The City’s housing activities are funded by the Affordable Housing Reserve, formerly known as the Social Housing Reserve. This reserve is unique in Canada in that it receives on-going funding from a dedicated source, and is therefo re much like a Housing Trust.
The Reserve was initially set up to provide a 5% municipal contribution to Federal- and Provincial-funded social housing projects. This amount was later increased to provide 10% of the Provincial/Federal contribution when these levels of government were involved or 5% of the total project costs where other levels of government were not involved.
Where Does the Reserve Get its Funding?
Funds for the reserve are generated from a portion of the revenues from the sale of City owned lands. The City of Saskatoon is the only City in Canada that has maintained and expanded its role as a land bank. This is not a levy on top of the sale price of land, but is a redirection of the “profits” from land sales – the difference between the original cost of purchase and servicing and the market sale price.
How Much Funding has Gone into the Reserve?
Approximately $14.4 million has gone into the reserve since 1987, including a one time initial contribution of about $5.2 million, and about $11.7 million has been spent or committed to housing activities since then. Since 1987, The reserve has paid or committed funding for the creation of over 2,400 housing units, including social (public) housing, private sector market affordable housing, and new homeowner co-operatives.
In the summer of 2007, City Council further increased the City’s funding contribution for affordable housing projects to 10% of total project costs, regardless of the presence of Federal or Provincial funding. At the same time, City Council approved an increase in the amount of the annual contribution from land sales to the reserve from $500,000 to $2.5 million.
The Reserve is administered by City Staff, but recommendations for project funding are provided by the City’s Planning and Operations Committee.
Other Reserve Activities
The Reserve has also supported other activities related to building the capacity of the community to meet housing needs, including providing the initial funding to help the Community Services Department establish a Social Housing Database, and purchase of land for demonstration projects.Email Website