The City of St. Catharines has become the latest beneficiary of the Housing Accelerator Fund, having reached a $25.7 million agreement with the federal government to break down the barrier to homebuilding.

The funding will help fast-track nearly 700 housing units over the next three years, and lead to the construction of more than 12,000 homes over the next decade.

"This is a huge investment in building more homes, and especially more affordable homes, for our growing city," said Mat Siscoe, the Mayor of St. Catharines

"Together, we’re creating the St. Catharines of the future — a thriving community where everyone has access to a home they can afford. This is key to making sure we remain one of the most livable cities in Canada."

The Housing Accelerator Fund is a $4B initiative intended to speed-up construction of 100,000 new homes across Canada by 2026-2027, and lead to the creation of an estimated 450,000 new units over the next decade.

The feds have now reached six agreements since the start of 2024, including with Surrey and Burlington, and approximately 20 deals have been inked since September, including with Toronto and Mississauga.

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, St. Catharines has committed to seven local initiatives that will enable a variety of housing forms and densities, including permitting four units as-of-right.

The city will also create programs to incentivize the construction of multi-family homes downtown and on transit corridors, provide infrastructure support to increase the number of residential builds, and speed up and digitize development and permit approvals.

A land enhancement office, which will work with partners to create homes and mixed-use developments on city-owned sites, will be established as well under St. Catharines' agreement.

“Our government is proud to be working with the City of St. Catharines to ensure we are doing our part to fulfill the housing needs in our city and indeed across Canada," said Chris Bittle, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines.

"This funding of $25.7 million for housing in St. Catharines will accelerate the development of safe and affordable housing to meet the needs of our rapidly growing city where we need it most."

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