PM announces $115 million to fast-track housing in Vancouver, while Surrey not a recipient

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VANCOUVER, BC: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Vancouver last week to announce that the federal government has reached an agreement with the City of Vancouver, British Columbia, to fast-track over 3,200 new housing units over the next three years. This work will help spur the construction of more than 40,000 homes over the next decade and help meet the demand in Vancouver.
Under the Housing Accelerator Fund, this agreement will provide almost $115 million to eliminate barriers to build the housing we need, faster. It will allow for high density development including multiplexes and apartment buildings, help fast-track development processes, and build housing near public transit.
As part of the agreement, Vancouver will work to streamline re-zoning laws, expand affordable rental programs, cut red tape, and unlock non-market housing. These initiatives are going to significantly improve the way housing is built in one of Canada’s largest cities.
“Like so many cities across Canada, Vancouver needs more homes, and fast. That’s why we’re working with mayors across the country to cut red tape and change the way we build housing. Today’s announcement with Vancouver will help build more homes, faster, so that every Canadian has a good place to call their own,” said Trudeau.
The Housing Accelerator Fund is a $4 billion initiative from the Government that will run until 2026-27. It is designed to help cities, towns, and Indigenous governments unlock new housing supply through innovative approaches.
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 City of Vancouver’s Housing Action Plan aims to build more housing with a variety of density to meet the needs of the local community.
Surrey Board of Trade’s President & CEO Anita Huberman said, “The Fall Economic Statement indicated that nearly 23% of all Housing Accelerator Funding was earmarked for Quebec while affordability and housing costs in Metro Vancouver, and specifically Surrey, are some of the highest in the country. Only one BC city was listed while other provinces, specifically Ontario, had many city investments. Surrey needs our fair share of infrastructure investments.”