Kingston homeowners in line for a windfall

In a bid to create more affordable housing options in Kingston, city officials have announced policy and regulatory changes to encourage the development of secondary suites in permitted zones.

Over 130 people attended the information evening earlier this month, quadruple the original number expected to attend, according to one city official.

"We want more homeowners in key areas of the City to build secondary suites to add to the supply of affordable housing in Kingston,” says Sheldon Laidman, Director of Housing.  

However, not everyone is  happy with the move.

“I can see both sides of the argument,” says William Taylor, sales representative with Century 21 in Kingston. “Many residents do not like the idea of living in a neighbourhood with a lot of rental units, not knowing their neighbours, perhaps having issue with parking and fear of untidy properties that may affect the value of their own home.”

However, with a low vacancy rate and rising prices, Taylor says such a move may help first-time buyers obtain a mortgage and attract more investors into the area.

“For investors, an additional unit is naturally very lucrative. We are getting a lot of interest from investors outside of the city and this should create more interest,” he says. “For the first-time buyer, if they can supplement their income through this addition, the banks may look more favourable on them now.”

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