July 25th, 2024

City denied funding from housing accelerator program

By Lethbridge Herald on March 8, 2024.

The City of Lethbridge will not be getting any funding from the federal Housing Accelerator Fund program this year.
The City was informed by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation that its application wasn’t successful.
“This is disappointing news as the City could have been eligible for $6.25 million which would have been a significant boost in helped address housing concerns in the community,” said the City in a release on Thursday.
The Housing Accelerator Fund was a very competitive grant with just 179 out of 544 applications received funding.
Jason Nixon, Minister of Seniors, Community and Social Services, said in response to a question on the matter during the announcement of a $10.2 million supportive housing project for Lethbridge Housing Authority on Thursday that “we’re very disappointed.”
He said the federal government disproportionately funds other provinces in Canada on things like housing.
He said the province has made clear to Ottawa “we expect per capita funding. This is the fastest growing province in the country. We continue to see unprecedented demand when it comes to things like housing and the federal government needs to make sure that we’re receiving our fair share of funding in Alberta and that they are not disproportionately investing in provinces frankly that they’re targeting for votes in the upcoming election,” said Nixon.
Medicine Hat received word on Monday that its application was also denied.
The City says it has met with CMC “to debrief on the Lethbridge application and apply any learnings to future grant opportunities. While specifics were not shared, CMHC cited the competitiveness of the grant as a barrier for Lethbridge and that successful applicants demonstrated more ambitious approaches to implementing structural and lasting reforms to increase the supply of housing.”
In March of last year, CMHC announced the creation of the $4 fund program which was designed specifically for municipalities.
It required applicants commit to at least seven action plan initiatives that systemically reduce local barriers to housing development, while also committing to an increase to the community’s housing growth rates.
The City says its application addressed eight action plan initiatives with the goal of increasing the community’s growth rate by 15 per cent.
“City administration will continue to seek out opportunities to advance housing options in Lethbridge, incorporating these ideas into an updated Municipal Housing Strategy expected to come forward to city council later this spring,” the release says.

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