The city of Medicine Hat, Alberta, is offering homebuilders $25,000 grants when they build on selected infill lots in the city of 63,000, which is located about 295 kilometres southwest of Calgary.
Under the city’s Residential Infill Incentive Program, grants up to $25,000 can be used for land use bylaw amendments, new construction, hazardous material survey and abatement, professional design services, and utility infrastructure upgrades, according to the city.
Located within walking distance of downtown and the South Saskatchewan River, Medicine Hat's established neighbourhoods offer residential lots starting at just $11 per square foot, and averaging about $25 per square foot.
“COVID-19 has disrupted business as usual,” said Jason Melhoff, managing director of Invest Medicine Hat. “The City of Medicine Hat is looking for creative ways to get our community back to work.”
“Medicine Hat is one of Western Canada’s most exciting waterfront redevelopment opportunities,” said Melhoff. "The pandemic will pass. We'll be ready when it does.:”
Like most of Alberta, Medicine Hat has seen residential real estate sales fall over the past year, due to both COVID-19 and the cratering of oil prices.
As of July 20, Medicine Hat housing sales were down 13 per cent from a year earlier, according to the Medicine Hat Real Estate Board, while new listings were down 24 per cent.
The average composite price for a home in the city is $297,332, down 0.8 per cent from a year ago, while the price of a detached house has fallen 3 per cent to $316,440, compared to July of 2019. Condo apartment prices are down 8 per cent in the same period to an average of just under $170,000, the board reports.
Applications for the $25,000 infill building grants started August 4, and completed applications must be submitted by December 31, 2020.