April 24th, 2024

Ottawa says its housing deals with cities will build 750,000 homes in the next decade

By Nojoud Al Mallees, The Canadian Press on March 4, 2024.

Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities Sean Fraser speaks at a news conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle

OTTAWA – The Liberal government says it has reached 179 housing agreements with municipalities that will help build 750,000 homes over the next decade.

Housing Minister Sean Fraser says the federal government has finalized all of its deals with municipalities via the $4-billion housing accelerator fund.

“The housing accelerator fund has led to the largest up-zoning movement in Canadian history,” a government news release said.

It lauded “ambitious housing reforms” in big cities, small towns, rural areas and Indigenous communities.

The program offered communities federal dollars in exchange for changes to bylaws and regulations that would boost home construction.

Experts often point out Canada’s housing shortage is caused in part by excessive red tape, slow permitting processes and high development fees at the municipal level.

Ottawa says the competitive process for funding resulted in 544 applications, but only one-third of them were successful.

The agreements, which run until 2026-27, are expected to help fast-track 107,000 permits within the next three years.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 4, 2024.

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