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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Niagara Falls, ON – (May 27, 2024) – Our organizations represent 3,500 businesses and thousands of workers in Niagara Region. We believe Niagara Falls is one of the best cities on earth to live, raise a family and start a business. Historically, one of the amazing promises of Niagara Falls is that if you work hard and play by the rules you will be able to afford a home in the community you grew up in.

Niagara Falls’ City Council’s plan to double development charges on new homes will hurt hardworking Niagara families when they can least afford it. In the middle of a housing affordability crisis, now is not the time to increase taxes on new housing. Niagara Falls needs all hands-on deck to build more housing families can afford.

We urge City Council to hold the line on development charge increases while it explores alternative sources of funding to meet its short-term infrastructure needs. Specifically, we call on city council to defer its decision on development charges, while it confirms whether it can access federal funding to support its capital requirements.

On May 21st, 2024, the federal Minister of Housing, Sean Fraser, said the following with respect to municipal development charges: “Development charges increase the cost of homes for everyone. They are a housing tax. During a housing crisis, we don’t think you should raise taxes on housing. That’s why provinces and cities must freeze the fees in order to get federal infrastructure funding.”

Niagara Falls has already missed out on millions of dollars in Housing Accelerator Funding. Implementing such a significant development charge increase would not only increase the price of new homes but could also take Niagara Falls out of the running for millions of dollars in housing-specific funding.

We stand ready to collaborate with Mayor Diodati and council to find innovative solutions that enhance affordability, build more homes, and ensure the long-term prosperity of Niagara Falls and its residents.

 

Nathan Morrisette, President, Niagara Association of REALTORS®

Kevan Peters, President, Niagara Construction Association

Paul Savoiam Niagara Home Builders’ Association

Kevin Jacobi, Director, Niagara Industrial Association

Mishka Balsom, CEO, Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

 

Download the letter here.


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