low income families and individuals, including the addition of more subsidized rental
units. It was further recommended that affordable and entry-level home ownership programs
be considered to assist low to moderate income earners attain home ownership. The benefits
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of this are twofold. Firstly, people that qualify for the home owner assistance programs will
become permanent residents within the city and help grow the tax base of Moose Jaw.
Secondly, by helping people attain home ownership, the rental units previously occupied by
these residents become available—this helps alleviate pressure within an over-burdened rental
market. Nevertheless, the lack of newly constructed rental and ownership housing prompted
stakeholders to recommend increased development in all housing sectors.
Respondents indicated that current housing challenges would require a collaborative approach
that engages various stakeholders, including all levels of government, current housing
providers, non-profit and community-based groups, builders and developers. When asked
“What should be the role of the municipality in encouraging the supply of housing,” the vast
majority of respondents indicated that the City of Moose Jaw could and should have a role in
supporting housing development in the community.
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Section 5: Objectives and Strategies
The final section of the Moose Jaw Housing Business Plan provides targets and priorities that
help to ensure housing stock can support growth and economic development in the region.
The targets and priorities incorporate recommendations previously identified and endorsed by
City Council in the Official Community Plan as well s housing stakeholder comments. The
suggestions take into account Moose Jaw’s current and projected housing need, the current
capacity of the city to support new initiatives, projected capacity based on increased tax
revenue as well as demographic trends. Potential incentives are listed, accompanied by a brief
description of their strengths and how Moose Jaw could incorporate them into a development
strategy. Also included for reference are examples of other municipalities where similar
programs or incentives have been successfully implemented. Targets, priorities, incentives and
recommendations are intended to be suggestive only and may or may not be adopted by
administration and Council; however, they are intended to increase efficiencies, capacity and
housing options to accommodate the growing and changing demographic in Moose Jaw.
Establishing appropriate targets is important to guide a community in a unified direction. The
following are general targets that could serve to guide Moose Jaw’s efforts to encourage
increased housing capacity, options and affordability.
Development in Moose Jaw needs to address concerns that current community growth
is not keeping pace with recent changes in economic outlook and population increases.
Moose Jaw should target efforts that will increase the number of serviced lots and
attract developers to build new housing.
The City of Moose Jaw requires affordable housing and entry-level dwellings as soon as
possible. Initiatives should be implemented quickly to encourage development of
purpose built rental units and units intended for owner occupancy.
The City of Moose Jaw and Community stakeholders should build relationships with the
private sector to advance development in purpose built rental units for growing
populations that have unique housing needs, including students, seniors, low income
earners and new immigrants.
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The following are priorities that require immediate attention based on Moose Jaw’s current
demographics, the concern of community stakeholders and the target areas outlined in the
Official Community Plan. While all issues presented in the previous sections must be
addressed, these priorities represent core areas that, if endorsed by council, will provide a
starting point for future development plans.
Based on information presented in Moose Jaw’s Housing Business Plan, priority areas for
Moose Jaw include:
Increased Supply of Serviced Lots - The Official Community Plan recognizes that
Moose Jaw has not kept pace providing serviced lots for developers. The Plan also
encourages Council to ensure that a two to five year supply of serviced lots is
maintained. Population projections require that the supply of serviced lots be
increased and maintained at a much higher level than current limited stock of
serviced lots provides for future use.
Increased Housing Supply (All Sectors) - The shortage of rental accommodation and
inflation of house prices not commensurate with their actual value indicates that
people need housing in Moose Jaw. Developers and builders must be welcomed
and encouraged to help address housing need within each market sector.
Increased Availability of Rental Accommodations - The availability of rental
accommodation is an essential part of attracting new workers and families. The
current supply of rental units is far too low and special attention must be given to
encouraging purpose built rental construction in convenient and desirable locations.
Increased Purpose Built Developments - Moose Jaw has large demographic groups
in need of specific housing supports. Purpose built housing is intended to assist
those demographics by ensuring housing stock appropriate to their needs is offered
and intended specifically for them. Moose Jaw’s current housing market is priced to
exclude these vulnerable income demographics. The City should take responsibility
to help increase options for rentals and housing that are provided for seniors,
students, new immigrants, larger families and low income earners.
Increased Infill Development - One of the core objectives of the Official Community
Plan, infill development can revitalize underused areas and replace aging houses
with new targeted development. The average age of homes in Moose Jaw indicates
that many homes are due to be replaced rather than renovated in order to bring all
housing up to building code standards, improve energy efficiency and suitability.
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Increased Consultation with Developers and Community Stakeholders - Moose
Jaw’s Official Community Plan stipulates that as Council focuses on developing an
appropriate growth strategy with the involvement of interested community
members. By consulting with organizations familiar with housing needs and with
developers who are aware of how to best meet community demand, Council can be
better informed for future planning.
Continued Analysis and Review of Policies - Council must commit to a periodic
review of housing stock, population and demographic shifts and ensure that the
Housing Business Plan is updated annually to track progress and address changing
housing needs on a continuous basis. The planning process is dynamic and all policy
changes should be responsive to alterations.
Expansion of the Request for Proposal (RFP) Process - Request for Proposal can be
used to market and invite developers and builders to submit a plan for a housing
development (usually intended for designated site with a predetermined target
housing market or mix). Developers respond with project proposals that will best
suite the site. The process also allows for potential risks and benefits to be identified
early in the planning and development process. The process allows builders and
developers to present their own concepts or plans for the potential site, and
requires them to adhere to outlined architectural controls, densities and
development standards as established by the municipality. Individual Request for
Proposals can be created with varying details; usually residential development
proposals requires fairly clear information and specified requirements to ensure that
municipalities place trust and funds in projects that will positively impact the
community. An inquiry on level of interest can be sent out prior to the Request for
Proposals in order to obtain information from various companies of interest, and to
eliminate candidates early that do not meet the requirements to save time and
(An example of a Request for Proposal Template is attached in Appendix A)
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Housing Incentives and Financial Assistance
Current Programs in Moose Jaw
The following programs and incentives have been implemented in the City of Moose Jaw to
encourage the construction of new housing. An assessment of these programs was completed
and suggestions are also provided that may improve efficiency and increase uptake of these
Replacement Housing Incentive
The Replacement Housing Incentive was approved by Council in April of 2003 on a trial
basis, and was intended to stimulate the construction of new housing in Moose Jaw.
Approved by Council on a permanent basis in 2007, the program offers a tax exemption for
residents intending to demolish an existing house on a lot and construct a new home on the
same lot. This incentive targets neighbourhood revitalization and may increase the
construction of new home. Entry-level housing or market housing in established areas.
Encourages replacement of older homes in established neighbourhoods that may no
longer conform to appropriate building standards.
The period of tax exemption would be followed by an increase in tax rate for a higher
valued home.
Tax exemption is non-transferable.
Homeowners are less likely to replace a house they currently own than invest in buying
a newer home.
Initiative lacks a communication strategy. There is a lack of awareness about the
existence of the program.
Allow for a one time transferable tax exemption. This would encourage builders to buy
older homes, replace them and sell them at market value because they can pass the
incentive to the buyer. The builder can then market the homes with the tax exemptions
that the new homebuyer will receive.
Allow the level of tax exemption be different depending on the neighbourhood. For
example, a 100 percent tax exemption could be applied in areas where there is a greater
need for improvement or revitalization and with the greatest percentage of middle
income homeowners. Smaller tax incentives can be applied in areas where there are
fewer older homes that need replacement.
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Speculative Housing Program
Approved by Council, the Speculative Housing Program is applicable to all lots sold by the
City of Moose Jaw. Under this program, single family dwellings constructed for sale
purposes by a builder are eligible to receive a tax exemption for a maximum of 1 year from
the date the agreement is executed or until such time as the house is occupied or sold
(whichever comes first). The sale of the lot for a speculative house will be based on a
$2,000 deposit with the balance payable when the house is occupied. This incentive
targets new market housing on serviced lots to be sold at market price.
