Surrey receives $95 million to fast-track construction of 2,800 homes

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The Federal Government has announced funding of $95 million for the City of Surrey will to expedite the development of 2,800 homes over the next three years.

The funding is part of the Housing Accelerator Fund,  a $4 billion initiative from the Government of Canada, which was launched in March 2023, to provide incentive funding to local governments encouraging initiatives aimed at increasing housing supply.

Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, said, “Today’s announcement will help fast track 2,800 homes in the next three years and over 16,500 homes over the next decade.”

Under the agreement, the funding will support zoning by-law amendments to allow higher density, multi-unit, and missing middle forms of housing.

It will support incentive programs promoting high-density development near rapid transit and affordable housing as well as policy changes to expedite development of below market housing.

It will leverage reliance on professionals for delegated decision-making, expand the guaranteed permitting timelines program, and integrate technology to facilitate faster development and permit approvals.

The City of Surrey’s Action Plan will allow for zoning by-law amendments to permit increased density and diversity of housing, incentive programs promoting high density development near rapid transit and affordable housing, policy changes to expedite development of below market housing, expand the use of professional reliance for faster approvals, expand the guaranteed permitting timelines program, and leveraging AI to facilitate faster development and permit approvals.

“The City is working on a number of initiatives to increase housing supply that will benefit from this funding, including helping support below-market and affordable rental housing projects. We are also adjusting our zoning to increase housing density, especially around rapid transit lines. Surrey is a leader in the region in supplying affordable housing and we will now expand further on this success thanks to this funding support,” said Brenda Locke, Mayor for Surrey.

“Surrey is going to be the largest city in BC very soon, and most immigrants are coming to Surrey because it is an opportunity city,” said Jasroop Gosal, Policy & Research Manager at the Surrey Board of Trade. “We are pleased with this investment to build affordable housing quicker, and look forward to having it implemented, however, more is needed for a city of this size.”

As of December 11, 2023, the following cities had Housing Accelerator Fund agreements:
·      London, Ontario – 2,000 homes – $74 million
·      Vaughan, Ontario – 1,700 homes – $59 million
·      Hamilton, Ontario – 2,600 homes – $93.5 million
·      Halifax, Nova Scotia – 2,600 homes – $79.3 million
·      Brampton, Ontario – 3,150 homes – $114 million
·      Kelowna, British Columbia – 950 homes – $31.5 million
·      Kitchener, Ontario – 1,200 homes – $42.4 million
·      Province of Quebec – $900 million
·      Calgary, Alberta – 6,800 homes – $228 million
·      Moncton, New Brunswick – 490 homes – $15.5 million