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Unlocking housing construction and launching Canada Builds

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Everyone deserves to succeed. But today, for too many Canadians, your hard work isn’t paying off like it did for previous generations. Your paycheque doesn’t go as far as costs go up, and saving enough seems harder and harder. It doesn’t have to be this way. Every generation should get a fair chance to get ahead.

One of the biggest pressures on young people right now is housing, and this is true for Canadians right across the country. We’ve already taken bold action to build more homes, faster, improve access to housing, and make homes more affordable – and we know there is more to be done. We need a Team Canada effort to tackle our national housing crisis – getting every partner on board and getting more homes built. That means every order of government coming together and building more homes for Canadians at prices they can afford, especially on land ready for development.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced transformative measures from the upcoming Budget 2024 to get shovels in the ground and build more homes, faster.

These measures include:

  • Delivering a $15 billion top-up to the Apartment Construction Loan Program to build a minimum of 30,000 new apartments. With this top-up, the program’s financing is on track to build over 131,000 new apartments within the next decade.
  • Announcing new reforms to the Apartment Construction Loan Program to increase access to the program and make it easier for builders to build. These reforms include:
    • Extending loan terms;
    • Extending access to financing to include housing for students and seniors;
    • Introducing a portfolio approach to eligibility requirements so builders can move forward on multiple sites at once;
    • Providing additional flexibility on affordability, energy efficiency, and accessibility requirements; and
    • Launching a new frequent builder stream to fast-track the application process for proven home builders.
  • Launching Canada Builds – partnering with provinces and territories to build more rental housing across the country. The federal government is leveraging its $55 billion Apartment Construction Loan Program by making it available to support partnerships with provinces and territories that launch their own ambitious housing plans, similar to the recently announced BC Builds initiative. In order to access federal financing, provinces and territories will be expected to meet the benchmarks set by BC Builds and deliver action to build even more homes. These actions include:
    • Complementing federal funds with provincial or territorial investments into housing;
    • Building on government, non-profit, community-owned, and vacant lands;
    • Streamlining the process to cut development approval timelines to no longer than 12 to 18 months; and
    • Meeting all criteria included in the Apartment Construction Loan Program, including affordability requirements.

Communities across the country are facing housing pressures. The measures announced today will make it easier, cheaper, and faster to build homes in Canada. For students, it will mean getting the keys to their first home and living close to campus. For young families, it will mean getting a good home near work, opportunity, and in a vibrant neighbourhood. And for seniors, it will mean an affordable place where you can downsize with security and dignity. We’re encouraging provinces and territories to partner with us on these ambitious housing plans to get more homes built, faster.

Yesterday, we announced a new $6 billion Canada Housing Infrastructure Fund and a $400 million top-up to the Housing Accelerator Fund to ensure communities have the infrastructure they need to grow and build more homes. These are just a few of the things that we are going to be doing in Budget 2024 to bring down the cost of rent and unlock homeownership. Alongside these measures, we’re protecting renters, investing in health care, improving access to child care, making life more affordable, and creating good jobs, to make sure every generation can get ahead.

Quotes

“With Budget 2024, we’re making it easier, cheaper, and faster to build more homes in Canada. Today’s announcement will cut red tape, speed up development, and build more homes, so that Canadians – from teachers, to nurses, to construction workers – can afford to stay in the communities where they work. It’s making the housing market fairer for every generation.”

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

“To fix Canada’s housing challenges, we need a Team Canada effort – every order of government must use every lever at its disposal to build more homes, faster. Today, our government is coming to the table with billions in low-cost financing available for provinces and territories that step up to ambitious plans, as British Columbia is doing by cutting the time it takes to get shovels in the ground so they can build at pace and at scale right away.”

The Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

“Today’s announcement marks another step in our work to end Canada’s housing crisis once and for all. It will speed up development, make construction cheaper, get projects off the shelves, and shovels in the ground. It will mean more homes for middle-class Canadians at prices they can afford.”

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

Quick Facts

  • The Government of Canada’s Budget 2024 will be tabled in the House of Commons by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance on Tuesday, April 16, 2024.
  • In recent days, the Prime Minister announced Budget 2024 would also:
    • Restore generational fairness for renters, particularly Millennials and Gen Z, by taking new action to protect renters’ rights and unlock pathways for them to become homeowners. Learn more.
    • Save more young families money and help more moms return to their careers by building more affordable child care spaces and training more early childhood educators across Canada. Learn more.
    • Create a National School Food Program to ensure every child has the best start in life, with the food they need to learn and grow, no matter their circumstances. Learn more.
    • Launch a new $6 billion Canada Housing Infrastructure Fund to accelerate the construction or upgrade of essential infrastructure across the country and get more homes built for Canadians. Learn more.
  • The Apartment Construction Loan Program boosts the construction of new rental homes by providing low-cost financing to homebuilders. It supports the development of accessible and sustainable living spaces to help alleviate housing shortages and improve community stability and economic growth. Since its launch in 2017, the program has committed over $18 billion in loans to support the creation of more than 48,000 new rental homes. With today’s announcement, which brings its total funding to over $55 billion, the Apartment Construction Loan Program is on track to help build over 131,000 new rental homes across Canada by 2031-32.
  • Announced in February, British Columbia’s BC Builds program will provide more than $2 billion in provincial financing and commit $950 million to build thousands of middle-class rental homes. On February 20, 2024, the Prime Minister announced that the federal government would help increase the impact of the program by providing up to $2 billion in low-cost loans through the Apartment Construction Loan Program. Combined, the federal and provincial investments will help build a minimum of 8,000 to 10,000 additional new homes for the middle class. As more land is secured, thousands more units will be built – fast‑tracking construction and ensuring that more of these homes are available at below-market rates.
  • BC Builds leverages government, community, non-profit owned, and under-used land to speed up the delivery of housing and help bring costs down for middle-income households. All BC Builds projects have a target of middle-income households spending no more than 30 per cent of their income on rent.
  • The federal government’s plan to build more homes faster and make housing more affordable also includes:
    • The Affordable Housing Fund, a $14+ billion initiative that supports the creation of new market and below-market rental housing and the repair and renewal of existing housing. It is designed to attract partnerships and investments to develop projects that meet a broad spectrum of housing needs, from shelters to affordable homeownership. As of December 31, 2023, the Fund has committed $8+ billion to repair or renew over 150,000 homes and support the construction of more than 32,000 new homes.
    • The Housing Accelerator Fund, a $4 billion initiative that will be topped up with an additional $400 million in Budget 2024 to encourage municipalities to incentivize building by making transformative changes, such as removing prohibitive zoning barriers. To date, the federal government has signed 179 Housing Accelerator Fund agreements which, combined, will fast-track an estimated total of over 750,000 housing units across the country over the next decade.
    • The Rapid Housing Initiative, a $4 billion fund that is fast-tracking the construction of 15,500 new affordable homes for people experiencing homelessness or in severe housing need by 2026. The Rapid Housing Initiative also supports the acquisition of existing buildings for the purpose of rehabilitation or conversion to permanent affordable housing units, focusing on the housing needs of the most vulnerable, including people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, women fleeing domestic violence, seniors, Indigenous Peoples, and persons with disabilities.
  • Progress on these and other programs and initiatives under Canada’s National Housing Strategy are updated quarterly at www.placetocallhome.ca. The Housing Funding Initiatives Map shows affordable housing projects that have been developed.
  • Since 2015, the federal government has helped almost two million Canadians find a place to call home.