Provides an incentive to local builders to build new single family dwellings.
Allows small builders with less starting capital to grow their business.
Encourages rapid construction of new homes supplied due to the one year deadline.
Too small of a monetary incentive to encourage sufficient uptake.
Not enough serviced lots to accommodate potential interest.
May be unnecessary to encourage construction if developers are already interested and
waiting for newly serviced lots.
Not adequately advertised to builders to generate sufficient interest.
Recommended Improvements:
Immediate increase of serviced lots to accommodate potential interest in this incentive,
but also in developing new subdivisions in general.
Implement a marketing strategy to advertise the benefits of the program to builders and
Show Home Program
Under the Show Home Program, the City of Moose Jaw works with home builders to
identify optimal locations for newly constructed single family show homes. Approved by
Council, the program provides lots for show homes at prices discounted by 5 percent from
their market price. The sale of the lot for a show home is based on a $1,000 deposit with
the balance payable when the house is sold or up to a maximum of two years from the
commencement date of the agreement.
This incentive does not target any of the priority areas outlined in other sections of the
Housing Business Plan. This incentive should be reviewed to determine the intended
beneficiary and the projected outcome. Should it be determined that this program, or
any revised version, addresses one or more target areas outlined in the Plan, it may be
considered relevant and continued.
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Policy Development
This subsection will present some policy changes that Moose Jaw can review, consider and
begin to implement immediately. It will form the basis for the direction Council should take in
order to put the plan into action. Each policy recommendation is accompanied by an outline of
strengths and weaknesses, the intended sector of the housing continuum addressed by the
incentive and the applicability to Moose Jaw. Each policy description also includes a brief
reference to communities that have implemented similar recommendations and their
For reference:
Housing Continuum
Social Housing
Market Housing
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Potential Incentives
These incentive suggestions are intended to encourage the supply of ownership or rental
housing options. In the past, Moose Jaw has not offered programs that provide rebates or tax
incentives to developers or investors interested in constructing high density low cost units or
other housing options that address affordable or entry-level housing and rental needs.
Secondary Suites
Direct Sale of City-Owned Land and Property for Residential Developments
Waiver of Levies for Residential Development
Density Bonuses
Encouraging Community Stakeholders and Groups to Develop Housing
Land Cost Subsidy Program
Tax Abatement for Rental Housing
Perpetual Entry-Level & Affordable Home Ownership Program
Rental Land Cost Rebate
Affordable Housing Capital Incentives
Equity Loan Program
Mortgage Flexibility Programs
Rent Bank
Pre-designation of Land
The following pages include an expanded explanation of the above incentives.
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Secondary Suite Permit Fee Rebates52
A Secondary Suite is any self-contained dwelling unit that is separate from the principal dwelling. Secondary suites are usually
constructed within in single-detached homes, although some jurisdictions allow secondary suites in duplexes or condominiums.
They can be located either within the principal dwelling or in an accessory building on the same lot as the principal dwelling. A
Secondary Suite Permit Fee Rebate would refund all building and plumbing permit fees for new secondary suites upon
completion of a new secondary suite. The fee to legalize an existing suite should also be rebated back upon legalization of
existing suite.
Intended Sectors:
Market Housing; Entry-Level Housing; Affordable
Housing Type Encouraged:
An inexpensive way to increase stock of affordable rental housing
Integrates rental housing options throughout all neighborhoods
Maintains the character of houses in the neighborhood
Provides units without additional infrastructure pressures
Rental income can offset a homeowner’s mortgage and housing costs
Tendency in smaller and rural communities to permit suites on larger lots further from the core of the
community rather than closer to downtown where they are most needed
Public concern that renters will change neighborhood character
Ensuring secondary suites are legal and constructed to National Building Code Standards
Existing Programs:
Revelstoke, B.C - Faced with the impact of increased population on real estate prices, the shortage of secure rental
housing and the lack of affordable housing, the City of Revelstoke looked into creating incentives for private
construction of secondary suites. According to Statistics Canada 2006 Census Data for Revelstoke, less than 2 percent
of the housing stock was secondary suites. After the City had implemented incentives for secondary suites, more than
half of the 2,225 homes (representative of 72% of the housing stock) in Revelstoke are now permitted to have a
secondary suite. The initiative resulted in a significant increase in rental stock.
Saskatoon - Incentives for the construction and legalization of secondary suites are offered as a part of the Housing
Business Plan. Development, building, and plumbing permit fees for the construction of new secondary suites are
refunded upon completion of the work, an average of $288 per unit. Also, a portion (75 per cent) of the fee for
legalizing of an existing suite is also refunded, a $250 rebate.
Applicability to Moose Jaw:
The current low vacancy rate and decreasing number of rental units indicates high demand and encouraging secondary suite
development could help relieve pressure on the rental market. Through incentives that encourage secondary suites, such as
tax abatement and grants, the City has more control over development of legal rental suites. The incentive would also ensure
that secondary suites meet specific requirements for safety and living standards. By promoting legal secondary suites, illegal
suites are less prevalent as home owners are more likely to legalize suites if incentives reduce the costs.
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Direct Sale of City-Owned Land and Property for Residential Development
This initiative allows the City to increase residential spaces through the direct sale of city owned serviced lots to builders and
organizations intending to construct or convert structure housing. The City can request development proposals from various
builders and organizations from inside and outside Saskatchewan and arrange a direct sale with the application that best suits
the City’s needs at the time.
As land becomes available or identified within a municipality, the municipality can invite proposals through the Request or
Proposals (RFP) process. The municipality would encourage builders and organization from all areas to participate in the
process. The City would then evaluate and choose the proposal that best suits the land available and communities needs. The
City sells the land directly to the selected proponent approved developer.
Intended Sector:
Market Housing; Entry-Level Housing; Affordable
Housing Type Encouraged:
Ownership, Rental
Inexpensive way to increase stock of housing
Projects must be approved by administration and Council projects deemed inappropriate are refused
Can help integrate affordable housing throughout all neighborhoods
City can specify the type and density of housing that is to be developed (market, entry-level, affordable, mixeduse)
City sets architectural controls and guidelines
Can take a significant amount of time to receive and consider all applications
Limited supply of City-owned lots can slow release of Request for Proposals or construction
Sometimes requires a large number of lots or a significant parcel size to attract developers
Existing Programs:
Ottawa – Action Ottawa is a program offered by the City of Ottawa, as part of a comprehensive package of incentives
for non-profit and private affordable housing developers. Action Ottawa provides long-term leases on city owned
surplus land, as well as development fee relief, tax reductions and capital grants. The program has helped develop
368 affordable housing units since the program’s inception in 2002.
Edmonton – The City of Edmonton has implemented policies and procedures to regulate how City owned land will be
leased and/or sold in support of affordable housing developments. The policies and procedure specify the kinds and
rates of discount for various social housing agencies, including the City’s own housing organizations, and other
affordable housing developers.
Applicability To Moose Jaw
The direct sale of city-owned land or property within Moose Jaw could drastically increase the volume of new residential
development. Currently Moose Jaw lacks serviced residential lots that are ready for sale. By implementing a program that
directly sell lots, development on these identified sites or conversion of existing structures, both serviced and non-serviced, at a
discounted price the city could encourage developers to buy and quickly develop housing that best suits the land and the
community. The City of Moose Jaw could use the Request for Proposals process to facilitate development of the land.
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Waiver of Levies for Residential Development
The City can waive offsite levies for various developments, including affordable and/or entry-level housing. Special
consideration could be give to projects in established neighborhoods and infill development. Developers are required to meet
established criteria in order for the development to qualify for the waiver.
