Subsidies and Tax Credits for Renovations in Ontario
Last modified: 2018/11/13 | Approximate reading time 5 mins
If you are a landlord who is looking to make your building more accessible to those living with disabilities, then this subsidy is worth considering! The Ontario Renovates Program is administered by the City's Housing Services branch, providing limited funding to landlords who are looking to modify their existing unit(s) or building(s) to comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act of 2005.
Further, the program offers financial aid to low and moderate income families to increase accessibility through modification and adaptations made by the landlord. The eligibility requirements for this program vary from city to city, so to determine if you qualify, check with your city's website. It is worth noting that if you are the acting landlord and living at the same address, you are not eligible for this subsidy.
Looking at the requirements in Ottawa, we can get a better sense of what you might need to be eligible for this subsidy: your rental property must be in the city of Ottawa, as well, the unit itself must be modest in relation to community and property norms for your area.
Also, the property must be affordable based on the Average Market Rent (AMR) as established by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation's Rental Market Report. Some examples of acceptable accessibility modifications include: ramps, handrails, chair and bath lifts, countertop height adjustment as well as cues for doorbells and fire alarms.
The amount of funding will vary from project to project, however, it is possible to receive forgivable loans of up to $15,000 per rental unit, with a total of 5 rental units per landlord. It is also possible for the loan to be fully forgiven if rent is maintained for a total of 15 years. Again, if you believe you are eligible for this subsidy, then check out the full details on Ottawa's website.
An alternative to the Ontario Renovates Program is the Home and Vehicle Modification Program offered by the Ministry of Community and Social Services. If you, a family member or a loved one has a disability that restricts your/their mobility, then you/they may be eligible for this subsidy. This program offers funding to those looking to make modifications to their homes to make daily activities accessible, avoid job loss and continue living in their homes.
This program can only be accessed after first applying for the Ontario Renovates Program. If that resource does not pull through, the requirements for the Home Modification Program are as follows: you must live in Ontario and qualify financially. Financial qualifications will vary from person to person. Further, you or your family member must have a substantial bodily impairment caused by bodily injury, a birth defect or illness. This impairment must impede mobility as well as prove to result in limited access to life's daily activities. If you are eligible, you can receive up to $15,000. Check out full details of this program on Ontario's Ministry of Community and Social Services website.
Go Green and Energy Efficient: Eco-friendly Subsidies
source: Wikimedia Commons
As we become a more environmentally conscious society, Canadian cities are beginning to look for ways to incorporate energy efficiency programs into renovation and development projects. If you're looking to make your home green-friendly, there are several available subsidies offered by Ontario to do so!
The Home Reno Rebate program allows homeowners to obtain a rebate of up to $2,500 towards a more energy efficient home. This includes the installation of Energy Star certified products, which are high-efficiency environmentally friendly products that meet strict technical specifications for energy performance, Also, included in this program is an energy assessment, so you can see exactly how the energy in your home is being distributed. The specifics can be found on the Union Gas website.
Another program offered by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) is SaveOnEnergy which is delivered through local utilities and provides rebates, resources and tips that can help homeowners save energy as well as money when making energy-efficient updates to their home. The rebates are continuously changing, so it is recommended that you check out the SaveOnEnergy website to find out what offers are available to you.
However, for the renovation rebate to be approved, a home energy audit is mandatory. In a nutshell, no audit, no rebate. The good news is for any rebates offered in this program, you can hire your own contractor to complete the job, so make sure to get a few quotes before moving forward with the project!
Another Energy Star related program is the Heating and Cooling incentive, which offers homeowners a financial incentive of up to $400 if they have an Energy Star high-efficiency certified central air conditioning system installed, or $250 if installing a high-efficiency furnace that is equipped with an electronically commutated motor. All SaveOnEnergy programs are offered through local electric utilities and funded through the Independent Electricity System Operator.
The HEC program, or Home Energy Conservation Program, offers easy and affordable ways for homeowners to improve home energy efficiency; this includes lowering energy bills and lessening your home's impact on the environment. If you are eligible for this program, you can receive up to $2,100 in incentives towards the cost of energy assessment as well as the installation of recommended energy upgrades. Check out the details on their website to see if you qualify!
Although only offered in the city of Toronto, the Home Energy Loan Program (HELP) provides low-interest loans to homeowners who would like to improve the energy and water efficiency of their home. The city offers funding to complete the improvements, as it is suggested that the homeowner will repay the city over time through small installments on their property tax bill.
Not only is this project green-friendly, as it includes upgrading insulation and replacing old heating equipment with new energy-efficient products, but is an excellent incentive to consider when thinking about other ways that you can make your home environmentally friendly.
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