Yesterday the feds launched the new Municipal Infrastructure Lending Program in Kitchener, Ontario to help get what they’re calling “cost-shared stimulus projects” off the ground.
Municipalities will be able to access up to $2 billion in federal funding in the form of low-interest loans for infrastructure projects, administered through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
Partly, this program was set up to help municipal governments meet the requirements to share one-third of the cost of stimulus projects. Most municipal budgets have already been made and approved, making it hard for them to come up with new funding to match federal and provincial investments.
According to yesterday’s release from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, municipal governments will invest $15 billion in local infrastructure in 2009.
At yesterday’s launch, Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for CMHC said this program is part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, which sets aside $7.8 billion for new housing and to encourage home energy efficiency.
Finley said, “Municipal leaders have told us that they would benefit from access to low-cost financing so they can keep up with the growth in housing. As we all know, building more homes puts new demands on a municipality. Houses need to be supported by sewers and water lines. We all know that when you build a house, you need a strong foundation, and this includes a strong community.”
Municipalities can start applying now for the low-cost repayable loans. Finley said the loans “will help accelerate infrastructure projects, as municipalities can use the money towards their contribution for cost-shared federal infrastructure projects.”
More information on how to apply here.