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Removing barriers to build more homes, faster in Saint John, New Brunswick

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Right now, in communities across the country, building the housing we need, especially affordable housing, is too hard. That’s why the federal government is working with municipalities to break down barriers and build more homes, faster so Canadians – from young families, to seniors, to newcomers – can find a place to call home, at a price they can afford.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that the federal government has reached an agreement with the City of Saint John, New Brunswick, to fast-track 285 new housing units over the next three years. This work will help spur the construction of more than 1,700 homes over the next decade and help meet the demand in Saint John.

Under the Housing Accelerator Fund, this agreement will provide over $9.1 million to eliminate barriers to building the housing we need, faster. It will allow for more housing options in the city, including more rental, affordable, and missing-middle housing, with up to four units per residential lot. As part of the agreement, Saint John will cut red tape, reduce requirements, and accelerate approval timelines for missing-middle units. The city will work to reform its zoning bylaw approvals, use public and underutilized lands for housing development, and implement a new permitting system. It will also work with non-profit and private home builders to coordinate, fund, and develop affordable housing projects. Together, these initiatives are going to significantly improve the way housing is built and delivered in Saint John.

The Housing Accelerator Fund is helping cut red tape and fast-track the construction of over 450,000 new homes for people in towns, cities, and Indigenous communities across Canada over the next decade. 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. 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.

The Government of Canada is supporting the middle class – and housing is key to that work. Our plan to double the rate of housing construction over the next decade will help build the housing supply we need. We will continue to work with provincial, territorial, and municipal governments, as well as Indigenous partners, to keep building more homes for Canadians, faster, and make life better for everyone.

Quotes

“Housing is a priority for Canadians. That’s why we’re working with mayors across the country to cut red tape and change the way we build housing. Today’s announcement with Saint John will help build more homes, faster, so that every Canadian has a good place to call their own.”

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

“Today’s announcement will help fast-track nearly 300 homes for the residents of Saint John in the next three years and more than 1,700 homes over the next decade. By working with cities, mayors, and all levels of government, we are helping to get more homes built for Canadians at prices they can afford.”

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

“Today marks a pivotal moment for Saint John as we collaborate with the federal government on the Housing Accelerator Fund. This partnership is more than just a financial commitment; it is a promise to our residents. We are dedicated to accelerating the development of affordable housing, ensuring every member of our community has a place to call home. This initiative is more than just building houses; it's about building a future. Together, we're laying the foundation for a stronger, more inclusive community where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.”

Her Worship Donna Noade Reardon, Mayor of Saint John

Quick Facts

  • The City of Saint John’s Housing Accelerator Fund agreement includes eight local initiatives focused on speeding up development, encouraging gentle density, supporting affordable housing, leveraging public land, and reforming zoning and governance.
  • The Housing Accelerator Fund 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 and fast-track at least 100,000 permitted new homes over the first three years.
  • With today’s announcement, the Government of Canada has signed 21 agreements since the launch of the Housing Accelerator Fund. Combined, these agreements will fast-track an estimated total of over 450,000 housing units over the next decade.
  • The Housing Accelerator Fund is part of Canada’s National Housing Strategy (NHS), an $82+ billion plan to give more Canadians a place to call home. Progress on programs and initiatives are updated quarterly at www.placetocallhome.ca. The Housing Funding Initiatives Map shows affordable housing projects that have been developed.
  • Since the creation of the NHS, the Government of Canada has committed over $38.89 billion to support the creation of almost 152,000 units and the repair of over 241,000. These measures prioritize those in greatest need, including seniors, Indigenous Peoples, people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, and women and children fleeing violence.
  • Since 2015, the government has helped almost two million Canadians find a place to call home.

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