The Government of Canada and the Town of Whitby announced that they reached an agreement to fast track over 650 housing units over the next three years.
The agreement under the Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF), will provide almost $25 million to eliminate barriers to building housing. Whitby’s Action Plan commits to nine local initiatives that will support building a range of different types of homes and allowing various densities to meet the diverse needs of the community.
“Today’s announcement of $24.9 million from the Housing Accelerator Fund will be instrumental in helping the Town of Whitby create 656 new housing units. As Whitby faces significant growth in the coming years, it is more important than ever to ensure we have attainable, affordable housing options available to our residents. Everyone in our community deserves a home they can afford. This funding is an important step towards addressing the housing crisis we face locally and across Canada,” said Elizabeth Roy, Mayor for the Town of Whitby.
The funding will help expedite the housing approval process through electronic permitting, up to four units as-of-right across the town to encourage the creation of additional housing units on existing residential lots and disposing town land to build new affordable housing. The creation of a Community Improvement Plan and developing pre-approved housing designs are also part of the Action Plan. The Town of Whitby will promote modular homes and alternative construction materials, purpose-built rentals, and encourage higher housing density around major transit stations and other areas of Whitby.
“We are excited and proud to announce this partnership with Whitby today. By allowing four units as-of-right, expediting the approval processes and incentivizing the use of alternative construction materials during the building process, the Town will ensure that Whitby has more of the kind of homes we need to tackle the housing crisis. We will continue working with towns, mayors, and all levels of government, to get more homes built for Canadians at prices they can afford,” said Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities.
According the federal government, HAF is helping cut red tape and fast track at least 100,000 permitted new homes over the first three years, which towns and regions estimate will lead to the creation of over 500,000 permitted new homes for people in towns, cities, and Indigenous communities across Canada over the next decade. 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.
“Our government is proud to be working with the Town of Whitby to ensure we are doing our part to fulfill the housing needs in Whitby and indeed across Canada. This funding of almost $25 million for housing in Whitby will accelerate the development of safe and affordable housing to meet the needs of our rapidly growing town where we need it most,” said Ryan Turnbull, MP for Whitby.
Featured image: (Government of Canada)