Just weeks after the federal government announced the removal of GST on new rental developments, Dream Unlimited Corp. has announced plans to deliver more than 5,000 new purpose-built rental apartments across Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, and Saskatoon.
Michael J. Cooper, President and Chief Responsible Officer for Dream Unlimited, said in a press release provided to STOREYS on Monday that the new legislation is a “game changer” for development sector stakeholders.
“The housing crisis has impacted every urban centre from coast to coast. What this legislation unlocks is our ability to get shovels into the ground quickly at a time when it’s never been more critical to build new homes,” he said.
As such, Dream will advance 1,350 units in “shovel-ready projects” over the six months, a sizeable portion of which will be “dedicated as affordable.”
In Ottawa, for instance, 1,010 units are in the pipeline, including 438 affordable units.
“Rents for the Ottawa units will range from 59% of median market rent to market rents, contributing to 7% of the city’s targeted annual construction starts of 15,000 units,” said Dream.
“The substantial progress in Ottawa is largely due to a unique partnership between Dream and the Multifaith Housing Initiative of Ottawa, a Canadian non-profit charitable organization. As a result of the partnership, both organizations are able to deliver an integrated rental community that will include affordable housing, transit connectivity, and unprecedented sustainability targets.”
Suzanne Le, Executive Director for the Multifaith Housing Initiative, echos Dream’s enthusiasm for the newly-minted legislation, noting that it will pave the way for projects and innovative partnerships between stakeholders in the private and non-profit sectors.
“These partnerships are essential to scale the delivery of affordable housing and to strengthen capacity in the non-profit sector in our country,” she said.
Thanks, in part, to the new legislation, Dream has plans to bring another 3,700 units to major Canadian markets — Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, and Saskatoon — over the next two years.
“While the GST waiver is a substantial step, all participants and all levels of government will benefit by continuing to join forces to advance this critical mission that will create substantial new housing and create meaningful opportunities for community-building and social impact for Canadians across the country,” said Dream.