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Ottawa offers $176 million to smaller communities for housing construction

Photo: Dave Bolton Getty Images Tuesday's announcement aims to extend Ottawa's assistance to smaller communities.

Nojoud Al Mallees – The Canadian Press in Ottawa

February 13, 2024

  • Canada

Federal Housing Minister Sean Fraser said Tuesday that his government will implement more than 60 housing agreements with small rural communities across the country in the coming weeks.< /p>

Mr. Fraser estimated at a press conference that these agreements, worth $176 million, will help build more than 50,000 homes over the next ten years.

Ottawa has already signed agreements directly with municipalities through its Fund to accelerate housing construction. This federal program offers cities money in exchange for changes to their statutes and regulations that would make it easier to build housing.

Municipalities were invited to take advantage of the federal fund by presenting a plan on how they intend to accelerate residential construction on their territory.

The Liberal government has touted the fund as a key pillar of its economic plan, as it faces growing political pressure to resolve the country's housing crisis.

Minister Fraser indicated Tuesday that under this Fund, the federal government has concluded 36 agreements to date that will help build more than 500,000 units over the next decade. Such an agreement with the City of Ottawa, worth $176 million, was announced on Monday.

Tuesday's announcement aims to extend Ottawa's assistance to smaller communities. “What we've seen over the last few years is more people are choosing to move to smaller towns,” Fraser said Tuesday.

“We are seeing that the cost of rent has increased significantly as vacancy rates decrease. We see that the cost of buying a home is much higher today than it was just a few years ago. »

Mr. Fraser explained that rural communities benefited from more flexibility regarding their commitments in the agreements, in part because they have different capacities than those in larger cities.

Of the $4 billion Accelerated Housing Fund, about $640 million remains available for municipalities that have not yet signed an agreement, a spokesperson said from Minister Fraser.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116