Trudeau announces funding for construction innovation

The prime minister says he wants to support mass timber, modular buliding, 3D printing, automation, standardized designs and more.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants to turbocharge construction technology. Last week he announced a $600 million package to encourage construction innovation as part of the upcoming federal budget.

“We’re changing the way we build homes in Canada,” said Trudeau. “In Budget 2024, we’re supporting a new approach to construction, with a focus on innovation and technology. This will make it easier and more cost-effective to build more homes, faster. You should be able to live in the community you love, at a price you can afford.”

These measures include:

  • Launching a new $50 million Homebuilding Technology and Innovation Fund that will seek to leverage an additional $150 million from the private sector and other orders of government to support the scale-up, commercialization, and adoption of innovative housing technologies and materials, including for modular and prefabricated homes. The Fund will be led by Next Generation Manufacturing Canada, one of Canada’s Global Innovation Clusters.
  • Delivering $50 million to modernize and expedite home building through the regional development agencies. This builds on the success of dozens of existing innovative projects already funded and underway in communities across the country, including those modernizing building practices through modular housing, mass timber construction, robotics, 3D printing, and automation.
  • Delivering $500 million to support rental housing. With low-cost financing through the Apartment Construction Loan Program, this will support new rental housing projects using innovative construction techniques from prefabricated and modular housing manufacturers as well as other homebuilders.
  • Launching a modernized Housing Design Catalogue to standardize up to 50 efficient, cost-effective, and liveable home blueprints. With $11.6 million in Budget 2024, this will include frames for modular homes, row housing, and fourplexes – that housing manufacturers, provinces, territories, and municipalities will be able to use to simplify and accelerate their housing approvals and construction timelines.

Chrystia Freeland, deputy prime minister and minister of finance, noted that the design catalogue idea is something Canada implemented decades ago with great success.

“After the Second World War, Canada built new homes at a pace and scale never seen before,” said Freeland. “This happened with the help of a housing design catalogue which included cost-effective, simple-to-build designs that meant people could quickly move into a new home. Our new Housing Design Catalogue will make it possible to build more homes faster, and our new support for innovative construction methods means we can even further accelerate timelines so more Canadians can move into new homes even faster.”

War workers’ homes were built as part of the WHL program in Winston Park, Ont. – City of Toronto Archives


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