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Canada and Quebec announce a major agreement to support accelerated housing construction

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The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, and Quebec Premier François Legault today announced an agreement through the Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF), under which Canada will provide Quebec with a total contribution of $900 million to accelerate the construction of residential units in the province.

The agreement confirms that the governments of Canada and Quebec share the common goal of ensuring all Quebec residents have a place to call home that meets their needs. In this context, Canada’s financial contribution will support Quebec’s initiatives to accelerate the construction of residential units to meet the province’s housing needs.

Quebec is committed to using Canada’s $900 million contribution to increase the supply of residential units in the province. The contribution corresponds to nearly 23 per cent of the total federal funding, the aim of which is to add at least 100,000 residential units over and above historical averages across Canada, over four years. In its November 7 economic and financial update, the Quebec government announced that it will also invest $900 million, bringing the combined total of the two governments’ contribution to $1.8 billion in new funding for housing construction. This investment will directly create 8,000 social and affordable housing units, 500 of which will be earmarked for clients who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

This agreement will result in the creation of tens of thousands of additional housing units over the next few years in Quebec, and will also bring about regulatory reforms, which is excellent news.

Quebec is resolutely committed to pursuing its efforts to accelerate the construction of residential units in the province, based on the Act respecting land use planning and development and other provisions. The Quebec government will also set up an interdepartmental project acceleration unit in co-operation with Quebec municipalities, and will adopt new government policies for land use planning, with housing construction indicators on which municipalities will have to base their targets. The province intends to propose legislative amendments – these are currently in the drafting phase and will be subject to adoption by the National Assembly – to improve urban densification and facilitate the authorization of residential building construction, thus reducing related delays.

Quotes

“We've heard Canadians and we're working hard to build more housing, faster. The agreement announced today is historic and supports Quebec’s efforts to ensure that all Quebecers have a safe and affordable place to live. Together with our provincial and municipal partners, we will continue to cut red tape and build the safe, affordable communities that Canadians need and deserve, from coast to coast to coast.”

The Right Hon.. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“The current housing crisis is a complex problem that is affecting many Quebecers. I’m proud to announce, in partnership with the federal government, an $900 million agreement, free of conditions, to build more affordable housing. In this week’s economic update, we also added $900 million for housing, bringing the total combined investment to $1.8 billion. Everyone must work together to speed up housing construction, and Quebec is doing its part.”

François Legault, Premier of Quebec

“The agreement we have reached with the Government of Quebec will enable us to build more housing, faster, for Quebecers. The historic investments and initiatives that the Government of Quebec will put in place to help municipalities increase density and reduce construction times will provide for building tens of thousands of new homes.”

Hon. Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities

“This is excellent news for households looking for affordable housing, and for municipalities and organizations trying to develop this type of project for their residents at a time of rising construction costs. I’m pleased with the healthy partnership that Minister Fraser and I were able to build during our discussions, which made it possible for Quebec’s priorities and needs to be taken into account in this agreement. With this major additional investment in housing construction, we need to move quickly from financing to building projects. Each partner will have to act accordingly. For our part, we will make use of our existing financial vehicles to speed up the flow of the assistance being provided.”

France-Élaine Duranceau, Quebec Minister Responsible for Housing

Quick Facts

  • Today’s announcement was made by Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, Premier of Quebec, François Legault, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities, Sean Fraser, and Quebec Minister Responsible for Housing, France-Élaine Duranceau.
  • The Government of Canada will provide the Government of Quebec with a contribution of $900 million to finance projects identified by the Société d’habitation du Québec (SHQ – Quebec Housing Corporation). This amount represents nearly 23 per cent of the federal funding.
  • The payments, totalling $900 million, will be spread over four years, commencing in 2023–2024, to help accelerate the construction of residential units in Quebec.
  • In choosing projects, the SHQ will select those that meet the objectives of the Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF) and the requirements of applicable Quebec programs and initiatives. The SHQ is also committed to ensuring that to the extent possible, project selection takes into account regional distribution in conjunction with regional needs.
  • The HAF is a $4 billion initiative launched by the Government of Canada in March 2023 to provide funding to accelerate the construction of 100,000 new homes across Canada.
  • The HAF encourages local governments to implement sustainable initiatives that remove barriers to housing supply and development approvals. The long-term goal is to make housing more affordable for people across Canada.
  • The Act Respecting Land Use Planning and Development and Other Provisions is one of the pillars of the National Policy on Architecture and Land-Use Planning: Living and Building Better in Quebec.

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