Published: 17:01, April 3, 2024 | Updated: 17:07, April 3, 2024
Canada launches $4.4b fund in bid to quell housing crisis
By Reuters

People enjoy the view of the CN (Canadian National) Tower and the Toronto skyline from the Toronto Islands on Lake Ontario, Sept 14, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday launched a C$6 billion ($4.42 billion) Canada Housing Infrastructure Fund to accelerate the construction and upgrading of housing.

Why it's important

Canada faces a housing affordability crisis as a rapidly increasing immigrant population has far outpaced the number of available homes, leading to increases in prices and rents. High inflation and 22-year high interest rates have also driven up mortgage costs.

The opposition has slammed the government for being slow to build more homes and the crisis is seen as one of the reasons for a slump in Trudeau's polling numbers.

The government will allocate around one-fifth of the money to municipalities to build critical infrastructure around houses and the rest will go to provinces and territories to build houses for the middle class

Context

The fund is one of the many schemes proposed by the government to spur construction of houses and will be a part of the upcoming budget on April 16.

The government will allocate around one-fifth of the money to municipalities to build critical infrastructure around houses and the rest will go to provinces and territories to build houses for the middle class.

Key quotes

"We need more affordable homes, and we need the infrastructure to help build these homes. 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," Trudeau said.

"Since we launched the Housing Accelerator Fund last year, we have cut enough red tape to build 750,000 new homes over the next decade. It is working, so we are investing another$400 million," Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said.

By the numbers

About C$1 billion to be allocated to municipalities to support urgent infrastructure needs such as water, sanitation, etc. The remaining C$5 billion will be for agreements with provinces and territories to support long-term priorities. The government also announced topping up of the C$4 billion housing accelerator fund launched last year by C$400 million.