The federal government has hit the ground running with the Housing Accelerator Fund in 2024, having reached a seventh agreement less than three weeks into the new year.
On Thursday, officials announced that a deal had been reached to provide the City of Kingston with $27.6M under the Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF).
The funds will help speed-up construction of nearly 900 housing units over the next three years, and lead to the creation of more than 4,800 homes in the next decade.
"This funding will allow the City to scale up many of our housing initiatives, helping to meet the critical need for more housing in our community," said Bryan Paterson, the Mayor of Kingston.
"I’m grateful for this partnership with the federal government that will enable more affordable housing and infrastructure investments that will help get new housing built faster here in Kingston."
The Housing Accelerator Fund is a $4B initiative intended to fast-track construction of 100,000 new homes across Canada by 2026-2027, and create an estimated 450,000 new units over the next decade. The feds have reached over 20 deals since they began dolling out funds in September, with Toronto, Mississauga, and St. Catharines 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, Kingston has committed to nine initiatives that will support a range of housing types and density levels in the city, including permitting four units as-of-right and increasing density near Queen’s University.
The city will also support tiny houses through implementation guidelines and a grant program, and partner with the private sector to integrate modular homes. Public lands will be made available for new housing, the development approvals process will be streamlined, and barriers for conversion projects will be reduced.
As well, the HAF funding will allow for zoning by-law amendments to support infill development and encourage additional residential units.
"By building more affordable homes more quickly, our government is addressing the housing needs in Kingston," said Mark Gerretsen, Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands.
"Working together, we can equip our communities with new tools to support them to reach their potential and turn possibilities into realities."