The City of Kitchener has become the latest beneficiary of the federal government’s Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF).
On Friday, Sean Fraser, the Minister of Housing, Infrastructure, and Communities, announced that an agreement had been made to provide Kitchener with $42.4M to eliminate the barriers to homebuilding.
The funds will fast-track the creation of 1,216 housing units over the next three years, and spur the construction of more than 37,500 homes over the next decade.
"The only way for us to overcome the housing crisis is by tackling it together," said Valerie Bradford, Member of Parliament for Kitchener – Hespeler. "I am proud to see Kitchener and the federal government uniting to make a real difference within our community by ensuring that more affordable homes are built faster."
The HAF is a $4B initiative intended to cut red tape and stimulate the creation of 100,000 new homes across Canada by 2026-2027. To access funding, municipalities must submit action plans detailing initiatives they’ll take to boost their housing supply and speed up approvals.
Under its agreement, Kitchener will permit up to four units per lot as of right throughout the city, and adopt inclusionary zoning. The HAF will incentivize the creation of 777 medium- and high-density housing units around ten Ion Light Rail Transit stations over the next three years.
Other initiatives include offsetting the construction costs of affordable housing built on City-owned lands, offering incentives for non-profit rental and co-op housing providers, and acquiring "strategic" parcels of land for affordable housing.
"Tackling the housing crisis in Kitchener means everyone needs to work together, including all orders of government, the private sector, not-for-profit, educational institutions, and most importantly, Kitchener residents, to help build a stronger Kitchener, a stronger Ontario, and a stronger Canada," said Berry Vrbanovic, Mayor of Kitchener.
"Kitchener is committed to being part of the solution to the housing crisis, and we are well-positioned to meet our housing targets thanks to the proactive work we have done and our strong collaboration with partners. We are incredibly thankful for the Government of Canada’s continued partnership and investment in our community."