A City can establish a specific set of guidelines to decide the percentage of the discount, based on the type of development,
density and area. The municipality would require waiver applications from interested developers, builders and organizations
intending to develop housing. The municipality could then approve or refuse the waiver.
Intended Sector:
Market Housing; Entry-Level Housing; Affordable
Housing Type Encouraged:
Ownership, Rental
Implementation and approval process is relatively uncomplicated
Requires builders to meet specific requirements for housing developments
Waivers can be determined based on evaluation of criteria process and can vary from a partial to a full-waiver
Waiver helps alleviate costs associated with development, including utility connections, building permit fees,
money in lieu of dedicated land, and other off site fees.
Ensuring developers follow through with intentions outlined in proposals ( i.e. New Home Warranty, Energy
Implementing an effective communications strategy to ensure awareness of program among builders and
Existing Programs:
Hamilton - The City of Hamilton, in conjunction with the Regional Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth, provides
refunds and exemptions for local planning development fees. The refunds are given for affordable housing
developments that require applications such as Official Community Plan amendments, zoning bylaw amendments,
site plan approval, and building permits. The exemptions are determined for each individual development and
encourage residential development in the downtown area.
Santa Cruz, California - The Municipal Code for the City of Santa Cruz allows residential housing developers to apply
for waivers of utility connection, planning application, building permit, dedicated land, parking deficiency, and fire
fees when developing affordable residential units for low income individuals and families.
Applicability to Moose Jaw
The City of Moose Jaw could easily implement an incentive that allows for waiving levies for residential development. By
eliminating the on and off- site costs associated with residential development, significant cost savings can be passed onto rental
tenants or homebuyers. The cost savings can also translate into potentially higher profit margins for developers which may help
encourage them to build in Moose Jaw.
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Density Bonuses56
Density Bonus Programs encourage developers to build to higher densities in the community. This can also increase the supply
of affordable and entry-level housing with higher densities.
Density Bonuses are publically offered by the city to builders and developers. Density bonuses can be expressed as a
percentage of the density allowed under normal zoning regulations; Examples of bonuses include easing height restrictions, the
provision for more allowable floor space and a reduction in required parking per unit.
Intended Sector:
Market Housing; Entry-Level Housing; Affordable
Housing Type Encouraged:
Ownership; Rental
Increases the number of housing units at no loss (or additional land cost) to the builder or additional cost to the
Promotes efficient use of available land
Works well in higher density neighborhoods and locations where cluster development is possible
May not be sufficient to motivate a developer to build affordable housing units
Can result in small pockets of geographically dispersed units, making management difficult
Challenging to properly communicate to developers, buyers and sellers
Implementing an effective communications strategy to ensure awareness of program among builders and
Existing Programs:
Burnaby - The City of Burnaby introduced a Community Benefit Bonus Program to increase amenities and the supply
of high density affordable housing units without compromising neighborhood character or livability. The Program was
comprised of two phases: the first provided developers with an opportunity to contribute amenities of affordable
housing units whether on or off site, in exchange for increased density; the second offers a cash-in-lieu option for all
rezoning generating less than $800,000 in value. The cash-in-lieu fund is also used for other amenities such as
childcare centers, parks and civic facilities. The value of the community benefit, in terms of a direct amenity or cashin-lieu, is equivalent to the increase in the value of the land attributable to the increase in density.
Applicability to Moose Jaw:
The City of Moose Jaw could adopt a Density Bonusing Program that could target specific market types, ownership or rental
developments, or a particular demographic group (i.e. students or seniors).
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Encouraging Community Stakeholders and Groups to Develop and Manage Housing57
Current and potential housing providers (i.e. non-profit organizations and community based organizations) that have a vested
interest in the supply of housing should be encouraged to submit housing development proposals and concept plans to the City.
These organizations represent important elements when looking to increase housing supply efficiently. Many are well suited to
manage housing units (i.e. rentals) and some may even own land or property suitable for development or redevelopment.
A community based or non-profit organization with interest in provision of housing for a target population group may present
housing development projects for consideration, development approval and/or funding contribution to various levels of
government. The City should endeavor to support the efforts of these groups by providing feedback and guidance throughout
the planning process. In addition, the City can encourage partnerships among like minded organizations, builders and
developers to help ensure the project’s success. Target groups are usually specified by the organization and may reflect the
individual organizations mission and mandate (i.e. Aboriginals, immigrants, students, seniors, etc.).
Intended Sector:
Entry-Level Housing; Affordable Housing; Social
Housing Type Encouraged:
Ownership, Rental
The proponent develops and manages the housing units
Affordable housing is more likely to be built and managed effectively when an organization is dedicated to long term
goals of providing quality housing that aligns with their mission and mandate
Ensures ongoing maintenance of rental units as they age and housing needs change in the community
Groups often require funding and/or development assistance where experience and resources are limited
Requires a viable business plan and often initial support from various levels of government if developments offer
affordable or low-income housing.
Reliance on organizations with limited experience and resources can be time consuming and the development of
projects is not guaranteed even after preliminary planning efforts
Existing Programs:
Whistler - The Whistler Housing Authority leveraged $6 million to borrow $13 million to build 144 units of rental
housing. By 2007, the total inventory of residential housing (rental and ownership) had grown to 1400 units. Now,
Whistler Housing Authority has an annual budget of about $2 million from gross rental income. This example shows
how a housing organization can become sustainable and concurrently provide new affordable housing options, which
in Whistler’s case house 4000 local employees and families (equivalent to one third of their workforce).
Applicability to Moose Jaw
Moose Jaw can encourage the involvement of various housing organizations in addressing the community’s housing challenges.
There are already well established organizations in the City of Moose Jaw that have successfully provided excellent non-market
housing management. The City of Moose Jaw should continue to support organization that have an active role in housing, as
these organization play a vital role in providing appropriate housing solutions currently and will continue to provide assistance
in the future.
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City of Moose Jaw
Housing Business Plan 2011
Land Cost Subsidy Program
Affordable housing developments often have difficulty obtaining adequate land for development when land costs increase and
the cost of development begins to exceed finances available for the project. Due to financial shortcomings, many proposed
affordable housing projects do not make it past the concept stage. The Land Cost Subsidy Program relies on pre-designated,
city-owned land identified as appropriate for affordable housing development. The City can use a Request for Proposals process
for this Program.
A Land Cost Subsidy Program would encourage the development of affordable housing. The program can be combined with
other programs, such as pre-designation of land. The City would tender a Request for Proposals for affordable housing
developments and approve the proposal that best meets the requirements of the City and the pre-designated land selected.
The City can choose whether to provide the subsidy before or after the project is complete, recognizing that most developers
prefer the subsidy be paid prior to the project in order to help secure financing. After completion, the City would ensure units
within the development meet the requirements outlined in the initial proposal from the developer.
Intend Intended Sector:
Entry-Level Housing; Affordable Housing
Housing Type Encouraged
Rental; Ownership
Builders and developers can use subsidy to leverage finances for the project
Encourages others to propose affordable housing development in order to qualify for larger subsidies
Can be used to integrate affordable housing throughout all neighborhoods
Attaining the approval of Council and ensuring the capital to properly implement the program
Deciding if the land cost subsidy will be paid before development, or upon completion
Developing an inventory of City-owned land or property suitable for affordable housing projects
Existing Programs:
Saskatoon - The City of Saskatoon implemented a Land Cost Subsidy Program in which sites for affordable housing
are sold to non-profit affordable housing providers through a Request for Proposals (RFP) Process. The City may
purchase sites for this program if suitable sites do not exist in current inventory. In lieu of providing a ten percent
capital grant the City discounts the price of the land by a comparable amount assisting the housing provider with cash
San Francisco - The City of San Francisco is directed by a municipal ordinance to identify and transfer surplus city land
to the Mayor’s Office of Housing. The Office of Housing enters into deals to lease or sell the lands to affordable
housing agencies and other developers for less than market value, and to enter into contracts to preserve the longterm affordability of the land.
