Redevelopment is a tool created by state law to assist local governments in eliminating blight from a designated area, as well as to achieve the goals of development, reconstruction and rehabilitation of residential, commercial, industrial and retail districts. Through redevelopment, a project area will receive focused attention and financial investment to reverse deteriorating trends, create jobs, revitalize the business climate, rehabilitate and create new housing, and gain investment which would not otherwise occur.
The Ontario Redevelopment Agency partners with private investors to implement improvements to deteriorated areas resulting in property values within those areas to rise. This rise in property values results in an increase in property tax revenues. State law allows redevelopment agencies to use a portion of this increase to repay debt they must incur in order to rehabilitate an area. Redevelopment agencies use these funds to acquire property, build public improvements and infrastructure, clean-up contaminated soil and do other things necessary to improve the conditions of the property. Redevelopment's commitment of funds attracts private investment and creates a chain reaction where the ultimate economic output is larger than the original public investment.
Redevelopment areas are established:
- To create, maintain and attract private investment
- To foster job creation
- To address blighting influences in project areas
- To maintain and increase the supply of housing for low and moderate income households
- To renovate, remove or replace deteriorated or dilapidated structures
The project area must first go to public hearing (giving citizens who will be included in the project area a chance to express their views) after which the redevelopment agency acts on the adoption of the project area and becomes primarily responsible for future projects.
Ontario has adopted comprehensive plans for redevelopment areas that provide guidelines and strategies for removing physical and economic blight. The plans provide a vision, as well as goals and timetables for generating development and investment.
Redevelopment plans are created with political, business, and community participation. The plans are the roadmap for stimulating commercial growth, creating new housing and improving the quality of life for people, who live, work and play in Ontario. Currently, Ontario has five redevelopment project areas: