Trudeau Pledges $74 million to Help London, Ontario, Build 2,000 New Homes

 The Housing Accelerator Fund has reached agreements with the first Canadian city, London, Ontario, according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

source: (Nicole Osborne/The Canadian Press)

In three years, 2,000 new residences would be built in the city, according to him. 

Josh Morgan, the mayor of London, stated that he wanted his city's agreement to serve as a model for the rest of the nation when it comes to constructing housing units.

In addition to helping to build 2,000 homes during the next three years, Morgan said the fund will also make it possible to develop thousands more housing units "in the years to come."

Initially announced during the 2021 election campaign and included in the federal budget for 2022, the Housing Accelerator Fund allots $4 billion in funding until 2026–2027 to encourage increased homebuilding in cities. 

According to a statement from the prime minister's office, the agreement with London will grant the city $74 million in funds, enabling it to approve high-density developments without the requirement for rezoning.  

The Liberal administration claims that through expediting land-use planning and development approvals, the Housing Accelerator Fund would enable the construction of 100,000 more housing units across the nation than would have been possible without it. 

Municipalities having a population of more than 10,000 people can apply to participate by outlining actions that will boost their cities' yearly rate of home construction by at least 10%. 

The fund, according to the PMO statement, promotes towns to construct high density housing near public transportation to benefit seniors, students, and families. 

The pressure on Trudeau and his administration to address the country's persistent housing deficit has grown in recent months. Late last month, after the Liberal cabinet retreat in P.E.I. came to a conclusion without the introduction of fresh initiatives to address the problem, pressure increased.

Sean Fraser, the minister of housing, told reporters earlier on Wednesday that low-income families were disproportionately affected by the housing crisis when his administration took office in 2015, but that the situation has since "fundamentally shifted."

He claimed that the situation is currently affecting Canadians with variable-rate mortgages, whose payments have experienced a sharp increase due to the increase in interest rates, necessitating the need for a "renewed focus" to solve the crisis.

Following the news on Wednesday, conservatives didn't waste any time attacking the Liberals. In a statement, the party said that Liberal housing plans have "failed" so far.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) just published a new analysis that estimates the number of units needed to restore housing affordability, which coincides with the Liberals' statement. 

According to the CMHC Supply Gaps Estimate report, an additional 3.5 million housing units must be created by 2030 in addition to those that are anticipated to be constructed at that time in order to bring affordability back to levels from 2004. 

The research revises the CMHC's initial estimate from June 2022, when the housing organisation estimated a somewhat higher shortage of 3.52 million dwelling units. 

According to that analysis, an average household in Ontario spent roughly 40% of their disposable income to cover the annual costs of owning a home in 2003–2004, compared to 45% in British Columbia. That had increased to 60% by 2021.

Although little steps have been taken since last summer, the CMHC stated that housing in Ontario and British Columbia, where two-thirds of the additional 3.5 million homes that are required to be built, is still unaffordable.

The refocused approach, according to Fraser, wouldn't have a "silver bullet" but rather call for collaboration at all governmental levels, business, and nonprofit organisations. 

Additionally, it would necessitate taking action to address several major issues, such as:

-Giving builders who have approved projects but had to suspend them due to the impact of rising loan rates some form of financial relief. 
-Collaborating with local governments to shorten the time it takes to change "zoning practises" and issue building licences in order to make construction easier.

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