Applicability to Moose Jaw
The Land Cost Subsidy Program could help encourage the development of affordable housing in Moose Jaw by non-profit
organizations and builders. Sometimes these organizations have a difficult time attaining the capital to buy land for projects,
especially during times of rising land prices. By offering a Land Cost Subsidy, the City of Moose Jaw may help these groups move
forward with projects that previously would have been halted or encourage them to consider developing affordable housing.
The subsidy is usually determined as a percentage discount on the land, and can be provided in conjunction with other
programs. The program could easily be implemented by the City of Moose Jaw with a set amount of capital expenditure.
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City of Moose Jaw
Housing Business Plan 2011
Tax Abatements for Rental Housing
The City may consider implementing a tax reduction or abatement for any rental housing construction in any Moose Jaw
neighbourhood. The Tax Abatement for Rental Housing could include specific conditions and periods of time for the tax
exemption and reduction.
Under this incentive a City forgives taxes on newly constructed purpose-built rental dwellings in the form of full tax exemption
or tax abatement – tax abatement could be offered for a predetermined length of time (i.e. 5 years), taxes do not increase
based on the increased value after the project’s completion. The City can outline specific guidelines for the tax abatement
based on percentages for different forms of development. Tax abatements could be provided in conjunction with other
programs so that housing stakeholders can maximize savings, thereby increasing the incentive to develop housing. The
incentives usually require that the developments remain rentals for set number of years (i.e. so that conversion to
condominium strata housing cannot occur for 15-20 years).
Intended Sector:
Market Housing; Affordable Housing; Entry-Level
Housing Type Encouraged:
Promotes the development of purpose-built rental housing at various price points
Can be implemented in conjunction with other incentives to increase savings
Easy to implement
Marketing the program to the groups that will develop purpose-built rentals in a timely fashion
Ensuring developers maintain affordable rents for the predetermined period of time
Addressing public concerns that renters will change neighborhood character
Existing Programs:
North Battleford - The City of North Battleford approved incentives for the development of new multi-unit rental
housing, including a five year property tax exemption if new construction is commenced and completed within a 12
month period. They also offer a $1,000 per unit grant for new multi-unit rental construction. The grant is limited to a
total of $20,000 annually. The tax exemption and grants apply to at-grade and high-rise apartments and multi-unit
developments with four or more units per building. The exemption does not apply to condominiums, governmentfunded dwelling units or mobile homes.
Saskatoon - The City of Saskatoon program offers a tax abatement for up to 1,000 rental units over a five year span.
The abatements are contingent on units being purpose-built rentals and must remain rentals for 15 years (cannot be
converted to condominiums) and can be rented at fair market value. The abated portion of the taxes is based on
taxes assessed as a result of the construction. Property owners still pay taxes as assessed prior to the housing
development. The tax abatement is most beneficial for bare land development. It is often offered in conjunction with
the Rental Land Cost Rebate which provides a cash rebate of $5,000 per unit for the construction of purpose built,
multiple-unit rental housing through an application process. The program was created in response to the high number
of condominium conversion and the low vacancy rate in Saskatoon.
Portland, Oregon - The Portland Development Commission administrates several tax abatement programs on behalf
of the City of Portland. These programs provide tax abatement for residential developments and improvements such
as transit-oriented developments, rental unit developments/rehabilitation, multiple-unit housing construction, and
low-income non-profit housing development.
Applicability to Moose Jaw:
This program could be implemented in conjunction with other rental incentives to encourage the development of purpose-built
rental dwellings at various price points on an annual basis. The tax abatement can be based on a percentage adjustment or a
complete tax abatement for a number of years. Based on the needs in Moose Jaw, a tax abatement program that forgives tax
payments for five years would help to attract potential developers. Other municipalities have declined tax increases that are
based on assessments of property value after development is completed, meaning that bare-land developments receive the
most savings. The City of Moose Jaw can determine whether tax abatements should be more significant for infill development,
or redevelopment or whether a uniform tax abatement suites the needs of Moose Jaw.
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City of Moose Jaw
Housing Business Plan 2011
Perpetual Entry-Level & Affordable Home Ownership Program59
This program would limit the resale price of those homes that had been previously purchased at lower than market value under
affordable or entry-level home ownership programs supported by the municipality. The restriction can be tied to a resale price
formula that is assessed at predetermined percentage of below market value at the time of sale. This program is usually tied to
new affordable or entry-level home ownership developments.
Potential homeowners apply to purchase a home under an establish home ownership program. Approved home buyers must
be residents of Moose Jaw, and have an income below a specific level (MIL’s). When the homeowner decides to sell their home,
the amount cannot exceed a pre-determined value; the restriction is registered on the title before the initial sale. The predetermined value become closer to market value as the tenure of the original owner becomes longer.
Intended Sector:
Entry-Level Housing; Affordable Housing
Housing Type Engaged:
Ensures affordable and entry-level ownership housing developments remain attainable and less subject to market
fluctuations and price increases
Maintains the contribution to affordable and entry-level housing as a community benefit
Provides a fair process for resale that is not subject to market process
Allows homeowner to realize some equity
Does not allow the owner to fully benefit from increased market value
Requires substantial oversight and regulation of the resale process
May be challenging to properly communicate to developers, buyers and sellers
Success of these programs relies heavily on good communication about the parameters of the program so that
purchasers have a clear understanding of the resale restrictions.
Existing Programs:
Burnaby - The Verdant project in Burnaby, B.C. consists of 60 affordable homeownership units. Homeowners
purchase units at 20 percent below market prices with three key conditions: first, they would live in the residence,
(not buying as an income property); and second, when owners decided to sell their unit, they would first have the
home appraised to determine current market price, and then final sales price would reflect a 20 percent discount
from the assessed market value. Buyers still benefit from price appreciation, but units will be sold below market to
benefit others in need of attainable home ownership. The effect of the price restrictions is a continual stock of
purpose built affordable, quality homes available to moderate income families that allow families to build equity in
housing and save money.
Whistler - The Whistler Housing Authority (WHA) oversees the development of various affordable housing units. The
WHA administers the resale and price restrictions placed on the title of the entire parcel at rezoning and then
transfers the title to each unit at the time of sale. In 2006, the WHA decided to ensure perpetual affordability relative
to the purchaser’s ability to pay using a formula attached to the Core Consumer Price Index (CCPI) for Canada. Today,
these affordable housing units sell at 30 percent of market value. The process for resale relies on a waitlist and open
house system. The waitlist (first come, first served, once qualified) is maintained by the WHA and divided into
categories by project and unit type. Over a ten year period,, there were 475 affordable housing units produced and
offered under this program, ranging from studios to four bedroom single-detached homes.
Applicability to Moose Jaw:
As the price of housing increases in Moose Jaw, fewer people will be able to attain adequate housing, or become homeowners.
A Perpetual Entry-Level and Affordable Home Ownership Program would allow for savings to be passed down every time one of
the homes is sold on the resale housing market. Current demographics in Moose Jaw indicate that a housing initiative such as
this could help young professionals and recent graduates remain in the city. Moreover, if housing market trends rise, individuals
can leverage any equity to finance the purchase of market priced housing, thereby allowing new applicants to move into the
entry-level or affordable accommodations which will still be priced below market value.
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City of Moose Jaw
Housing Business Plan 2011
Rental Land Cost Rebate Program
Rental Land Cost Rebate Programs provide a cash rebate for the construction of multi-unit rental housing on a per unit basis.
