Government takes further action to build more homes, faster
Unlocking funding for student housing
January 29, 2024 - Ottawa, Ontario - Department of Finance Canada
Today, as part of Canada's economic plan, the government announced further action to build more homes, faster, by supporting the construction of student housing.
Canada is home to some of the world’s best higher learning institutions. Not only do they help provide skills for the future, they create jobs, and foster a young and dynamic community. But when students are unable to find a place to live on or near campus, they look to the nearby community, which can drive up rent and reduce the number of homes for everyone.
To help fix this, the Government of Canada will be offering low-cost loans to build more student housing on- and off-campus. By reforming the Apartment Construction Loan Program, we will help more students find housing they can afford close to where they study, and help ensure that there are more homes available for families who live in those same communities year-round.
These important steps to support the construction of student housing are just one piece of the government’s economic plan that addresses housing challenges and boosts affordability. This measure is one of many reforms committed to in the 2023 Fall Economic Statement to unlock new home construction financing.
The federal government is also helping put homeownership back within reach. More than 500,000 Canadians have already opened a tax-free First Home Savings Account, which is helping people—especially young Canadians—get those first keys of their own. Tax-free First Home Savings Accounts allow Canadians to contribute up to $40,000 for their first downpayment—tax-free in; tax-free out. To find out how much you could save, visit the new tax-free First Home Savings Account calculator.
The federal government’s economic plan is delivering significant progress to build more homes, faster. Through the $4 billion Housing Accelerator Fund, the federal government has signed 31 agreements with municipalities across the country to cut red-tape and increase Canada’s housing supply. These 31 agreements will fast-track the construction of more than 500,000 new homes across Canada over the next decade, and more agreements are coming soon.
Today, as part of ongoing action to help make life more affordable and to stabilize prices for Canadians, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry is sending a letter to the Competition Commissioner emphasizing the additional powers the Government of Canada has put in place through the Affordable Housing and Groceries Act to protect and promote competition in Canada’s retail grocery market. The Minister encourages the Commissioner to consider how best to deploy these new powers to ensure that the grocery market is operating in a manner that delivers maximum choice and competitive prices for Canadians.
“As part of our economic plan, today we are announcing more action to help tackle housing challenges and make housing more affordable for all Canadians by increasing supply on- and off-campus—particularly helping students and younger Canadians. We will continue to take action to invest in supply and more homes and housing affordability right across the country in communities large and small.”
- The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
“By allowing post-secondary institutions to access low-cost loans in order to build more student housing, we will help more students find affordable places to live close to where they study, and help ensure there are more homes available for families and folks who live in the community nearby.”
- The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities
“Canadians still pay too much for their groceries. This is why our government has taken a set of actions to stabilize grocery prices and today, as a further step, I sent a letter to the Competition Commissioner. I commend the Competition Bureau’s work to date in this area, but look forward to seeing how the Bureau may draw upon these new powers, to ensure that the grocery market is operating in a manner that delivers maximum choice and competitive prices for Canadians.”
- The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
The over $40 billion Apartment Construction Loan Program, formerly known as the Rental Construction Financing Initiative, is providing low-cost financing to build more than 101,000 new rental homes across Canada by 2031-32.
Reforms to the Apartment Construction Loan Program will permit post-secondary institutions to access low-cost loans for student housing construction. The application process is expected to be open in 2024.
The 2023 Fall Economic Statement announced an additional $15 billion in low-cost loans for the Apartment Construction Loan Program and an additional $1 billion in new funding for the Affordable Housing Fund.
Canada’s economic plan, including recent investments in the 2023 Fall Economic Statement, is building more homes, faster and making housing more affordable. This plan also includes:
- The Affordable Housing and Groceries Act, which removed the GST on new purpose-built rental housing;
- Over $14 billion through the Affordable Housing Fund to build 60,000 new affordable homes and repair 240,000 homes;
- The $4 billion Housing Accelerator Fund, which is using federal funding to encourage municipalities to remove prohibitive zoning barriers and incentivize building. Agreements signed to date have put the Housing Accelerator Fund on track to fast-track the construction of an estimated 500,000 homes over the next decade, exceeding its goal of 100,000 new homes;
- $4 billion through the Rapid Housing Initiative, which surpassed the initial target and is now expected to help build more than 15,500 new affordable homes for people experiencing homelessness or in severe housing need;
- Over $200 million through the Federal Lands Initiative to build 4,500 new homes by repurposing surplus federal lands and buildings to housing providers at low or no cost;
- The Canadian Mortgage Charter, which details the tailored mortgage relief that the government expects banks to provide borrowers who are facing financial difficulty with the mortgage on their principal residence; and,
- $10.7 billion for housing for First Nations on reserve, and Inuit, Métis, and First Nations Self-Governing and Modern Treaty communities. This also includes funding to implement the “for Indigenous, by Indigenous” Urban, Rural, and Northern Indigenous Housing Strategy.
- Tax-Free First Home Savings Account Estimators
- 2023 Fall Economic Statement Backgrounder: Canada’s Housing Action Plan
- 2023 Fall Economic Statement
- December 15, 2023: Affordable Housing and Groceries Act receives Royal Assent to build more rental homes and help stabilize grocery prices
- November 28, 2023: Government of Canada announces legislation to make life more affordable, build more homes, and create good jobs for Canadians
Media may contact:
Press Secretary and Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
Department of Finance Canada
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