Connect with us

Infra

Growing communities and building more homes, faster

Published

on

Everyone deserves to succeed. But today, for too many Canadians, especially Millennials and Gen Z, your hard work isn’t paying off like it did for previous generations. Your paycheque doesn’t go as far as costs go up, and saving enough seems harder and harder. It doesn’t have to be this way. Every generation should get a fair chance to get ahead.

One of the biggest pressures on young people right now is housing. Faced with a shortage of housing options and increasingly high rent and home prices, it feels like the deck is stacked against them. But it doesn’t have to be – with a Team Canada effort, we can change that. We need to bring home prices back within reach by increasing housing supply right across the board – and quickly. We’ve already taken bold action to build more homes, faster, improve access to housing, and make homes more affordable – and we know there is more to be done. That means cutting red tape to fast-track construction, but also building the infrastructure to support more homes in vibrant, liveable, and growing communities.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced key measures from the upcoming Budget 2024 to cut red tape, build more homes, and help communities grow.

These measures include:

  • Topping-up the Housing Accelerator Fund with an additional $400 million, so more municipalities can cut red tape, fast-track home construction, and invest in affordable housing. Since launching the now $4.4 billion Housing Accelerator Fund last year, the federal government has signed 179 agreements across the country to fast-track more than 750,000 homes over the next decade. Today’s $400 million top-up will fast-track an additional 12,000 new homes in the next three years.
  • Launching a new $6 billion Canada Housing Infrastructure Fund to accelerate the construction and upgrading of critical housing infrastructure. This includes water, wastewater, stormwater, and solid waste infrastructure to support the construction of more homes. This fund will include:
    • $1 billion available for municipalities to support urgent infrastructure needs that will directly create more housing.
    • $5 billion for agreements with provinces and territories to support long-term priorities. Provinces and territories can only access this funding if they commit to key actions that increase housing supply:
      • Require municipalities to broadly adopt four units as-of-right and allow more “missing middle” homes, including duplexes, triplexes, townhouses, and other multi-unit apartments.
      • Implement a three-year freeze on increasing development charges from April 2, 2024, levels for municipalities with a population greater than 300,000.
      • Adopt forthcoming changes to the National Building Code to support more accessible, affordable, and climate-friendly housing options.
      • Require as-of-right construction for the government’s upcoming Housing Design Catalogue.
      • Implement measures from the Home Buyers’ Bill of Rights and Renters’ Bill of Rights.
    • Provinces will have until January 1, 2025, to secure an agreement, and territories will have until April 1, 2025. If a province or territory does not secure an agreement by their respective deadline, their funding allocation will be transferred to the municipal stream. The federal government will work with territorial governments to ensure the actions in their agreements are suitable to their distinct needs.
  • Announcing that, to access long-term, predictable funding for public transit through the federal government’s forthcoming public transit fund, municipalities will be required to take action that will directly unlock housing supply. This includes measures to:
    • Eliminate all mandatory minimum parking requirements within 800 metres of a high-frequency transit line.
    • Allow high-density housing within 800 metres of a high-frequency transit line.
    • Allow high-density housing within 800 metres of post-secondary institutions.
    • Complete a Housing Needs Assessment for all communities with a population greater than 30,000.

This is about making homes more affordable by increasing supply and making the housing market fairer – for renters, for homeowners, and for Canadians trying to find a place of their own. Growing communities need quality infrastructure in order to build more homes, faster – and we are there to support them with these generational investments.

We are working with provinces, territories, and municipalities to remove barriers to home building, including by allowing multiplexes as-of-right, encouraging affordable rentals, speeding up permitting and approvals processes, and building affordable homes near public transit stations, especially for students, seniors, and young families. We’re not just building homes, faster – we’re building communities from the ground up.

No single player can fill Canada’s housing shortage on its own. More must be done and all of Team Canada – the federal government, provinces and territories, Indigenous partners, cities and towns, the private sector, labour, and non-profits – must work together to ensure everyone has an affordable place to call home.

Alongside today’s action to build more homes, we’re protecting renters, delivering stronger public health care, making life more affordable, and creating good jobs, to make sure every generation can get ahead. We will be announcing further action to do this, and especially to build more homes, faster – to ensure no generation is left behind.

Quotes

“We need more affordable homes, and we need the infrastructure to help build these homes. That’s why in Budget 2024, we’re building more infrastructure, building more homes, and helping more Canadians find a place to call their own. This is about fairness ‒ making sure communities have the safe, quality housing they need to get ahead.”