These programs are beneficial where vacancy rates are low and condo conversions prevalent. The program can be applied in
conjunction with other programs or tax abatements. The rental rebate amount per unit can be determined based on need for
rental housing. The program can also stipulate that condominium conversion cannot occur for funded units over a
predetermined period of time (i.e.10 to 15 years) as determined by Council.
A municipality can provide the program grant on a per unit basis, for the construction of purpose-built rental housing.
Developers apply to the municipality by submitting of a proposal or development plan. The municipality considers the
proposed plan, can recommend changes, and can approve the development if it fits the requirements of the program. Some
communities choose to provide grants on a per unit basis so that an easy formula for payout can be implemented. While others
have added a minimum unit requirement to encourage developments with higher number of units.
Intended Sector:
Entry-Level Housing; Affordable Housing
Housing Type Encouraged:
Can provide enough capital to encourage the construction of purpose-built rental projects
Allows builders to pass savings onto renter by offering more affordable rental rates
Units cannot be converted to condominiums for a set amount of time ensure a more stable stock of rental units
Can be used in conjunction with other programs to increase development incentive
Can require a significant amount of capital to implement rebate (depending on grant amount)
Difficult to monitor rental rates and ensure condominium conversions do not occur
Existing Programs:
Saskatoon - The City of Saskatoon provides a Rental Land Cost Rebate of $5,000 per unit for the construction of
purpose-built, multiple unit rental housing. The program was implemented in response to a low vacancy rate and
increased condo conversions.
Kelowna, British Columbia - The City of Kelowna offer $200,000 in grants to encourage the construction of affordable
rental units. Funds are distributed based on the number of dwelling that qualify and the grants are available in two
categories: Up to $5,000 per unit is provided to for non-profit organizations that construct affordable rental housing
development, and up to $2,500 per unit is provided to affordable rental housing constructed by for-profit firms. All
units that qualify for funding, based on the City’s current definition of affordable rental housing or core needs housing
in Kelowna’s Official Community Plan, are identified by a Housing Agreement with the City and registered on the title
of the property to confirm that the units will remain affordable rental housing.
Applicability to Moose Jaw
The City of Moose Jaw can offer a Rental Land Cost Rebate Program to encourage in the construction of purpose-built rental
units. The program would require some capital investment, could be determined on a per unit amount based on feasibility
assessment done by the City. This would maximize the benefit for builders, the community, and for the City.
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City of Moose Jaw
Housing Business Plan 2011
Affordable and Entry-Level Housing Capital Incentive Program
An Affordable Housing Capital Incentive Program is usually implemented to offer a capital grant to for the construction of
affordable or entry-level housing. Typically, a maximum pool of capital funding is established by the municipality. Individual
grants are usually calculated based on a percentage of the total cost of the development. In addition, the units must remain
affordable or entry-level price points for a predetermined period of time (i.e. five to ten years).
An Affordable and Entry-Level Housing Capital Incentive would provide a capital grant for affordable or entry-level
developments. Potential housing providers can submit a proposal or housing development plans to the municipality to be
considered for the capital contributions. A percentage of capital, (i.e. five to ten percent), could be provided for affordable
housing projects intended for residents with households incomes below the provincially established Maximum Income Limits.
The program would be subject to maximum funding limits, and could be implemented at a percentage rate by the City.
Intended Sector:
Entry-Level Housing; Affordable Housing; Social
Housing Type Encouraged:
Rental; Ownership
Ensures units are available at entry-level or affordable price points
Maintains the contribution to housing as a community benefit
If offered in conjunction with the Perpetual Entry-Level and Affordable Home Ownership Program, it can provides a
fair process for resale that is not subject to market price fluctuations
May be challenging to properly communicate to developers, buyers and sellers
Contributing enough capital to encourage housing providers to increase supply of units
Existing Programs:
Regina – The City of Regina’s Social Development Reserve offers an Affordable Housing Capital Contribution Program,
which provides a capital contribution of $10,000 per unit for affordable housing developments. Priority is given to
non-profit, First Nation and Métis, and co-op housing organizations. The capital contribution may be provided in
addition to or in lieu of property, building or other in-kind assistance.
Toronto – The Let’s Build Program in Toronto provides a comprehensive list of potential incentives, including grant
funding. Funding is provided by the City’s $11 million Capital Revolving Fund for Affordable Housing. This program has
assisted in the construction of more than 650 affordable housing units in Toronto.
Applicability to Moose Jaw:
The City of Moose Jaw could implement an Capital Incentive Program to help alleviate pressure on the entry-level and
affordable housing market (rental and/or ownership). The City could determine the grant per unit or based on the total capital
cost of an affordable housing project. Eligibility requirements could be income-based and grants could be limited to a maximum
amount based on housing type.
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City of Moose Jaw
Housing Business Plan 2011
Equity Loan Program
Equity Loan Programs can assist moderate income households make the transition from renting to homeownership. These
programs allow households earning just above the Maximum Income Limits to earn equity over time and enable them to move
up the housing continuum. This can also help free up rental units in the short and long term.
Equity Loan Program could apply to individuals and families with a combined household income between $44,500 and $70,000.
Applicants apply to receive a down payment loan, which is repaid over a pre-determined period of time. Qualified applicants
receive the down payment loan from the City through a partnered financial institution, to purchase housing units categorized as
entry-level by standards established in the city. Applicants are typically renting within the city limits and cannot own other
property within the City. The program is intended to help individuals and families transition from renting into homeownership,
ease pressure on the rental sector and help those who normally would not be able to afford a down payment to become
Intended Sector:
Entry-Level Housing
Housing Type Encouraged:
Encourages resident permanency and ongoing contribution to the Moose Jaw tax base
Frees up rental spaces
Helps foster stability in neighbourhoods as the prevalence of homeownership increases.
Requires a partnership with the financial sector to ensure proper delivery
May require a partnership with Saskatchewan Housing Corporation required to assess applicant eligibility
Educating the public about the program in order to minimize backlash associated with misunderstanding the program
Marketing the program to the individuals and families that qualify and explaining the marketing value to builders and
Existing Programs:
Saskatoon - The Equity Building Program assists households with incomes between $44,500 and $70,000 with the
purchase of an entry level home. Eligible households receive a down payment loan for 5% of the purchase price which
must be re-paid over a five year period. Homebuyers must be currently renting in Saskatoon and can purchase any
home in the city that is priced between $180,000 and $280,000.
Cypress, California - The Cypress Redevelopment Agency Home Equity Loan Program has been developed to provide
first time home-buyers with the financial assistance necessary for home ownership. This program provides loans up to
$25,000 to eligible first-time home-buyers for help with the down-payment, including a portion of non-recurring
closing costs. Immediate repayment is due upon sale, transfer of title, or certain refinances.
Applicability to Moose Jaw:
The current strain on the rental housing market in Moose Jaw could be mitigated by an Equity Loan Program that would assist
individuals and families transition from rental to ownership. An Equity Loan Program increases number of homeowners and
opens rental units to individuals and families who may not be looking to own. The proposed program can help alleviate
pressure on both the entry-level housing market and on the rental market. The program also encourages individuals and
families to make permanent homes in Moose Jaw and build their equity.
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City of Moose Jaw
Housing Business Plan 2011
Mortgage Flexibility Support Programs
Under this program, home builders and developers construct homes to be priced below market value to be sold as affordable
home ownership to eligible home buyers (incomes below the provincially established Maximum Income Limits). The home
buyer receives a down payment grant from the municipality as well as potential mortgage insurance flexibilities if the program
is offered in partnership with CMHC.
Under a Mortgage Flexibility Program, the City would designate approved new affordable housing units (determined based on a
proposal or development plan submission or a Request for Proposals process) as eligible to receive down payment assistance.
A portion of the down payment is provided as a grant from the City to the homeowner in cooperation with the financial sector
and the home builder. The program can also potentially be funded by the municipality and the private sector, such as a large
employer in the community with an interest in increasing the housing supply. The down payment grant is repaid to the city
through the re-direction of property taxes over a set number of years.
