Building more homes, faster across Canada
Thank you very much, Mark. Hello, everyone.
It’s great to be here with both Ryan and Mark, two amazing, strong MPs, members of our team who are strong voices for the region and continue to deliver for people around here. Deputy Mayor Crawford, Marilyn, thank you so much for your words—you’re welcome—and mostly for all your hard work, as well. Your council has been extraordinary, as Mark has said, on moving forward on affordability measures, on unlocking the potential of building new homes here in Ajax, and it’s really exciting. But we’re happy to work with you; Mark is incredibly proud of representing this region. As he sits around the cabinet table as our health minister, he is keeping at the forefront the real needs of people, not just in this community, but around the country.
Now, as Mark was saying, just behind me on my right, this apartment building at Pat Bayly Square was built with the help of federal loans. And Mark, as you said, you were at that announcement back in 2019, and now more than 300 people and families have new homes in this apartment. And we continue to build and build even faster. As you can see, there’s another project or two being built to my left, where the crane is, and Mark, you were there to announce that one as well, two years ago. These are all real results for Canadians, and the great examples that show that the best way to solve housing challenges is to work together.
Together with the private sector, like we did here in Ajax with Abraham Bleeman, who’s joining us today, President of Medallion Development. I was incredibly touched by his story, coming here and having people not willing to rent to him because he was starting a family. And he made a commitment that he was going to make sure he was building units for housing in the coming years, and he started in the ’50s and is still building them today, all these years later. Thank you, not just for your initiative and for your leadership, but thank you for being the embodiment of the Canadian dream in so many ways, and to all your family.
These are real results, but by working in partnership with provincial and municipal governments, Ajax continues to be proactive in pushing new initiatives for housing. Recently, the city approved more measures, including permitting four residential units as of right on a single lot. So, thank you again, Marilyn, for your leadership, and I look forward to continuing our work together with you and Mayor Collier to build the homes people need. Because whether it’s here in Ajax, across the GTA, or anywhere else in the country, the promise of Canada needs to be the same: the promise that every generation could reach even higher than the generation before.
Well, as a government, we are focused on securing that promise, and housing is at the centre of that work. We’re facing a shortage of housing right now, and this is a big reason why prices are just way too high. So we need to build more homes, faster. And that’s exactly what we’re doing, for example, with the Housing Accelerator Fund. We’re working with provinces and municipalities to remove barriers, to allow more density, to fund affordable housing projects and get permits rolling. The announcements we’ve made so far through this fund are going to fast-track tens of thousands of homes across Canada over the next few years alone, and tens of thousands more in the years ahead.
We need more homes Canadians can buy, and we need more homes Canadians can rent. I just met people earlier who live in the apartment building I mentioned before, with affordable units in it. I met Tim, who’s an engineering designer who is proud to say he works just down the road, because being able to live and work in growing communities makes a huge difference. And Yasin, I was proud to say that he not only lives in this building, but works in an auto assembly nearby, and was chuckling that it is his wife who has to commute into Markham every day, but he gets to do work from here.
And this is what we need to build, not just have communities like Ajax depend on commuting into Toronto or into large cities, but actually be able to grow and flourish and create strong communities and a strong future right here. And that’s what these investments with the Housing Accelerator are all about; these are the kinds of results that we’re focused on in creating opportunity for Canadians to grow, live, work, and play in great communities right across the country like Ajax.
We need more housing all across the country, including more rental apartments. That is why, two weeks ago, we announced assistance to build over 12,000 homes across the country with our Apartment Construction Loan Program. And we added investments to this program in the Fall Economic Statement to build even more.
But, of course, when it comes to housing, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. For renters, on top of expanding access to low-cost federal financing, we’re removing the GST from new rental construction projects. For homeowners, we’re creating the Canadian Mortgage Charter to help ensure payments are reasonable for borrowers, because we know a lot of people are looking at where interest rates are, and the upcoming renegotiation of their mortgage, and they’re worried about it. Well, we’re putting forward a mortgage charter that guarantees some rights and protections for them that are going to give them reassurance that their lives will continue to be affordable as they build equity in their homes.