Federal budget set to launch $6B Canada Housing Infrastructure Fund

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Housing construction
The pre-budget announcement also highlighted a $400-million top-up of the Housing Accelerator Fund. Photo Credit: romul014, stock.adobe.com

The federal government has proposed a new $6-billion Canada Housing Infrastructure Fund to accelerate the construction and upgrading of critical housing infrastructure, including water, wastewater, stormwater, and solid waste projects that would increase support for more homes.  

The new fund under Budget 2024 proposes to make $1 billion available for municipalities to support urgent infrastructure needs that will directly create more housing, as well as $5 billion for agreements with provinces and territories to support long-term housing supply priorities.  

“Supportive infrastructure, including water and wastewater systems, electrical grids, and roadways and transit systems, is what turns houses into homes,” said John Gamble, president and CEO of the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – Canada (ACEC), in a statement. 

ACEC-Canada added that it “eagerly anticipates additional insights into the operational mechanics of the funding process,” and a “clearer understanding of the eligibility criteria” when the government presents the full budget on April 16.  

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The pre-budget announcement also highlighted a $400-million top-up of the Housing Accelerator Fund and proposed a three-year freeze on increasing development charges for municipalities with a population greater than 300,000. 

“We need more affordable homes, and we need the infrastructure to help build these homes,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who made the pre-budget announcement in the Greater Halifax Area. “That’s why in Budget 2024, we’re building more infrastructure, building more homes, and helping more Canadians find a place to call their own. This is about fairness ‒ making sure communities have the safe, quality housing they need to get ahead.” 

Trudeau also noted forthcoming changes to the National Building Code to support more accessible, affordable and sustainable housing options.  

In a new KPMG poll released last month, 94% of business leaders at 534 small-and-medium-sized businesses said high housing costs and lack of supply are the biggest risks facing Canada’s economy and should be the top priority in the upcoming federal budget.

Earlier in 2024, Ontario opened up its funding applications window for Tthe Housing-Enabling Water Systems Fund, which offers $200 million over three years to help municipalities repair, rehabilitate and expand critical drinking water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure.   

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