Trudeau announces $6B fund for housing infrastructure

The full federal budget is set to be released April 16.

Key Takeaways:

  • Officials have released several key budget items ahead of the full budget release, including a new $6 billion fund to speed up home construction and upgrade critical housing infrastructure.
  • The government also plans to top up the Housing Accelerator Fund with $400 million.
  • However, officials noted that to access the new fund and other funds, local governments will have to agree to bold changes designed to encourage housing development.

The Whole Story:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau travelled to Halifax this week to announce plans to launch a new $6 billion Canada Housing Infrastructure Fund to accelerate the construction and upgrade critical housing infrastructure. The news comes just weeks before Ottawa is set to release the full federal budget.

These measures include topping-up the Housing Accelerator Fund with an additional $400 million and launching the new $6 billion Canada Housing Infrastructure Fund to accelerate the construction and upgrading of critical housing infrastructure. This includes water, wastewater, stormwater, and solid waste infrastructure to support the construction of more homes.

“We need more affordable homes, and we need the infrastructure to help build these homes,” said Trudeau. “That’s why in Budget 2024, we’re building more infrastructure, building more homes, and helping more Canadians find a place to call their own. This is about fairness ‒ making sure communities have the safe, quality housing they need to get ahead.”

The new fund will include $1 billion available for municipalities to support urgent infrastructure needs that will directly create more housing and $5 billion for agreements with provinces and territories to support long-term priorities. Provinces and territories can only access this funding if they commit to key actions that increase housing supply.

These actions include:

  • Broadly adopting four units as-of-right and allow more “missing middle” homes, including duplexes, triplexes, townhouses, and other multi-unit apartments.
  • Implementing a three-year freeze on increasing development charges from April 2, 2024, levels for municipalities with a population greater than 300,000.
  • Adopting forthcoming changes to the National Building Code to support more accessible, affordable, and climate-friendly housing options.
  • Requiring as-of-right construction for the government’s upcoming Housing Design Catalogue.
  • Implementing measures from the Home Buyers’ Bill of Rights and Renters’ Bill of Rights.

Provinces will have until January 1, 2025, to secure an agreement, and territories will have until April 1, 2025. If a province or territory does not secure an agreement by their respective deadline, their funding allocation will be transferred to the municipal stream. The federal government says it will work with territorial governments to ensure the actions in their agreements are suitable to their distinct needs.

Trudeau also announced that the upcoming budget will include requirements to access the federal government’s forthcoming public transit fund. This includes measures to:

  • Eliminate all mandatory minimum parking requirements within 800 metres of a high-frequency transit line.
  • Allow high-density housing within 800 metres of a high-frequency transit line.
  • Allow high-density housing within 800 metres of post-secondary institutions.
  • Complete a Housing Needs Assessment for all communities with a population greater than 30,000.

“Since we launched the Housing Accelerator Fund last year, we have cut enough red tape to build 750,000 new homes over the next decade,” said Chrystia Freeland, deputy prime minister and minister of finance. “It is working, so we are investing another $400 million to build even more homes, faster in more communities across the country. Alongside these essential zoning reforms, we are helping communities build the infrastructure needed to build more homes, by investing $6 billion through our new Canada Housing Infrastructure Fund. We are putting homeownership back within reach for every generation, and especially for Millennials and Gen Z.”


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