In a speech that took place on November 23, 2021 to open the first session of the 44th Parliament of Canada, Her Excellency the Right Honorable Mary Simon addressed the people from the throne. The government commits to making life more affordable to all Canadians, and identifies housing as one of its two major priorities. The re-elected government aims to increase the number of units and increase affordable housing through collaborations with eager partners.
The government believes that abundance of affordable housing is an indicator of strong economic performance, and to this end, the speech introduces the Housing Accelerator Fund to help municipalities build more, better, and faster. This fund is aimed to eliminate the barriers which slow down the pace of housing construction. Cities that have the capacity to build more housing faster will be awarded this fund.
The Housing Accelerator Fund promises support to municipalities that grow their housing stock faster than their past average. This support will be in the forms of reducing approval times, facilitating inclusionary zoning bylaws, and encouraging transit-oriented development. The Housing Accelerator Fund will be a flexible one that incorporates electronic permitting and helps modernize the planning process.
The government also commits to helping families with their first home purchase sooner, with their new Rent-to-Own program. This program will make it easier for renters to progress towards home ownership while renting. Landlords will be key players in this program, as they will be responsible for helping renters save for a down payment by charging them a less than market rate rent.
These initiatives indeed sound very promising. Making life affordable for families, the middle class, and everyone trying to join the middle class will no doubt reflect well on our country’s economy.