What is a ‘Third Dwelling Unit’?

    A ‘third dwelling unit’ is an additional third unit on a lot that already contains a house (principal dwelling unit) and an accessory second dwelling unit (i.e. basement apartment). Third dwelling units are permanent structures (not mobile) and can be situated within the principal dwelling or they can be attached to or detached from the principal dwelling on the same lot. Third dwelling units can be added to Innisfil’s rental market without compromising the character of both the principal dwelling and the surrounding neighbourhood. Here are some examples of some of the different types of third dwelling units when they are detached from the principal dwelling:

    Why are Third Dwelling Units Needed in Innisfil?

    More Affordable Housing Options

    • Households Spending More than 30% of Income on Housing Costs -  Affordable housing is typically defined as housing costs that are less than 30% of before-tax household income. In 2016, 24.3% of households in Innisfil were paying more than 30% of household income on housing. Specifically, 48.1% of renters in Innisfil spent more than 30% of household income on housing in 2016 (Statistics Canada Census, 2016). 
    • House Prices Increasing - The average resale house price in Innisfil was $673,809 in August 2020. This was a 20% increase from July 2020 and was a higher average price than $567,468 for the City of Barrie and $633,689 for the County of Simcoe as a whole (BDAR, 2020). 
    • Rental Rates Increasing - The average market rent in the Barrie CMA (Barrie, Innisfil, Springwater) was $1313 in 2019. This is higher than the provincial average of $1277 and the national average of $1049 (CMHC, 2020). However, more recently, rents in Barrie increased substantially to a median of $1640 for a 1 bedroom apartment in August 2020 (Simcoe.com, 2020).
    • Low Rental Vacancy Rates - The average rental market vacancy rate in the Barrie CMA was 3.2% as of October 2019. The vacancy rate for units with rent less than $1249 was 2.3% (CMHC, 2020).  A vacancy rate of around 3% or lower signifies a tight rental market with a strong demand for rental housing.
    • Growing Number of Households on Social Housing Wait List - 428 households in Innisfil were on the County’s social housing (i.e. rent-geared-to-income) waitlist in 2019, a 73% increase from 248 households in 2016. 
    • Affordable Housing Targets - The County of Simcoe’s 10-Year Affordable Housing and Homelessness Prevention Strategy (2019) specifies a target of 224 affordable units for Innisfil by 2024. As of June 2020, 96 affordable units have been created in Innisfil.

    Other Community Benefits

    • Economic benefits to homeowner - rental income assists with mortgage payments and can allow the individual to purchase the house
    • Increased safety for tenants - legal accessory dwellings are built to meet health and safety standards of Building, Electrical and Fire Codes
    • Flexible living arrangements - accessory dwellings can provide a separate living arrangement for an elderly family member who for health or safety reasons may no longer be able to live on their own
    • Efficient use of existing infrastructure - second units help optimize the use of existing housing stock and infrastructure with minimal impact on its built form

    How many second dwelling units are there in Innisfil?

    Under the policies that have been in place since 2014, a total of 68 second dwelling units have been registered with the Town (registration list(External link)).