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Helping build more homes, faster in Ottawa

Press Release

February 12, 2024

With federal funding and federal leadership, we are changing how cities let housing get built in their municipalities. With a greater focus on higher density housing, student housing, homes near transit and affordable housing, we are going to get more homes built for Canadians at prices they can afford.

Today, the Government of Canada, the City of Ottawa announced that they reached an agreement to fast-track over 4,400 housing units over the next three years. This work will help spur the construction of 32,600 homes over the next decade.

Under the Housing Accelerator Fund, this agreement will provide over $176.3 million to eliminate barriers to building the housing we need, faster. It will allow for more housing options in the city, including more rental, affordable, and missing middle-housing, with up to four units as-of-right through their comprehensive By-Law Review process. Ottawa’s Action Plan proposes a variety of approaches that will leave lasting impacts on the broader housing system and influence long-range planning through a city-wide plan. Initiatives proposed include the elimination or simplification of rezoning requirements to allow for low-density area intensification, expansion of existing affordable rental programming, and modernizing policy and regulatory frameworks including digitization and leveraging office buildings and city-owned land for housing.

HAF is helping cut red tape and fast track at least 100,000 permitted new homes over the first three years, which cities and regions estimate will lead to the creation of over 550,000 permitted new homes for people in towns, cities, and Indigenous communities across Canada over the next decade. It asks for innovative action plans from local governments, and once approved, provides upfront funding to ensure the timely building of new homes, as well as additional funds upon delivering results. Local governments are encouraged to think big and be bold in their approaches, which could include accelerating project timelines, allowing increased housing density, and encouraging affordable housing units.

The Government of Canada is making life more affordable for Canadians — and housing is key to our work. We will continue to work with provincial, territorial, and municipal governments, as well as Indigenous partners, to keep building more homes for Canadians, faster.

Quotes:

“Today’s announcement will help fast track over 4,400 homes for residents of Ottawa in the next three years and 32,600 homes over the next decade. By working with cities, mayors, and all levels of government, we are helping to get more homes built for Canadians at prices they can afford.”

— The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities

“With this investment of $176.3 million, the Housing Accelerator Fund will help thousands of families in Ottawa who are desperately looking for an affordable place to call home. This is a positive step, having our government and the City of Ottawa working together, to create more homes for families.”

— The Honourable Jenna Sudds, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Member of Parliament for Kanata-Carleton

“We’re in a Housing crisis and the only way we’re going to solve this challenge is by working together collaboratively and directly with municipalities who know the real needs of their communities. The Housing Accelerator Fund is an acknowledgement that the status quo in how we build homes is no longer acceptable. By working together, collaboratively with the City of Ottawa and our government we’re going to get more homes built for the people of Ottawa.”

— The Honourable Mona Fortier, Deputy Government Whip, Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Vanier

“Through innovation and partnerships with local governments, we can build the homes we need in our cities and towns and create affordable inclusive and diverse communities. Partnering with Ottawa through the Housing Accelerator Fund does just that. We will continue to work to make life more affordable and create strong, more prosperous communities here in Ontario and across our great country.”

— Marie-France Lalonde, Member of Parliament for Orléans

“By building more affordable homes quickly, our government is unlocking new opportunities for growth in Ottawa. Working together, we’re creating more density around transit hubs, driving down the cost of new builds, and fighting NIMBYism that exists throughout municipal zoning policies.”

— Yasir Naqvi, Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre

“This is a huge investment in building more homes, and especially more affordable homes, for Ottawa. Together, our governments are creating the Ottawa of the future — a thriving community where everyone has access to a home they can afford.”

— Anita Vandenbeld, Member of Parliament for Ottawa West-Nepean

“The Government of Canada has a critical role to play to support municipalities and other partners to get more housing built faster. We are investing over $176.3 million in the City of Ottawa through the Housing Accelerator Fund to provide additional capacity to fast track the development of safe and affordable housing to meet the needs of our rapidly growing district. This funding will help streamline approval processes for affordable, missing middle and market rental housing, and help realize a more inclusive and livable community.”

— The Honourable David McGuinty, Member of Parliament for Ottawa South

“We need to get more homes built, faster. Our federal government is leading the charge by working directly with municipalities like Ottawa that are serious about taking on this challenge. Our partnership today will help ensure more residents in our community have a safe, affordable, and livable place to call home.”

— Chandra Arya, Member of Parliament for Nepean

“Ottawa’s new Official Plan, in combination with the Housing Accelerator Fund, will help the City take immediate actions to mitigate the housing crisis. We are advancing our Comprehensive Zoning By-law so that Ottawa can achieve higher densities in a balanced approach city-wide that aligns with our Infrastructure Master Plan. The funding announced today represents a significant investment towards made-in-Ottawa solutions to get homes built faster, and support the systemic changes needed to address our housing challenges.”

— Mark Sutcliffe, Mayor of the City of Ottawa

Quick facts:

  • Today’s announcement was made by the Honourable Jenna Sudds, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Member of Parliament for Kanata-Carleton, — on behalf of the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities, — and Mark Sutcliffe, Mayor of the City of Ottawa.
  • In November, the City of Ottawa Council approved a motion to include four units as of right city-wide as part of the comprehensive By-Law review process. As a part of their agreement, the City will introduce the bylaw in the first half of 2024.
  • Launched in March 2023, the Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF) is a $4 billion initiative from the Government of Canada that will run until 2026 – 27.
  • The Housing Accelerator Fund is part of Canada’s National Housing Strategy (NHS), an $82+ billion plan to give more Canadians a place to call home. Progress on programs and initiatives are updated quarterly at www.placetocallhome.ca. The Housing Funding Initiatives Map shows affordable housing projects that have been developed.
  • As of September 30, 2023, the Government of Canada has committed over $38.89 billion to support the creation of almost 152,000 units and the repair of over 241,000 units. These measures prioritize those in greatest need, including seniors, Indigenous Peoples, people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, and women and children fleeing violence.

Additional information:

Information on this news release:

Micaal Ahmed
Office of the Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities
micaal.ahmed@infc.gc.ca

Media Relations
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
media@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

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