Ottawa, ON — The federal government is helping Canadian municipalities build more homes by launching a $4 billion Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF) initiative.
Launching this summer, the HAF provides incentive funding to local governments, encouraging initiatives to increase the housing supply.
“Canada has the fastest growing population in the G7, but our housing supply hasn’t kept up with demand. The Housing Accelerator Fund will help local governments cut red tape and backlogs, build the housing we need, and give more people in Canada a safe and affordable place to call home,” said Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada.
The HAF was first announced in last year’s budget and will run until 2026-27. Financing in the HAF will fall under four categories, investments in the HAF action plans, investments in affordable housing, investments in housing-related infrastructure, and investments in community-related infrastructure that supports housing.
Eligible participants for the HAF include local governments in Canada with delegated authority over land use planning and development approvals, including First Nations, Métis and Inuit governments. As well as regional districts, provinces or territories are eligible to apply if there isn’t a municipal-level authority.
There are two streams of applications that are determined by location and population. The “Large/Urban” stream is for communities in a Canadian province that has a population of over 10,000.
To be eligible in this stream, applicants must present an application that features an action plan that outlines supply growth targets and specific initiatives to grow housing supply and speed up housing approvals, have a minimum of seven initiatives in its action plan, and commit to a housing supply growth target within the action plan that increases the average annual rate of growth by at least 10 per cent. The growth rate must also exceed 1.1 per cent.
The “Small/Rural/North/Indigenous” stream applies to communities that are either in a territory, are an Indigenous community or in a Canadian province with a population of under 10,000. This stream also requires applicants to submit an application that features an action plan and commit to increasing the average annual growth rate by at least 10 per cent. This stream also requires applicants to have a minimum of five initiatives in its action plan.
Approved applicants from both streams will get four advances, with one advance planned for each year of the program. After the contribution agreement is signed, they will also receive an upfront advance to begin implementing their action plan. Subsequent payments will be made annually for three years, subject to program conditions being met.
There is one application window for both streams, which opens on June 8.