This is a guest blog post by Linda Paisley, Real Estate Sales Representative. 
When I initially meet with real estate clients, the conversation can often turn to questions regarding Second Suites. Buyers are interested in the option for a second income, and sellers are curious about boosting the resale value of their home. I can speak to both benefits, as well as the value to the community when we increase affordable housing options.
What is a Second Suite?
Second Suites are second dwelling units located on one property, such as a basement apartment. They must be registered with the city and conform to by-law requirements, including having a maximum of two bedrooms and providing a parking space. They are self-contained units that include their own kitchen, bathroom and entrance. 

Second Suites provide tenants with rental options in safe and desirable neighbourhoods. Homeowners who create Second Suites are increasing the supply of affordable housing within our community.
For more information visit the The City of Barrie page on Rental Properties.
Under the Affordable Housing Strategy, the City of Barrie updated its Second Suite Policy to open up eligible locations. They also streamlined the process for new or existing second units, making it easier to register them with the city. Simcoe County is helping with this initiative by providing qualified homeowners with up to $30 000 in funding towards the creation of secondary units.

Benefits to Homeowner & Community
As a homeowner, there are numerous, quantifiable benefits:

  • Additional rental income
  • Increased property value
  • ​Potential funding or grants
  • Potential tax deductions
  • Increased mortgage financing

As well, you are becoming part of the solution by providing safe and affordable housing.

For the Community, the benefits of Second Suites include:

  • Decreasing the wait time for affordable housing
  • Moving families out of shelters and into their own homes
  • Improving the general well-being of society
  • Providing future opportunities for low-income families
  • Decreasing instances of homelessness
  • Improving job and education opportunities

Next Steps
Interested in building a Second Suite within your home?

1. Determine Eligibility
–  Are you a qualified homeowner?
–  Do you live in a Second Suite approved zone?

2. Apply for Funding

3. Oversee Construction

4. Manage Property

Looking for some assistance in these steps?
Redwood Park Communities and Community Builders have started the Redwood Second Suites initiative. This program is aimed at the building and registration of more secondary units in our community.

The benefit to homeowners is that Community Builders will handle the permits, construction and unit registration. As well, they will aid you in the application process for funding and grants. After the unit is registered, Redwood Park Communities will also pre-screen potential occupants and manage all transactions. As a landlord, you will receive rental payments directly from Redwood Park.  

Interested in increasing the value of your home, and offering affordable housing at the same time? Start with the Redwood Second Suites questionnaire, found here.

Not sure if this is the right path for you? There are other ways that you can get involved! Connect with Redwood Park Communities as a volunteer or donate to the cause.

Linda Paisley is a Real Estate Sales Representative within Barrie and Simcoe County. She has been a licensed REALTOR® since 2013.