Intended Sector:
Entry-Level Housing; Affordable Housing
Housing Type Encouraged:
Increases the supply of affordable housing within a community
Increases housing affordability for homebuyers below Maximum Income Limits
Relieves pressure in the entry-level and rental housing markets
May be funded by the City of in partnership with the private sector
If supported by various partners, the administrative burden can be lessened
Effective marketing tool for newly constructed affordable housing units
Municipality’s one time investment is repaid through property taxes
Requires serviced lots on parcels of land in an amount/size large enough to draw builders and developers to Moose
Requires partnership with federal and provincial governments and the private sector
Existing Programs:
Saskatoon - In 2009, the City of Saskatoon partnered with the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation (SHC), the Canada
Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and private home builders to assist low income households purchase a
new home. Homes built by private developers are affordable to households and individuals with income between
Maximum Income Limits. Applicants are screened by the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation and successful
candidates are required to participate in homeownership training. The City of Saskatoon provides the a 5 percent
down payment grant to the purchaser which is repaid over a period of time through the redirection of property taxes
for the units.
Applicability to Moose Jaw:
The City of Moose Jaw, with cooperation from community stakeholders and developers could implement a similar Mortgage
Flexibility Program to encourage the development of affordable housing and increase the prevalence of homeownership. The
lack of attainable ownership housing options in Moose Jaw illustrates the need for a program that assists people with
household income below the provincial Maximum Income Limits to purchase homes. By increasing the number of new
homeowners, rental units open up and the tax base will be increased.
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City of Moose Jaw
Housing Business Plan 2011
Rent Bank
Rent Banks provide emergency funds to tenants who are at risk of being evicted due to an emergency or unforeseen
circumstance, resulting in short-term rental arrears. Rent banks are designed to assist tenants on a short term basis until they
are able to overcome their setback.
Municipalities can allocate funds to individuals and families at risk of homelessness from potential eviction due to emergency
situations, such as job loss, health issues or death of a family member. The funds are used to pay rent so that the affected
individual or family may remain in their homes and be in a better position to overcome their difficulties. The funding is usually
intended to help in the short-term until the tenant is in better financial standing. The small loans are forgivable and do not
require interest payments; however, there is an option for the tenant to repay assistance. These programs can be managed and
delivered by a community based or non-profit organization, if provided funding from the municipality.
Intended Sector:
Affordable Housing; Social Housing
Housing Type Encouraged:
Helps those in emergency situations at risk of homelessness to remain housed
Small capital funding contribution required
Reduces turnover in rental dwellings, helping continual tenancy
Tenants can have the option of repaying rental assistance
Requires case-by-case assessment and monitoring to ensure that tenants are not abusing the program
Requires a contribution or assistance limit (1-2 months) as determined by Council or administering organization
Requires a good working relationship with rental providers
Existing Programs:
Toronto - The Rent Bank Program provides limited, interest free loans to seniors, individuals, and families who face
eviction for rental arrears. The maximum loan available to a household can be up to two months’ rent. The Rent Bank
Program also provides emergency rental deposit loans to people affected by the recession who require first and last
month’s rent to move to more affordable housing.
Surrey - The Surrey Rent Bank offers assistance to low income individuals and families living in Surrey to pay rent in
arrears or utility bills by providing emergency loans to low income earners in crisis. In addition, the Surrey Rent Bank
provides tools to teach them to better manage their limited financial resources.
Applicability to Moose Jaw:
The City of Moose Jaw may want to investigate the possibility of establishing a Rent Bank Fund specifically intended for those in
risk of becoming homeless due to unforeseen circumstances. Moose Jaw could send out a Request for Proposals to gauge
groups’ interest in managing the delivery of the program, to be funded by the City (and/or other partners).
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City of Moose Jaw
Housing Business Plan 2011
Pre-designation of Land
Pre-designating land allows for the more efficient allocation of a specified market or type of housing to be developed in an area
identified to be ideal for that particular type of housing. Pre-designation is useful in times when available serviced land is low or
when a municipality wants to encourage housing stakeholders to develop a suitable project idea.
Early in the planning process a city pre-designates land for various uses. Using a Request for Proposals process, the City
advertises the pre-designated parcel and solicits competitive proposals from community-based organizations, builders and
developers. Proposals are evaluated, and the proposal that best suits the pre-designated site is approved by the City. The land
is then sold to the successful proponent. If the City chooses to designate a parcel for affordable housing (rental or ownership)
the land may be offered below market value to reduce end housing cost for the renter or owner. Land can be designated to suit
a variety of housing needs in the community and can include designations for market, entry-level, affordable or mixed-use
developments that include ownership and/or rental units.
Intended Sector:
Market Housing; Entry-Level Housing;
Affordable Housing
Housing Type Encouraged:
Ownership, Rental
Ensures development of specific types of housing in new or established neighbourhoods
Implemented early in the planning process
Allows proponents to propose projects and concepts that address housing need- takes some of the concept planning
responsibility off the municipality
Allows the City to select the best project concept out of a variety of proposals
Must clearly outline parameters and expectations for development
Compiling an inventory of City-owned sites for pre-designation
Marketing the program to potential proponents and in a timely manner
Often requires a large enough parcel of land to make contributions viable for proponents
Existing Programs:
Saskatoon - The City of Saskatoon pre-designates land for affordable and entry-level housing (ownership and/or
rental) in order to ensure that neighbourhoods include an appropriate blend of housing types. The City identifies
suitable locations for affordable, entry-level and purpose-built rental housing within new or established
neighbourhoods where the City owns land. These pre-designated sites are advertised and offered through the
Request for Proposals (RFP) process. The land is then sold to the proponent whose proposal best suits the site and the
communities needs (evaluated on a point-system). The City also encourages private developers to pre-designate land
for entry-level and rental housing in their new subdivisions on a voluntary basis.
Applicability To Moose Jaw:
The City of Moose Jaw currently requires housing of all forms. The Pre-designation of Land process is particularly useful when
there is a low inventory of available sites from both City and privately-owned sources. By implementing a Pre-designation of
Land Program the City of Moose Jaw could encourage housing in all neighbourhoods without extensive capital expenditure.
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City of Moose Jaw
Housing Business Plan 2011
Local Area Planning Initiative
Local Area Plans outline the future goals and priorities of district or neighbourhood, group of districts or neighbourhoods, and
the means of attaining the goals and priorities. Local Area Planning gives residents an active role in determining the future of
their neighbourhood. Residents, business owners, property owners, community groups and other stakeholders are engaged by
the City to develop goals and strategies aimed at improving the long-term success and vitality of their community or
Intended Sectors:
All sectors may be included
Housing Types Encouraged:
All types may be encouraged
Contributes to the development of specific goals and targets for individual areas and provides guidelines for decisions
made by administrators and Councilors
Broader benefit because Local Area Planning typically addresses many components of a neighbourhood, such as
traffic, business location and access, industry location and parks
Allows for public engagement and consultation in the planning process
Promotes public involvement and cooperation resulting in less confusion and back-lash
Limited planning capacity hinders ability to properly develop Local Area Plans
Can be challenging and time consuming to engage the public in a full consultation process
Communities in Participation:
Saskatoon - The City of Saskatoon has developed various Local Area Plans with the cooperation of stakeholders and
residents. The City of Saskatoon currently has twelve local area plans for various neighborhoods, and has continual
consolation with stakeholders in each area to update plans.
Victoria - The City of Victoria, District of Saanich has created twelve separate Local Area Plans to help isolate the
individual priorities and goals of each community. Each Local Area Plan has special guideline for developing bike lanes,
public transit, road networks, locations for multi-unit dwellings and strict architectural controls.
