The provincial government is seeking to ease Saskatchewan's affordable housing crunch by introducing a new corporate income tax rebate for new rental housing in provincial budget.

Social Services Minister June Draude says the plan aims to develop 12,600 new housing units, including more than 10,000 rental units.

The budget released Wednesday includes a 10 per cent reduction in the corporate income tax rate on income earned from the construction and rental of eligible new multi-unit residential projects. Funding for the initiative is estimated at $34 million over the first five years of the program.

Other housing budget highlights include:

• A $2 million funding increase for the Rental Construction Incentive and Affordable Home Ownership program

• $10.2 million in new expenditures by Saskatchewan Housing Corp., including $1 million for Habitat for Humanity build homes for 20 low-income families

• $9.2 million for the Rental Development Program to develop an additional 200 rental units in communities with long-term housing needs

• The previously announced Saskatchewan First-Time Homebuyers Tax Credit, which provides a tax credit of $1,100 for an eligible home purchase