On Friday, from a modular housing manufacturing plant in Calgary, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a new series of actions the Government of Canada will be taking that's all geared towards prefabrication and modular housing solutions.

The first item is a $50M Homebuilding Technology and Innovation Fund, which will go towards scaling up and promoting innovative housing solutions such as prefabricated and modular housing. In a press release, the Government of Canada added that the fund will also seek to "leverage an additional $150M from the private sector and other orders of government" and that the fund will be led by Next Generation Manufacturing Canada.

"We want to accelerate the pace of construction to levels not seen since the end of the second World War," said Trudeau on Friday. "To do that, we need to change our approach and adopt innovative technologies. We need more made-in-Canada success stories — like here at NRB Modular Solutions, the largest modular building solutions provider in the country — and more centralized manufacturing sites where the best workers in the world, Canadian workers, can build faster for cheaper, all year around, with the help of innovation solutions around robotics, AI, and innovation."

Another $50M will then be delivered through the regional development agencies and go towards "modernizing building practices through modular housing, mass timber construction, robotics, 3D printing, and automation."

Thirdly, Trudeau announced that the Government of Canada will be reviving and updating its post-war Housing Design Catalogue with up to 50 new designs, including blueprints for rowhouses, duplexes, fourplexes, and other building forms, allowing them to be approved by local governments faster and begin construction sooner.

"We know that builders want to be able to build quickly and [build] right for Canadians," said Trudeau. "Permitting can be accelerated when we draw from these catalogues for these more high-density housing. It will help build more homes right across the country that families can get into quicker."

Making better and more wide-scale use of design blueprint catalogues was a big recommendation that was recently made by the Task Force for Housing & Climate.

Lastly, through the existing Apartment Construction Loan Program (which Trudeau said earlier this week will be getting a $15B top-up), another $500M will be made available specifically for "new rental housing projects using innovative construction techniques," such as prefabrication and modular manufacturing.

Friday's announcement ends a week full of announcements by Trudeau and Minister of Housing, Infrastructure, and Communities Sean Fraser. All of the actions announced this week are set to be unveiled in full when Budget 2024 is presented on Tuesday, April 16, but there will undoubtedly be more teasers to come before then.