The Taking Action on Tower Renewal Program (TATR) provides a combination of loans and grants to eligible property owners to complete retrofits that increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while improving tenant comfort. Buildings must be located in Neighbourhood Improvement Areas, lower-income neighbourhoods based on census data or be providing tenants with rents at average market rent or below.
Based on the building eligibility and an energy assessment (ASHRAE Level 2 or above), property owners can apply to enter into an agreement with the City to undertake building improvements that enhance resident comfort and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Eligible owners can receive up to 25 per cent of the Current Value Assessment of the property or $5 million per multi-residential building, whichever is less.
Once the work is completed, the City places a special charge on the property that includes the cost of the improvements, the cost of borrowing and a 0.8 per cent administrative fee.
The property owner then pays the special charge on the property tax bill over an agreed term of between five and 20 years. Through the Program, the payment obligation is attached to the property, not the owner, and is secured by the City’s priority lien status. If a property changes ownership, the new owner would assume the obligation to the City and continue to make payments until the special charge is fully paid.
If the building’s improvements to energy efficiency are performing as expected after one year, the owner makes a report to the City and the City will apply the grant as loan forgiveness and shorten the length of time it will take to pay off the remaining loan.
Benefits to energy-based retrofit work for building owners and residents include:
Retrofit projects must meet, at minimum, a 15 per cent energy and emissions reduction to be eligible to receive a grant against the estimated project costs. The project may qualify for a grant of up to 10 per cent of the total project cost.
As part of the TATR program, participating property owners will be supported by program staff to implement resident engagement activities, including:
To be eligible for the TATR Program:
Property owners should also ensure that they comply with obligations to financial institutions or other lenders who have a mortgage interest in the property. This may necessitate obtaining independent legal and financial advice, including any mortgage holder that pays the property tax on an owner’s behalf, with respect to participation in the program. Participating properties must complete and submit the required program application forms and provide an energy assessment (ASHRAE Level 2 or above) that meets the qualifying criteria.
Property owners must also enter into a Property Owner Agreement between the property owner(s) and the City of Toronto and repay any funding received under TATR through payment of a special charge added to the Property’s tax roll by the City unless and until they achieve their carbon emissions goal and are granted loan forgiveness.
To qualify for funding from the program, improvements undertaken must reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy efficiency or otherwise contribute to a “greener” building, and may include:
All improvements that receive funding through the program must be identified in an energy assessment report (ASHRAE Level 2 or above).
The Special Charge on the property is the total of the following three costs:
|Final project cost for energy and water improvements.
|Cost of Borrowing
|The City’s notional cost of borrowing to fund the Program charged through the Program interest rates.
|Covers the City’s cost of administering the Program. The administrative charge for the multi-residential stream of the Program is 0.8 per cent. This charge will be calculated on the final funding amount and billed over the term.
The maximum funding amount for any property cannot exceed 25 per cent of the property’s Current Value Assessment (CVA), up to a maximum of $5 million per building. The CVA for a property can be found on the City of Toronto property tax bill. If a property meets the program eligibility criteria, the City will calculate the maximum allowable funding amount for a five-, 10-, 15- and 20-year term and provide this information in a Notice to Proceed letter, after reviewing the Expression of Interest forms.
The grant will be applied as loan forgiveness through the City’s property tax payment system.
Program interest rates are annual and shall remain fixed for the duration of the term. For TATR, terms of five to 20 years are available. Please note that the agreed term for any property will not extend beyond the useful life of the qualifying improvements.
Property owners must agree not to apply for any rent increases above the guideline as identified in the Residential Tenancies Act in connection with any of the improvements funded through the Program.
Property owners have an option to make a one-time payment of the full special charge amount to clear an outstanding balance in advance of the completion of the agreed term.
Participating property owners are required to enrol in the City’s payment program whereby property owners authorize automatic withdrawals from a bank account 11 times per calendar year to pay the property tax bill.
The Taking Action on Tower Renewal Program (TATR) is available with the assistance of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.