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  • Writer's pictureLeah Taylor Roy

Building more homes

Budget 2024 lays out a bold strategy to unlock 3.87 million new homes by 2031. This includes a minimum of 2 million net new homes, on top of 1.87 million homes already expected to be built by 2031. Federal actions will support at least 1.2 million new homes, and the federal government is calling on all orders of government to build at least 800,000 more homes by 2031. The federal government's plan provides incentives for all orders of government, as well as for private and non-profit sector partners, and will build more homes, make it easier to own or rent a home, and help Canadians who can't afford a home, too.

  • Building Homes on Public Lands with the new Public Lands for Homes Plan, the federal government will unlock 250,000 new homes by 2031, by using all tools available to convert public lands to housing (such as unused or underused office towers or parking lots), including leasing, acquiring other public lands for housing, and retaining ownership, whenever possible. 

  • Building Homes on Canada Post Properties by taking steps to enable Canada Post to prioritize leasing or divestment of post office properties and lands with high potential for housing. This plan would make sure postal service is not disrupted and maintain Canada Post's role as a "service first" organization focused on delivering the mail.

  • Building Homes on National Defence Lands by exploring the redevelopment of properties that could be suitable for both military and civilian uses, divesting 14 surplus properties with housing potential, and building and renovating housing for Canadian Armed Forces personnel on bases. 

  • Converting Underused Federal Offices Into Homes with $1.1 billion over ten years to transform 50 per cent of the federal office portfolio into housing, which will save $3.9 billion over the next ten years, with $0.9 billion per year in ongoing savings. This would enable more office buildings, particularly in urban areas, to be converted into homes for Canadians.

  • Taxing Vacant Lands to Incentivize Construction—at a time when we have a housing crisis, vacant land needs to be used, and it is best used to build homes. The government will launch consultations later this year on a potential tax on residentially zoned vacant land.

  • Building Apartments, Bringing Rents Down with a $15 billion top-up to the Apartment Construction Loan Program, which will build 30,000 more new homes across Canada. This brings the program's total to $55 billion in low-cost financing, and the program's total contribution to over 131,000 new homes by 2031-32. 

  • Scaling-Up Modular Housing to build a housing economy that can build homes year-round, unlocking winter—nearly six months of the year in many regions—to ensure we can build at the pace and scale needed to solve Canada's housing crisis.

  • Introducing an Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance for new purpose-built rental projects to enable homebuilders to increase their cashflow, and more quickly reinvest into more projects, create more jobs, and build more apartments. This will help move more apartment projects from unfeasible to feasible. 

  • Launching Canada Builds to lead a Team Canada effort to build the homes needed to solve the housing crisis. Canada Builds will leverage the now $55 billion Apartment Construction Loan Program to partner with provinces and territories that launch ambitious plans to build more rental housing. This includes cutting development approval timelines to no longer than 12 to 18 months, and meeting all of the program's affordability criteria. 

  • Topping-Up the Housing Accelerator Fund with $400 million to build an additional 12,000 homes, because it is working. The now $4.4 billion Fund, on-track to spur the construction of 750,000 new homes over the next decade, will help more communities benefit from cutting red tape to fast-track the creation of more homes.

  • A New $6 billion Canada Housing Infrastructure Fund to help communities build the essential infrastructure needed to support more homes, and more vibrant, and livable neighbourhoods.

  • Leveraging Transit Funding to Build More Homes, so that more homes get built faster and closer to the services that Canadians count on. Access to the government's forthcoming permanent public transit fund will require municipalities to eliminate mandatory minimum parking requirements near transit stations, and allow high-density housing near transit stations and post-secondary institutions.

  • Housing Design Catalogue, which will provide blueprints that can be used across the country to speed up the construction of new homes, such as modular housing, row housing, fourplexes, sixplexes, and accessory dwelling units. Provinces, territories, and municipalities could use the housing design catalogue to simplify and accelerate housing approvals and builds. 

  • More Skilled Trades Workers Building Homes by encouraging more people to pursue a career in the skilled trades and breaking down barriers to foreign credential recognition, particularly for construction workers. The federal government is creating apprenticeship opportunities to train and recruit the next generation of skilled trades workers.

  • Indigenous Housing and Community Infrastructure to make more progress correcting the historical underinvestment by previous governments which has resulted in Indigenous Peoples facing high housing costs and a lack of access for far too long. Budget 2024 announces combined distinctions-based investments of $918 million to accelerate work in narrowing housing and infrastructure gaps in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities.

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