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$120M designated for new housing projects in northern Ontario

By CJ Goater Feb 22, 2024 | 3:37 PM

10 per cent or $120 million of the Building Faster Fund is being set aside for small, rural and northern municipalities that have not been assigned a housing target to help build housing-enabling infrastructure and to prioritize projects that speed up the increase of the province’s housing supply.

The fund is a three-year, $1.2 billion program that is aimed at encouraging municipalities to build more homes to address the housing supply crisis. The fund rewards municipalities that have made significant progress against their targets by providing funding for housing-enabling and community-enabling infrastructure.

The remaining funding is being provided to municipalities that have reached at least 80 per cent of their provincially assigned housing target for the year with increased funding for municipalities that exceed their target.

According to the Ontario government, Thunder Bay has hit and exceeded its housing target finishing 2023 with 200 new homes built exceeding the city’s target of 161 new builds surpassing their goal by 24 per cent.

In the coming weeks, the province plans to announce Building Faster Fund rewards for all municipalities that met, exceeded or achieved 80 per cent of their assigned housing targets in 2023.

On Thursday Premier Doug Ford announced Ontario is providing Toronto with $114 million in funding through the Building Faster Fund after the city exceeded its 2023 housing target. Toronto broke ground on a total of 31,656 new housing units last year, unlocking an additional $38 million by exceeding their 2023 target by 51 per cent.

It is unclear how much money Thunder Bay will receive as Toronto ultimately built more than 158 times as many homes as Thunder Bay did, however, both municipalities exceeded their housing target.

Thunder Bay is the only municipality in northwestern Ontario that has been assigned a housing target, and now other municipalities like, Kenora, Dryden, and Fort Frances, will now have an opportunity to access the fund as well.