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Ontario’s Big City Mayors Statement on Solving the Housing Crisis: Canada’s Housing Plan

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*Please see below a statement issued by the Ontario’s Big City Mayors (OBCM) caucus. See related news release from the Government of Canada and backgrounder.

April 12, 2024

Today the federal government announced Canada’s Housing Plan, outlining a number of new programs and initiatives to address the housing crisis happening across the country. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, and Minister of Housing Sean Fraser outlined their plan to address the significant housing challenges facing Canadians, committing to building more homes faster, increasing housing affordability, growing the community housing sector, and making it easier to rent or buy a home.

Ontario’s Big City Mayors (OBCM) are pleased to see that this housing plan addresses several of our housing priorities. Many of the new programs and funding streams announced today will help provinces and municipalities support the build of new homes, as well as providing significant supports for our most vulnerable residents, including through:

  • A $6 billion Canada Housing Infrastructure Fund to accelerate the construction and upgrading of critical housing infrastructure including water, wastewater, stormwater, and solid waste infrastructure.
  • $20 million for Statistics Canada and CMHC to modernize and enhance the collection of housing data, including municipal-level data on housing starts and completions.
  • $400 million added to the Housing Accelerator Fund so more municipalities can build the housing they need, faster
  • $1 billion additional dollars towards Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy
  • $250 million to address the urgent issue of encampments and unsheltered homelessness in our communities

OBCM is also pleased to see that Canada’s Housing Plan focuses on working together with all partners in the home building process – provinces, municipalities, homebuilders and skilled trades programs to create innovative housing solutions for all Canadians.

We look forward to learning more details about this plan, and for the opportunity to discuss with the federal government how we can support our shared housing goals. However, we also have significant concerns about the impact of the proposed freeze of municipal development charges in some of our municipalities. Development charges help to pay for critical housing supportive infrastructure and community amenities, so these costs aren’t added to the property tax base.

“Solving the housing crisis has to be an all hands on deck approach and this plan will go a long way in helping municipalities build the critical infrastructure needed to support our growing communities. We look forward to working with the federal government along with the province and other partners in the home building process to deliver the housing our residents need.” — OBCM Chair & Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

About Ontario’s Big City Mayors

Ontario’s Big City Mayors (OBCM) includes mayors of 29 single and lower-tier cities with a population of 100,000 or more, who collectively represent nearly 70 percent of Ontario’s population. OBCM advocates for issues and policies important to Ontario’s largest cities.

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A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made. As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington. The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful. Got an idea or comment you want to share privately? Please, get in touch:

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