The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“Since we launched the Housing Accelerator Fund last year, we have cut enough red tape to build 750,000 new homes over the next decade. It is working, so we are investing another $400 million to build even more homes, faster in more communities across the country. Alongside these essential zoning reforms, we are helping communities build the infrastructure needed to build more homes, by investing $6 billion through our new Canada Housing Infrastructure Fund. We are putting homeownership back within reach for every generation, and especially for Millennials and Gen Z.”

The Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

“Since launching the Housing Accelerator Fund, we have been working directly with communities across the country to dramatically change how homes are built within them, to ensure that people have the homes they need at prices they can afford. There is more work to do, and the announcements made today will go a long way toward ending Canada’s housing crisis and ensuring that more Canadians have a place to call their own.”

The Hon. Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities

Quick Facts

  • The Government of Canada’s Budget 2024 will be tabled in the House of Commons by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance on Tuesday, April 16, 2024.
  • In recent days, the Prime Minister announced Budget 2024 would also:
    • Restore generational fairness for renters, particularly Millennials and Gen Z, by taking new action to protect renters’ rights and unlock pathways for them to become homeowners.
    • Save more young families money and help more moms return to their careers by building more affordable child care spaces and training more early childhood educators across Canada.
    • Create a National School Food Program to ensure every child has the best start in life, with the food they need to learn and grow, no matter their circumstances.
  • The federal government recognizes and respects the unique approach required for investing in housing and infrastructure in Quebec.
    • On November 9, 2023, we signed a historic Housing Accelerator Fund agreement with the Province of Quebec.
    • Building on the success of the 2023 agreement, the federal government will continue to work closely with Quebec to build more homes for Quebecers, including by delivering additional funding through the Housing Accelerator Fund and the new Canada Housing Infrastructure Fund.
  • The federal government is also providing support to help growing communities build the infrastructure needed to build more homes through the Canada Community-Building Fund and the Canada Infrastructure Bank:
    • Since 2015, the Canada Community-Building Fund has provided $24.2 billion to 3,600 communities across the country. The Fund has supported important infrastructure projects to help communities across the country become more livable for generations to come, such as the revitalization of the historic downtown in Oakville, Ontario, the broadband connectivity project in the Regional District of Central Kootenay, British Columbia, and upgrades to the water system in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.
    • Since 2017, the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) has made investment commitments of over $11 billion in more than 50 projects, and catalyzed over $31 billion in total investment, to address critical infrastructure gaps in communities across the country. This includes supporting improved public transit, broadband, clean power, and green infrastructure. Last week, the CIB introduced its new Infrastructure for Housing Initiative, designed to improve communities’ access to the low-cost financing needed to build housing-enabling infrastructure.
  • Canada’s economic plan is to build more homes faster and to make housing more affordable. This plan also includes:
    • The Apartment Construction Loan Program, a $40+ billion initiative that boosts the construction of new rental homes by providing low-cost financing to homebuilders. Since 2017, the Apartment Construction Loan Program has committed over $18 billion in loans to support the creation of more than 48,000 new rental homes. It is on track to build 101,000 new rental homes across Canada by 2031-32.
    • The Affordable Housing Fund, a $14+ billion initiative that supports the creation of new market and below-market rental housing and the repair and renewal of existing housing. It is designed to attract partnerships and investments to develop projects that meet a broad spectrum of housing needs, from shelters to affordable homeownership. As of December 31, 2023, the Fund has committed $8+ billion to repair or renew over 150,000 homes and support the construction of more than 32,000 new homes.
    • The Rapid Housing Initiative, a $4 billion fund that is fast-tracking the construction of 15,500 new affordable homes for people experiencing homelessness or in severe housing need by 2026. The Rapid Housing Initiative also supports the acquisition of existing buildings for the purpose of rehabilitation or conversion to permanent affordable housing units, focusing on the housing needs of the most vulnerable, including people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, women fleeing domestic violence, seniors, Indigenous Peoples, and persons with disabilities.
  • Progress on these and other programs and initiatives under Canada’s National Housing Strategy are updated quarterly at www.placetocallhome.ca. The Housing Funding Initiatives Map shows affordable housing projects that have been developed.
  • Since 2015, the federal government has helped almost two million Canadians find a place to call home.
Continue Reading