Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that the federal government will invest nearly $2 billion to build approximately 16,800 homes across the country.
Canada has been dealing with a housing shortage and an expensive housing market. As such, Canadians are growing concerned over how the country handles inflation. The federal government has developed this solution to help solve the housing crisis.
At a news conference in Kitchener, Ontario, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that nearly 17,000 new homes will be built through additional funding projects. Alongside Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion Ahmed Hussen, Trudeau said the federal government plans to create 10,800 new homes — 6,000 of which will be affordable units — as part of the Affordable Housing Innovation Fund.
The funding projects include the federal government's Affordable Housing Innovation Fund, the rent-to-own program and the third phase of the Rapid Housing Initiative. Two of the three projects will fall under the Affordable Housing Innovation Fund, which was launched in 2016 to create more affordable housing by partnering with private sector groups, non-profits, community housing groups, Indigenous communities, and various levels of government.
The Rapid Housing Initiative was launched in 2020, and provided funding to allow the rapid construction of new housing and the acquisition of existing buildings to convert them into affordable housing units. Trudeau said the first two rounds are expected to create approximately 10,000 units, which is 2,500 more than the originally planned 7,500 units. This number includes over 3,300 units to support women and over 4,200 units to support Indigenous Peoples.
The federal government is also creating a five-year rent-to-own pilot program to help develop and test rent-to-own models and projects. This will allow residents that are struggling to save to move from renting to owning.
"This is truly about helping Canadians access safe and affordable housing – that meets their needs. We know Canadians have different housing needs depending on where they sit on the housing spectrum," said the Prime Minister.
In order to build more homes and make housing more affordable for Canadians, Budget 2022 proposed investments which included $1.5 billion that will go to the Rapid Housing Initiative, with $500 million allocated through the Cities Stream and $1 billion through the Projects Stream. The other $200 million will go to the new Affordable Housing Innovation Fund's rent-to-own stream.
“When people have stable homes, they can build more stable lives. They can participate and create their communities, they can contribute their skills to businesses and organizations in our economy, and we all benefit from that,” said Trudeau.
These initiatives will build on the efforts of the federal government to increase housing supply and build more affordable housing for people across the country. To date, the government has helped house more than 1.2 million Canadians, including through the Rapid Housing Initiative. While Canada’s 10-year National Housing Strategy, launched in 2017, has aimed to invest over $72 billion to create more homes, $26.5 billion has already been invested with 106,100 units built, and 254,600 units repaired.
These government projects and investments are aimed to grow the Canadian economy while creating sufficient middle-class employment opportunities in the housing and construction sectors.