Halifax announces sweeping changes to boost housing
The efforts are being funded through the Housing Accelerator Fund.
- The plan will fast track 2,600 housing units over the next three years.
- Halifax will make sweeping changes that relax zoning requirements, speed up permitting and encourage pre-approved building plans.
- The plan is expected to generate 8,866 new homes over the next decade.
The Whole Story:
The Government of Canada and the Halifax Regional Municipality announced that they have reached an agreement to fast track 2,600 housing units over the next three years. This work is expected to help spur the construction of over 8,866 homes over the next decade.
The agreement, under the Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF) will provide over $79.3 million to eliminate barriers to building housing. Through its Action Plan, Halifax aims to improve permitting processes, reduce upfront costs for permitting and incentivize the use of pre-approved building plans.
It will also develop an incentive program for conversions from commercial to residential and create incentives for small scale residential. Halifax will also encourage development along transit corridors, expand the current Affordable Housing Grant program, update its heritage preservation policy and resource a program to identify surplus land for affordable housing.
Through the agreement, Halifax will also allow for the construction of four residential units on one lot, increase density and student rentals within walking distance of post-secondary institutions, and create an affordable housing strategy, including a non-market component, with staff dedicated to it.
Additionally, Halifax has committed to zoning changes that will increase density via greater height, reduced parking requirements and increased as-of-right development approvals.
The goal of the Housing Accelerator Fund is to cut red tape and fast track at least 100,000 new homes for people across the country. To receive funding, local governments must submit innovative action plans that include accelerating project timelines, allowing increased housing density and encouraging affordable housing units.
“Today’s announcement will help fast track over 2,600 permitted units in the next three years and 8,866 homes over the next decade,” said Sean Fraser, minister of housing. “By working with cities, mayors and all levels of government we are helping to get more homes built for Canadians at prices they can afford.”