Calgary - In April 2010, the City of Calgary released a Municipal Development Plan that included a comprehensive
review of the criteria for Local Area Plans. Calgary implemented policy to facilitate public consultation through Local
Area Plans and specific guidelines for residential development including the local area plan process.
Applicability to Moose Jaw:
Current housing needs in Moose Jaw require specific consideration for planning and development. Consultation with the public
is an important part of the planning process. Local Area Plans will allow the public to be engaged in the future planning of
Moose Jaw. The public consultation process will help educate groups with specific interests and potentially reduce confusion
from concerned individuals and groups. Local Area Plans can also allow residents to voice their concerns about age and quality
of housing, and the need for revitalization and ownership. Developing Local Area Plans in Moose Jaw can help identify whether
specific demographic groups are concerned about the lack of housing options in their community. For example, aging residents
that currently own may want rental housing options in their neighbourhood so that they can remain in the area if they decide
to sell the units they currently live in.
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City of Moose Jaw
Housing Business Plan 2011
The City of Moose Jaw, in collaboration with the Canadian Home Builders’ Association –
Saskatchewan, has developed the Moose Jaw Housing Business Plan as a proactive measure to
ensure future municipal planning can accommodate community growth. The Plan was
developed to assist City Council in their efforts to address the changing housing needs of Moose
Jaw’s growing population. Realistic population projections, based on economic growth and
provincial trends suggest that Moose Jaw may see its population grow to 50,000 people within
the next two decades. Collaborative efforts to prepare for growth will require support for
responsible housing development in the City.
Moose Jaw’s main priority will be addressing the need for all housing types at all price ranges.
At this time, the most pressing need is the provision of a high number of serviced lots. This will
help attract investment and residential construction to the city. Developers with the capacity
to provide a large number of units are interested in building on large parcels or planning entire
subdivisions. Without the serviced lot capacity to attract builders and developers on larger
scale, Moose Jaw will be at a disadvantage when competing with other communities for
development capacity. Encouraging builder and developer interest and investment in Moose
Jaw will benefit the community through increasing tax revenue as new residents move to the
City. Increasing the supply of housing options will also benefit new homeowners and renters in
Moose Jaw where limited options currently exist. Lastly, residential construction activity in the
community as many businesses are directly and indirectly impacted by new home construction.
Saskatchewan is facing challenges associated with rising housing costs and decreased
availability, and many communities are not prepared to deal with critical housing shortages
associated with the new level of prosperity. Moose Jaw is not immune to the economic
expansion occurring province wide; in fact, as a mid-sized and centrally located city surrounded
by growing industry, Moose Jaw is more likely to expand at rates that surpass the provincial
average. The economic outlook is positive for Moose Jaw; in order to benefit from the revived
economy, city administrators and elected officials must maximize efficiency in community
planning and make responsible decisions to address residents’ requirements. Low vacancy rates
and high rents are pushing more people towards homeownership, but the choices are limited
and for many unattainable. A sufficient supply of housing at each level of the housing
continuum can help alleviate pressure from increased demand and decreased supply, while
enabling the City to direct expansion to meet future needs.
Moose Jaw will now face new challenges associated with implementing proposed incentives
and programs intended to influence and encourage development. One consistent challenge
presented by the suggested incentives will be is the efficient and targeted marketing and
communication of the new programs to the public and housing stakeholders. In order for the
approved programs to be effective, the City must generate widespread public awareness that
incentives are available for organizations, developers and builders willing to help increase the
supply of housing. City Council has the opportunity to support continued economic growth in
Moose Jaw – this opportunity is worth celebrating as these initiatives are intended to benefit
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the entire community. Administration and Council must review the policies, participate in
considering their application and implementation, and communicate the possibilities to the
public to encourage participation and support.
The Moose Jaw Housing Business Plan presents City Council with a base from which to move
forward with new and exciting development plans that will contribute to future prosperity.
Moose Jaw’s role in the development process begins with the review of this document and
continues with an evaluation of current practices and policy revisions to maximize efficiency
and results on an annual basis. This must include a continual revaluation of the demographic
trends and economic opportunities of the region required to keep the Housing Business Plan
current. With the framework established, City Council can build a foundation of growth and
guide future planning to ensure a healthy and sustainable housing supply for now and into the
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Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, “Canadian Housing Observer,” 2009. Online. Accessed February 22, 2011 <>, 15.
Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce. Online. Accessed October 13, 2010. < >
Saskatchewan Health Information Network, Region’s Covered Population, 2010. Website. Accessed February 25, 2011.
Record population lows for the both Saskatchewan and Moose Jaw in the 2001 and 2006 census years. According to Statistics Canada,
Community Profiles, 2001-2006 and Saskatchewan Health Card data obtained from Saskatchewan Ministry of Health’s Covered Population
reports, 2009 and 2010. Online. Accessed January, 2011. <>
Rebecca Lawrence, “Moose Jaw registers 37,046 with Sask Health,” The Moose Jaw Times Herald: Times Herald Edition. December 10, 2010,
Available Online. Accessed December 15, 2010.
Statistics Canada, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan (table): 2006 Community Profiles, 2006 Census, Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 92-591-XWE.
Ottawa. Released March 13, 2007. Accessed December 1, 2010.
Calculated from sourced primary data: Saskatchewan Health Information Network. Online. Accessed January2011.
<>; Statistics Canada 2006 Census Data. Online. Accessed December, 2011. <>
CanaCode Cluster Descriptions, Minufold Date Mining Inc., Online. Accessed November 12, 2010
Canada West Foundation, “State of the West”, Report 2010, page 12
Elliot, Doug. “Selected Demographic and Economic Characteristics of the Aboriginal Population in Saskatchewan,” Sask Trends Monitor,
Presented to the Canadian Bar Association Mid-Winter Meeting, January 31, 2008. Online. Accessed December 16, 2010
< percent20Bar percent20Assoc.pdf>
Statistics Canada, “2006 Aboriginal Population,” Government of Canada, Online, Accessed December 2010. <>
The Aboriginal population is growing at a higher rate than the general population of the province, and demographic projections indicate that
the Aboriginal proportion will grow to 32.5 percent by 2045. Today, Aboriginal peoples occupy an increasingly important role in the province,
with 2001 census figures indicating 83,745 Status Indians, 43,695 Métis, and 190 Inuit-together amounting to 13.6 percent of the population.
Online. Accessed December 23, 2010. <>
Statistics Canada, “2006 Aboriginal Population,” Government of Canada, Online, Accessed February 23, 2011
Statistics Canada, “2006 Aboriginal Population,” Government of Canada, Online, Accessed February 25, 2011
Stats Canada, “Population by Year, by Province and Territory,” 2010. Online. Accessed December 23, 2010.
Rebecca Lawrence, “Moose Jaw registers 37,046 with Sask. Health,” Moose Jaw Times Herald, December 10, 2010. Online. Accessed
December 23, 2010. <,046-with-Sask-Health/>
Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce, “Sustainable Growth Strategy,” June 2010. Online. Accessed January, 2011. <>
Statistics Canada, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan (Code4707039) (table). 2006 Community Profiles. 2006 Census. Statistics Canada
Catalogue no. 92-591-XWE. Ottawa. Released March 13, 2007. Online. Accessed February 18, 2011. <>
Moose Jaw Regional Economic Development Authority, “Moose Jaw Region Taking Flight: Moose Jaw Regional Profile,” 2009, 12.0.
SaskBiz, “Community Profile for Moose Jaw”, Sourced from Statistics Canada 2006 Census. Online. Accessed February 23, 2011.
Moose Jaw Region Economic Development Authority: Economic Profiles. Online. Accessed December 22, 2010.
City of Moose Jaw, “Industrial & Commercial Land,” City of Moose Jaw, December 2010.
