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Source: CPAC

Feds launch $1B housing infrastructure fund, but with certain conditions

By Caitlin Snow Apr 2, 2024 | 2:20 PM

To help combat the country’s housing crisis, the federal government is spending $6 billion dollars- but the money comes with strings attached.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Federal Housing Minister Sean Fraser announced the Canada Housing Infrastructure Fund in Dartmouth, Tuesday afternoon.

The goal is to pick up the pace of construction and upgrade critical housing infrastructure used for things like water, wastewater, stormwater and solid waste.

One billion dollars will go directly to municipalities to improve urgent infrastructure needs, while the other $5 billion will be for provinces and territories, if they agree to certain conditions.

Fraser says they are not going to just put money on the table, ‘wash our hands of the issue and walk away.’

“We are going to insist that our partners are going to make certain kinds of changes that make it easier and faster to build homes in this country. ”

These include:

  • 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.

Trudeau says they are trying to change the way housing is built across the country by trying to make homes more affordable, increasing supply and removing barriers.

“To make it easier and faster, to build on under used land, to use more federal lands… to concentrate zoning and densification.”

Provinces have until January 1, 2025, to secure an agreement, while territories will have until April 1, 2025.

In addition, in order to secure long-term funding for public transit, municipalities need to take certain action.

  • 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.

More money to Housing Accelerator Fund 

The Housing Accelerator Fund is also getting a big top-up of $400 million.

The $4 billion fund is in place to fast-track construction, cut red-tape and invest in affordable housing.

So far, the feds have signed 179 agreements across the country for more than 750,000 homes over the next decade.

The new money will fast-track an additional 12,000 new homes in the next three years.

This announcement comes just two weeks before the federal budget is tabled in the House of Commons, April 16.