Monday, June 17, 2024

Trudeau pledges $74 million to help London build over 2,000 homes

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today announced the federal government’s first Housing Accelerator Fund agreement which will fast-track the creation of over 2,000 additional housing units in London, Ontario over the next three years.

“This is just one of many agreements we will be signing with municipalities across the country who have a similar appetite to get housing built for Canadians,” Trudeau said in a statement.

This agreement will provide $74 million to increase the housing supply in London. With this new funding, London will allow for high-density development without the need for re-zoning. It will also move to allow up to four units to be built on a single property in low-density neighbourhoods, dispose of city-owned land for more development, and create partnerships with non-profit housing providers to build more affordable homes.

“Overall, this plan means more homes close to public transit, more rental units for students, and more housing, ranging from duplexes and triplexes to small apartment buildings,” the PMO stated.

The Housing Accelerator Fund helps fast track at least 100,000 new homes in towns, cities, and Indigenous communities across the country. It asks for innovative action plans from local governments, and once approved, provides upfront funding to ensure the timely building of new homes, as well as additional funds upon delivering results.

Every agreement under the Housing Accelerator Fund will require municipalities to end exclusionary zoning and encourage apartment building around public transit in order to help seniors, students, and families. Local governments are encouraged to think big and be bold in their approaches, which could include accelerating project timelines, allowing increased housing density, and encouraging affordable housing units.

London Mayor Josh Morgan deemed this agreement “the most significant investment” in housing and housing-related infrastructure in the city’s history.

“London is the fastest growing city in Ontario, driven in large part by a thriving manufacturing expansion across our region,” Morgan stated. “The Housing Accelerator Fund will help London meet the needs this growth demands.”

“We believe housing is a human right, and together with the federal government, we will use this funding to drive overall housing supply with strong connectivity to transit networks, incentivize commercial conversions in our Core Area, bolster our Health and Homelessness System Response, and modernize our approvals processes to move even faster,” he added

Launched in March 2023, the Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF) is a $4 billion initiative from the Government of Canada that will run until 2026-27. It is designed to help cities, towns, and Indigenous governments unlock new housing supply through innovative approaches.

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