The Canada West Foundation, “The Economy of the Rural West: 2010-2015-2020,” The Canada West Foundation, Online. Accessed November
8, 2011. <>
Moose Jaw Regional Economic Development Authority, “The Moose Jaw – Regina Corridor,” Online: Accessed: November 12, 2010
<, >
Unknown Author, “The Moose Jaw-Regina Corridor,” Moose Jaw Regional Economic Development Authority, 2008. Online. Accessed
February 15, 2011. < percent20Moose percent20Jaw percent20Advantage percent20percent20Moose percent20Jaw-Regina percent20Corridor.pdf>
57 | P a g e
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Housing Business Plan 2011
Statistics Canada, Moose Jaw Census 2001 and 2006.
Government of Saskatchewan. “SaskWater and the Mosaic Company Sign Contract,” News Releases, November 20, 2009. Online. Accessed
January 2011. <>
Farm Business Communications, “Feds Back Moose Jaw Pork Plant Renovations,” Country Guide, Eastern Edition, December 3, 2010; Discover
Moose Jaw, “Pork Plant Upgrades Begin,” Online, Accessed September 29,2010. <, >
Discover Moose Jaw, “Waiting on Chinese Investors,” Available Online,, (Date Accessed: September 29, 2010);
Discover Moose Jaw, “China Looks to Moose Jaw,” Available Online,, (Date Accessed: November 12, 2010); Mayor
Glenn Hagel, “China Looks to Moose Jaw,” Media Conference, Audio Available Online,, (Date Accessed: November
24, 2010).
Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology, “Aboriginal Student Success Strategy: Final Report of the Committee,”
Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology, (2009), 6.
SIAST Graduate Employment Report: 2008-2009 Graduates. 2010. Online. Accessed March 1, 2011.
Statistics Canada, “Low-Income Cut-Offs”, Statistics Canada Website. Accessed February 23, 2011.
Statistics Canada, Low Income Cut-Off Table, Online. Accessed February 22, 2011.
SaskBiz Community Statistics. Online. Accessed February 22, 2011.
Canadian Real Estate Association Database, Total Sales and Listings 1980-2010. Online. CREA Database. Accessed February, 2011.
Canadian Real Estate Association Database, Average Annual Sale Price 1980-2010. Online. CREA Database. Accessed February, 2011.
Multiple Listing Sales, Average Price New Built Homes, 2011. Online. Accessed February 18, 2011. <>
CMHC Housing Market Outlook: Prairie region Highlights. Fourth Quarter 2010
Canadian Real Estate Association, “Average Resale Home Price”, 1980-2010. CREA Database. Online. Accessed February, 2011.
Multiple Listing Sales. Total Sales and Listings. Accessed February 18, 2011.
CMHC, “Rental Market Report”, Compiled from reports years 2004 to 2010, Online. Accessed December 2011. <>
SaskBiz, “Financial – Income Report for Moose Jaw,” and “Household Income – 2001 Report for Moose Jaw”, Online. Accessed February,
2011. <>
CMHC, “Rental Market Report”
Curran, Deborah and Wake, Tim. “Creating Market and Non-Market. Affordable Housing: A Smart Growth Toolkit for BC Municipalities.”
SmartGrowthBC. March 2008; 19, 22
Bevill, Jacquie. “Project Profile: City of Saskatoon Housing Business Plan.” Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. 15 November 2010; 3.
Curran and Wake, 26,27
Bevill, Jacquie. “Project Profile: City of Saskatoon Housing Business Plan.” Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. 15 November 2010; 3.
Curran and Wake, 31,32.
Curran and Wake, 63,64.
The City of Saskatoon, Housing Business Plan, 2010. Pg. 14
Curran and Wake, 41,42.
Curran and Wake, 45,46.
The City of Saskatoon, Housing Business Plan, 2010. Pg. 14
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Appendix A:
Request for Proposal Sample Template:
Project Title
Request for Proposals
[The purpose for the Request for Proposal. A description of the project, its goals and
Project Overview
Company Profile
[Organization information]
Program Overview
*How the project fits into the organization’s overall program+
Project Context
[Include site measurements, zoning classification and surrounding area density
(residential, commercial and/or institutional)]
Site Setting
[Detail adjacent properties, nearby transit routes, surrounding amenities. Also include
future development plans of the area.]
[Selling price for the land. Include any applicable incentive programs.]
Architectural and Development Controls
*The controls which pertain to the site’s zone classification+
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[List the services included with the site, i.e. sidewalks, street lighting, natural gas,
electrical etc. Also mention any service costs not included in the land price.]
Intentions for the Property
[Include the objectives of the project as well as any key features that are needed for a
successful proposal]
Scope of the Project
The Proposal should include the information on the proponent’s background and
general information on the proponent’s ability to complete a project of this size.
Submissions from both the private and not for profit sectors are welcome.
Project Objectives
[Project summary]
[Specific features]
[Specific features or goals of the project (i.e. price targets, demographic, design)]
Proposal Content
Submissions should contain the following items demonstrating how the project
objectives will be met:
[How the request for Expressions of Interest will be distributed]
[Provide details of the submission process]
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[Include how the submissions will be reviewed, selected and the successful proponents
Standard Conditions
Right to refuse any submission
The [organization] ([organization short-form]) reserves the right to reject any or all
proposals or to accept any proposal received in response to this Request should they
deem it in their interests to do so. No fee shall be payable by [short-form] to
proponents for the preparation of or presentation in response to the Request for
Proposals. [short-form] may, in its own discretion, waive any irregularity or insufficiency
in any proposal selected.
Responsibility for accuracy of information
The information contained within this document, and any plans or drawings or
supporting documentation that may be provided by [short-form] are for the assistance
of the proponent. [short-form] takes no responsibility for the accuracy of information in
this document or in any accompanying documentation. In the event of any
discrepancies or omissions appearing, differences of opinion, misunderstanding, or
dispute arising between the proponents and the [organization] relative to the intent or
meaning of the terms set out in this Request for Proposals or in any accompanying
documents, the decision and interpretation of [short-form] shall be final and binding
upon all parties, and from which there shall be no appeal.
Waiver of rights in proposals
All submissions and any accompanying information submitted by proponents will
become the property of [short-form] and may not be returned to the proponents. Each
proponent acknowledges and agrees that [short-form] is likely to receive and be
required to deal with a number of competing proposals, each of which may contain or
disclose information considered by the proponent to be special, unique or proprietary
nature. Details of all proposals will be kept confidential until the final selection of the
Indemnity of Corporation by proponents
Each proponent shall indemnify and save harmless [organization], and their respective
staff and consultants from and against all claims, actions, suits and proceedings,
including all costs and expenses of every nature whatsoever incurred directly and
indirectly by [organization] in connection with such claims and actions in respect to the
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infringement or alleged infringement of any patent, copyright, trademark or industrial
design or the use or misuse in connection with the proposal.
Conflicts of interest
No employee of [organization] shall submit or be directly involved in the submission of a
Condition of site
i) [notable condition and/or provided reports]
ii) [organization] makes no other representations or warranties of any kind, either
expressed or implied, as to the condition of the pre-designated site, the soils
conditions or the use to which it may be put. The successful proponent must accept
the site in an “as is” condition.
Proponents costs
The City shall not be responsible for any costs or expenses incurred by the proponents in
the preparation or presentation of proposals.
Incentives Available from the City of Moose Jaw
[city-specific incentives]
Further Information and Feedback
The [organization] is interested in receiving feedback on this project and wants potential
proponents to identify any major impediments which in their opinion could prevent them from
under taking this project such as timeline, project size or any other condition listed in this
Please submit feedback or questions of clarification to:
[mailing and/or email address]
[Remaining pages could include attachments relevant to the project, (i.e. zoning information,
site map, development standards.)]
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