It’s not a very Blue Monday for the City of Burlington.

Officials announced this morning that an agreement has been made to provide the city with $21M under the Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF). The funds will help fast-track the creation of more than 600 new housing units over the next three years, and spur the construction of over 5,000 new homes throughout the next decade.

"This is a huge investment in building more homes, and especially more affordable homes, for our growing city," said Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward.

"Together, we're creating the Burlington of the future — a thriving community where everyone has access to a home they can afford. This is key to making sure we remain one of the most liveable cities in Canada."

The Housing Accelerator Fund is a $4B initiative intended to speed-up construction of 100,000 new homes across Canada by 2026-2027, and lead to the creation of an estimated 450,000 new units over the next decade. The feds have reached five agreements since the start of 2024, including with Surrey and Summerside, and nearly 20 deals have been inked since September, with Toronto and Mississauga amongst the beneficiaries.

To access funding, local governments are required to submit an application outlining their supply growth targets, as well as specific initiatives they plan to undertake in an effort to boost housing supply and speed up approvals.

As part of its HAF agreement, Burlington has committed to seven initiatives that support greater density, including permitting four units as-of-right, and agreed to examine opportunities to incentivize building below-market rental housing.

The agreement will also lead to the creation of the Housing Connections Centre, which will enable the City of Burlington to act as "a connector and a partner" between the various players that exist in the housing system.

Other initiatives include working to streamline the planning and approvals process, exploring opportunities for partnerships on public land development, and addressing municipal infrastructure needs.

"We’re in a housing crisis and the only way we’re going to solve this challenge is by working together collaboratively and directly with municipalities who know the real needs of their communities," said Pam Damoff, Member of Parliament for Oakville North – Burlington.

"The Housing Accelerator Fund is an acknowledgement that the status quo in how we build homes is no longer acceptable. The City of Burlington has demonstrated leadership in working with our government to get more homes built for our community."

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