On Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the Government of Canada and the City of Edmonton had reached a Housing Accelerator Fund agreement that would see Alberta's capital city receive $175M towards building more housing.

The $175M will go towards the goal of fast-tracking over 5,200 new housing units across the next three years and over 22,000 across the next decade.

The announcement — made by Trudeau in Edmonton alongside Mayor of Edmonton Amarjeet Sohi and federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Official Languages Randy Boissonnault — did not specify the number of housing initiatives that the City of Edmonton would commit to, like many previous announcements have.

Housing Accelerator Fund money is released to cities in installments. After an initial installment, municipal governments must then fulfill requirements as outlined in their agreements — such as amending an existing policy or approving a new policy — before they receive subsequent installments.

Federal Minister of Housing Sean Fraser sent a letter to Mayor Sohi informing him that the city's Housing Accelerator Fund application had been approved back in September, but it's unclear why the announcement took so long to come together.

In Wednesday's announcement, the Government of Canada noted that the City of Edmonton will "give more resources to builders, provide pre-development funding, and shorten approval timelines to ensure these projects get off the ground." Edmonton will also "create more housing options in the city, including more rentals, affordable apartments, and housing near university and college campuses," as well as "streamline zoning bylaw approvals, build more homes around public transit, and use city-owned land to build hundreds of new homes."

A core ask that the federal government has mandated in Housing Accelerator Fund applications is ending exclusionary zoning, and the Government of Canada noted on Wednesday that Edmonton had already done so, permitting up to eight units city-wide in October. The City also recently began moving forward with its Exhibition Lands redevelopment and Mill Woods Town Centre redevelopment, both of which are transit-oriented developments.

"Edmonton has made bold moves to ensure our city can support diverse and affordable housing options for all," said Mayor Sohi. "Under the Housing Accelerator Fund, we can boost building opportunities, streamline our processes, and build inclusive, climate-resilient communities. Investments like these are essential to make the systemic changes needed to address the housing and houselessness emergency in Edmonton."

The announcement for Edmonton comes several months after the announcement for Calgary, for $228M. Last week, the Government of Canada also announced that the towns of Banff, Sylvan Lake, Bow Island, Westlock, Smoky Lake, and the Village of Duchess would collectively be receiving $13.8M through the Housing Accelerator Fund.

The Government of Canada has now made a total of 42 announcements so far, with more to come.