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Building more homes that Canadians can afford in Thunder Bay, Ontario

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Right now, in communities across the country, building 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 – whether they are just starting out, growing their families, or aging in security – 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 Thunder Bay, Ontario, to fast-track over 600 new housing units over the next three years. This work will help spur the construction of more than 6,500 homes over the next decade and help meet the demand in Thunder Bay.

Under the Housing Accelerator Fund, this agreement will provide $20.7 million to build more homes that Canadians can afford. It will create more housing options in the city, including more multi-unit and affordable housing projects – with up to four homes per lot. The City will turn vacant and underused property downtown into new housing. That means more homes near transit, schools, parks, and opportunity. The City will re-zone commercial areas, fast-track development approvals, and put incentives and grants in place to get more housing projects off the ground. The City will also create a dedicated team to recommend systemic changes and work with non-profit organizations, community organizations, advocacy groups, and home builders to reduce construction costs. Together, these initiatives are going to significantly improve the way affordable housing is built and delivered in Thunder Bay.

Stable, reliable, and affordable housing is also a fundamental part of our commitment to advancing reconciliation. As part of the agreement, Thunder Bay will explore ways to better support the housing needs of Indigenous communities – including helping us co-develop and implement Canada’s Urban, Rural and Northern Indigenous Housing Strategy.

The Housing Accelerator Fund is helping cut red tape and fast-track the construction of over 650,000 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 are working with provincial, territorial, and municipal governments, as well as Indigenous partners, to build more homes for Canadians, faster, and make life better for everyone.

Quotes

“The status quo on home-building in this country isn’t working. We need to build more homes and make sure they’re affordable – and we need to do it faster. That’s what today’s announcement in Thunder Bay is all about. Let’s get more homes built at prices Canadians can afford.”

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

“We are excited and proud to announce this partnership with Thunder Bay today. By creating financial incentives for new affordable housing projects, encouraging more homes, and promoting residential development of underused lands, the City will ensure that Thunder Bay has more of the kinds of homes we need to tackle the housing crisis. We will continue working with cities, towns, mayors, and all levels of government to get more homes built for Canadians at prices they can afford.”

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

“The City of Thunder Bay is all in on new housing and is working hard to set the stage for new housing development. Our focus is in line with the federal government’s goal of building as many homes as possible, as quickly as possible. We have adopted most of the top 10 Housing Accelerator Fund best practices, incentivizing a broad range of housing development. Thunder Bay welcomes this partnership with the federal government and is prepared for the growth which aligns with our strategic plan enacted by Council.”

His Worship Ken Boshcoff, Mayor of Thunder Bay

Quick Facts

  • The City of Thunder Bay’s Housing Accelerator Fund agreement will encourage mixed use development and unlock a significant area for residential development by allowing housing on underutilized and vacant commercial sites. The City will also accelerate housing through a vacant-industrial-land-assessment-and-conversion program, which will consider residential developments on former industrial lands.
  • 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 61 agreements since the launch of the Housing Accelerator Fund. Combined, these agreements will fast-track an estimated total of over 650,000 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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