Trudeau announces $2B investment to address housing affordability, supply

Aug 31 2022, 9:58 pm

The Federal Government plans to spend $2 billion to address Canada’s housing supply and affordability issues.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the investment, which includes funding from the 2021 and 2022 federal budgets, during a press conference in Kitchener, Ontario, on August 30. He was joined by Ahmed Hussen, minister of housing and diversity and inclusion.

The funding will help build nearly 17,000 new homes across the country, including thousands of affordable units. A timeline for construction was not revealed.

Trudeau also announced a new five-year rent-to-own stream under the Affordable Housing Innovation Fund. Applications for projects are now open to developers.

Rent has soared across Canada in recent months as high-interest rates keep would-be buyers in the rental market. In the country’s most expensive markets — Toronto and Vancouver — rents are at all-time highs.

“Housing should be more affordable for renters as well as owners,” Trudeau said. “I’ve talked with many Canadians who are worried about being able to afford a place to live.

“This is as true for people looking to buy a home as for those who live in rental housing. We’re seeing prices going up across the country. We know we need to build supply and find innovative solutions.”

As part of the $2 billion investment, the government will extend the Rapid Housing Initiative for a third round, which will create 4,500 additional affordable housing units.

These will include projects that support people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, as well as women-focused housing projects.

At least 10,800 housing units, including 6,000 affordable units, will be created through the Affordable Housing Innovation Fund as well.

“When people have a home of their own, whether they rent or they own, they are better able to invest in themselves, and invest in their communities,” Trudeau said.

“Tackling housing affordability is a complex problem and there is no one silver bullet, but announcements like today’s give more people a place to call home and a real and fair chance at success.”

Zoe DemarcoZoe Demarco

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