A new round of city-provincial tax credits have been imposed on developers of downtown residential-housing units across Winnipeg.


While the new program won’t offer grants up front unlike last June, it will permit developers of pre-approved projects a rebate of any property-tax increase resulting from the improvement of their land or buildings.


Nearly six months ago, the city council provided an incentive program for new downtown housing projects on a fully subscribed, $40m city-provincial grant that helped build some 1,300 units, primarily condos.


The new incentive system was designed to stimulate 750 to 900 rental-apartment units. Under this benefit is a de-facto property tax freeze of 12 years minimum for constructing rental properties in particular downtown locations.


The freeze is also set to be extended for another four years “if the project is built in a strategic area with high visibility that supports adjacent development,” reports Winnipeg Free Press.


Meanwhile, it can be extended for two more years if the project is erected on an existing surface parking lot, then another two years for projects included a parkade.


The report also stated that developers must allot a minimum of 10% of the rental units for what city planners call "affordable housing"  or rents geared to median market rental rates for five years. This is determined by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.


Moreover, projects must include at least five rental units and devote 80% of the space to residential housing, the report said.


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