Secondary Suites

By Mikaila Bolzonello

Many homeowners are finding themselves in a difficult financial situation. With the increased costs of maintaining your home and those renewing their mortgages at a higher interest rate, it’s beginning to feel impossible to keep up. Especially if you are someone on a limited budget.

Unfortunately, you’re not alone.

If you are looking for a bit of a financial boost to offset the cost of your mortgage, have a look into the Secondary Suites program.

This program offers up to $30,000 in a forgivable loan towards the creation of a Secondary Unit/Suite. The positive side for you? At the end of the project, you will have a legal unit in your home to rent out, while also contributing to our housing crisis by creating affordable housing space. It’s a win-win! Another plus side? You can use the completed space to house friends or family members – you aren’t forced to rent your space out to a stranger.

The first step is to check your eligibility for the Secondary Suites Program.

The next step before applying is to contact your local municipality and make sure your zoning allows for a second suite/unit in your home. For Oro-Medonte in particular, you will require a separate entrance for the unit and a maximum size of 753 sq ft. There is a chance you could ask for a larger square footage but you would need to apply for a minor variance through the township. You will also be required to adhere to building and fire code requirements.

Make sure to check with your own municipality for details on their requirements. Not all townships and cities have the same regulations.

The $30,000 will be in the form of a 15 year forgivable loan which requires you to commit to renting out your space at an affordable rental price for (you guessed it) 15 years. After that amount of time, if you decide to sell your home or rent the secondary suite at market rent, you will be able to do so and the loan will be forgiven. This loan is registered on the title of your property, so should you sell before the 15 years is up, you will owe a portion back. Luckily, each year you commit to the program decreases the amount of the loan you would need to pay back. As an example, if you only manage to participate for half of the amount of time, you would only repay half the loan. 

Full details are on the Simcoe County website and can be found here:

https://www.simcoe.ca/SocialHousing/Pages/Secondary-Suites.aspx

As always, feel free to reach out to myself or Simcoe County for more details on how this program could work for you!