What is a Community Improvement Plan?

    A Community Improvement Plan (or CIP) is a tool that allows a municipality to provide financial incentives in a defined area in order to encourage revitalization initiatives and/or stimulate development and redevelopment. Once implemented, incentives that may be provided include tax assistance, grants or loans to assist in the revitalization of lands and/or buildings.  Municipalities are permitted to establish CIPs under Section 28 of the Planning Act where a municipality has enabling policies in their Official Plans.

    What kinds of incentives are currently provided by the City under the Downtown and Community Renewal Community Improvement Plan?

    Incentives, in the form of grants, loans and rebates, are provided to promote the on-going revitalization and investment in Hamilton’s commercial districts.  Incentives are currently targeted towards the following:

    • new residential, commercial and mixed-use developments
    • exterior improvements to existing commercial buildings 
    • renovations/improvements to existing residential units 
    • the construction of new multi-residential units via building additions or new buildings
    • attracting new or expanding office tenants
    • the preservation and/or adaptive reuse of designated heritage buildings

    Why is the City reviewing these programs now?

    The city undertakes a comprehensive review of its Community Improvement Plans every five years.  This is intended to ensure that the CIP, and the incentive programs they authorize, align with provincial and local policies, are providing effective incentives which are achieving their intended goals and that areas of focus for incentives reflect current City priorities.

    Does the Downtown and Community Renewal CIP authorize reductions or exemptions to Development Charges?

    No. Current exemptions or reductions in Development Charges are authorized under the City of Hamilton’s Development Charges By-Law.  More information on this By-law can be found here: https://www.hamilton.ca/budget-finance/development-charges/current-development-charge-rates-and-information

    Is the City reviewing its other Community Improvement Plans?

    No. This review is solely with respect to the Downtown and Community Renewal CIP and incentive programs authorized under this Plan.   This review does not include other City CIPs such as the Environmental Remediation and Site Enhancement (ERASE) CIP and Hamilton LEEDing the Way CIP. Information on these other CIPs can be found at www.hamilton.ca/cip