After years of buildup, the Canadian government's Housing Accelerator Fund has finalized its first agreement, providing the city of London, Ontario with $74M to boost housing supply.
The Housing Accelerator Fund — the brainchild of the federal government, conceptualized in 2021 and officially launched in March of this year — is a $4B initiative intended to fast-track the creation of 100,000 new middle-class homes across Canada by 2024-2025.
The $74M provided to London will allow the city to speed up the construction of over 2,000 additional housing units over the next three years, "and build thousands more in the years to come," the federal government said. Under the federal program, high-density homes will be able to be built without the need for re-zoning — an often lengthy process generally carried out on a municipal level that eats up both time and money.
“Everyone deserves a good place to call home. That’s why we’re cutting red tape and funding new ways to build more homes, faster – especially affordable homes," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. "This landmark agreement with London will be the first of many, and we look forward to working with all orders of government to help everyone find a place to call their own.”
To create even more homes, London is simultaneously moving to allow up to four units to be built on a single property in low-density neighbourhoods, dispose of City-owned land for more developments, and partner with non-profit housing providers to build more affordable homes.
"To make housing more affordable, we need to boost the supply of homes," said Minister of Housing Sean Fraser. "The City of London’s proposal does just that, and I am incredibly proud of this investment, which was made possible by the City of London’s willingness to streamline development."
Fraser notes that the agreement with London is "just one of many agreements" that will be signed with municipalities across the country.
To access funding, municipal and Indigenous governments are required to submit an action plan detailing their commitment to a housing supply growth target that outlines the specific initiatives they will undertake in order to increase housing supply and speed up approvals. It must align with the feds' priorities of creating dense, affordable, inclusive, and diverse communities.
"Every agreement under the Housing Accelerator Fund will require municipalities to end exclusionary zoning and encourage apartment building around public transit in order to help seniors, students, and families," the government wrote in a press release. "Local governments are encouraged to think big and be bold in their approaches, which could include accelerating project timelines, allowing increased housing density, and encouraging affordable housing units."
The Housing Accelerator Fund is part of Canada's National Housing Strategy, an $82B initiative to create and repair over 400,000 homes.
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