Downtown residential construction subsidy program

Program objectives

The aim of the downtown residential construction subsidy program is to revitalize the territory of Île de Hull. The program is designed for property owners and co-owners, and only applies to the residential portion of a building.

The purpose of this financial assistance program is to help encourage repopulation in the downtown through new construction over parking lots and vacant lots. The program also fosters diversity in terms of the types of buildings and their occupants.

Program duration

This subsidy program will be in place for six years, from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2020, or until 4,000 new dwellings have been built, in accordance with the objectives of the special planning program (PPU) for the downtown.

Eligibility criteria

  • The building must be located within the perimeter of Île de Hull.
  • A completed building permit application must have been submitted in accordance with the program's terms and conditions between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2020.
  • A building permit must have been issued by the appropriate municipal authority before the work began.
  • The work must have been carried out in compliance with the building permit and all other municipal by-laws in effect.
  • There must be no unpaid municipal taxes of any sort owing for the unit identified in the subsidy application.
  • The property owner must commit to have the eligible work done by a contractor duly licenced by the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ).
  • If there is a claim against the existing building, the rebate will only be paid after an irrevocable decision has been rendered on that claim.

Three categories of eligible work

  1. Construction of a new building of three stories or more with at least four units on a vacant lot or a parking lot.
  2. Expansion or replacement of a building that, once the work has been completed, will become a building of three stories or more with at least four units, two of which are new units.
  3. Expansion or replacement of a building destroyed by fire that, once the work has been completed, will become a building of three stories or more with at least four units, two of which are new units, and for which the property taxes on Gatineau's assessment roll will rise compared to those for the building before the fire.

Subsidies granted

  • Sector 1: The rebate is equivalent to 75% of the property taxes for a new construction, expansion or replacement, and to 90% for LEED certified buildings.
  • Sector 2: The rebate is equivalent to 35% of the property taxes for a new construction, expansion or replacement, and to 50% for work that is “certifiable” under section 90.2, paragraph 3, of the by-law concerning the administration of the planning by-laws.

The amount and duration of the financial assistance will depend on the type of building and on the number of floors:

Sector 1 Category of Building
Three-storey building Four- to six-storey building Building with seven or more stories
Duration of the rebate 84 months 96 months 120 months
Amount of the rebate 75%
(90% if LEED)
75%
(90% if LEED)
75%
(90% if LEED)
Sector 2 Category of Building
Three-storey building Four- to six-storey building Building with seven or more stories
Duration of the rebate 84 months 96 months 120 months
Amount of the rebate 35%
(50% if certifiable)
35%
(50% if certifiable)
35%
(50% if certifiable)

Territory where the program applies

The program applies to the territory of Île de Hull.

Applying for the subsidy

If your building meets the eligibility criteria, your duly completed building permit application constitutes the subsidy application under this program.

For additional information

For additional information about this program, consult By-law 765-2014.

You can also contact : Service de l'urbanisme et du développement durable at 819-595-7331. This department is located at 25 rue Laurier, Maison du citoyen, 2nd  floor.

This program is financed under Gatineau's Housing Policy.

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between this subsidy program and a tax credit program?

Tax credit programs are created pursuant to section 85.2 of An Act Respecting Land use Planning and Development (CQLR c A-19.1), which provides that a municipality may issue a tax credit not to exceed five years. In the case of a tax credit, the municipal tax bill is directly reduced by the amount of the subsidy.

A subsidy program within the framework of a revitalization effort would be set up in accordance with the provisions of section 85.3 of An Act Respecting Land use Planning and Development (CQLR c A-19.1), which provides that a municipality may exercise its powers within the framework of a revitalization program. In this case, the program may extend beyond five years. Under such a program, property owners or co-owners who are eligible for the subsidy will pay the municipal taxes on the applicable municipal tax bill, and are then reimbursed the percentage to which they are entitled.

Can one take advantage of this program if one is already receiving a subsidy for that building under another program?

Yes, as long as the subsidy is being paid on residential units.

See section 17 of by-law numéro 765-2014

What is a LEED building?

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a North American standardization system for high environment quality buildings that was created by the US Green Building Council in 1998, and is similar to France's high environmental quality approach. A building can be rated at one of four levels: certified, silver, gold or platinum. The following factors are used for evaluation purposes: energy efficiency, water consumption and heating, as well as the use of local materials and the reuse of any surplus. For additional information in this regard, see the Quebec section of the Canada Green Building Council at Conseil du bâtiment durable du Canada.

How long does it take to get a LEED approval?

For information about the different steps required to get LEED approval for a building, consult the document entitled LEED Canada Certification Process.

I am the first buyer, and I would like to sell my property. Is the subsidy transferable to the second buyer?

No. The subsidy is only transferable once, from the first property owner who applied for it (developer) to the first buyer who acquired the building directly from the first owner (developer).

See section 26 of by-law numéro 765-2014

Why not offer this type of subsidy in other parts of Gatineau?

The program was introduced in order to achieve one of the objectives of downtown‘s special planning program (PPU) to densify and attract new residents. The program also aims to promote the development of vacant lots and parking lots.

Isn't there a risk of ending up with more skyscrapers in the downtown as a result of this type of program?

No. The program fosters different kinds of buildings. Gatineau would like to have a mix of types of buildings and occupants (renters, owners, co-owners, families, students, young professionals, students, etc.).

When is the best time to submit an application for a subsidy?

As indicated in By-law 765-2014, applications must be submitted between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2020. The duly completed building permit application is the application for the subsidy under section 14 of this revitalization program by-law.

If my building has four apartments, and after the expansion I add four more, will all of the eight apartments qualify for the 35% or 75% subsidy?

No. When it comes to expanding an existing building, the 35% or 75% financing only applies to the value added to the building. For example, in the case of a building with four apartments, if the owner expands it by adding four more, the 35 % or 75% only applies to the added value of the four new apartments, and not to all of the apartments in the building.

Can I qualify for the subsidy by adding a commercial area to my building?

No. The revitalization program aims to promote residential construction in the part of the downtown identified as Île de Hull, and does not apply to commercial areas.

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