Building more homes, faster and strengthening health care for rural Canadians

News release

February 13, 2024 - Ottawa, Ontario - Department of Finance Canada

Today, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities, the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, and the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development, announced the federal government’s economic plan is taking action to build more homes, faster in rural communities and attract the doctors and nurses needed to improve rural health care.

First, to build on the success of the Housing Accelerator Fund, which is cutting red tape to fast-track the construction of more than 550,000 new homes over the next decade, the federal government is today announcing it is finalizing agreements with more than 60 small and rural communities. Combined, these agreements will deliver more than $176 million to fast-track the construction of over 5,300 homes in the next three years, and more than 51,000 homes over the next decade for rural Canadians.

As part of these Housing Accelerator Fund agreements, small and rural municipalities will create action plans to accelerate permitting processes and remove other barriers, to speed up construction. Municipalities will also implement initiatives to:

  • unlock municipally-owned land to build homes, particularly affordable homes;
  • deliver the required municipal infrastructure to enable more home construction;
  • incentivize redevelopment on underused land;
  • build more Accessory Dwelling Units (additional homes on a lot already occupied by a main residence); and,
  • support energy efficiency to lower energy costs.

Second, to deliver stronger public health care for rural Canadians, the federal government is increasing by 50 per cent student loan forgiveness for rural doctors and nurses. This increase delivers up to $60,000 in loan forgiveness for family physicians and family medicine residents and up to $30,000 for nurses and nurse practitioners working in under-served rural and remote communities. Over the next decade, increased loan forgiveness is expected to attract nearly 1,200 more doctors and 4,000 more nurses to rural communities across the country.

Today’s action will help rural Canadians find the homes they need at prices they can afford and access the high-quality, universal public health care they deserve close to home. By working with provinces and territories and municipalities to build more homes and strengthen public health care, the federal government is using all available tools to deliver for Canadians.


“Our economic plan is building more homes, faster across the country, and it is strengthening Canada’s public health care—very much including in rural Canada. To build more than 51,000 new homes for Canadians in rural areas, today we announced over 60 agreements with small towns across the country. And we are investing in rural public health care by attracting thousands more of the doctors and nurses that small towns need. Together, these latest actions will keep Canada’s small towns as a great place to call home.”

– The Honourable Chrystia Freeland,
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

“By working together, we can help communities grow and build more homes. We’re working with cities, mayors, and all levels of government, to get more homes built for Canadians at prices they can afford.”

–  The Honourable Sean Fraser,
Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities

“During the pandemic, we saw first-hand how important our health workforce is, especially in rural and remote communities. With these regulatory changes, we are improving our support for health workers as well as offering people living in Canada’s under-served rural and remote communities the quality health care they need.”

–  The Honourable Randy Boissonnault,
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages

Quick facts

  • The $4 billion Housing Accelerator Fund is incentivizing municipalities to make transformative changes by removing zoning barriers and ramping up housing construction. The Housing Accelerator Fund is already fast-tracking the construction of at least 100,000 homes over the next three years, and more than 550,000 homes across Canada over the next decade.

    • The federal government and rural municipalities will announce further details of the more than 60 agreements over the coming weeks.
  • The Canada Student Financial Assistance Program provides Canada Student Grants and Canada Student Loans to help students pay for their post-secondary education.

    • Canada Student Loan forgiveness for family doctors, family medicine residents, nurses, and nurse practitioners only applies to the federal portion of a student loan.
    • Quebec, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut administer their own student aid programs and will receive proportionate funding to provide comparable support.
  • In February 2023, the federal government announced its 10-year health care plan, which will deliver an urgent, needed investment of nearly $200 billion to strengthen universal public health care across the country.

  • Canada’s economic plan, including recent investments in the 2023 Fall Economic Statement, is building more homes, faster, and making housing more affordable for Canadians. This plan also includes:

    • The Affordable Housing and Groceries Act, which removed the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on new rental housing;
    • Over $40 billion through the Apartment Construction Loan Program, which is providing low-cost financing to support more than 101,000 new rental homes across Canada by 2031-32;
    • Over $14 billion through the Affordable Housing Fund to build 60,000 new affordable homes and repair 240,000 homes;
    • $4 billion through the Rapid Housing Initiative, which is expected to help build more than 15,500 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;
    • Unlocking $20 billion in new financing to build 30,000 more rental apartments per year by increasing the annual limit for Canada Mortgage Bonds from $40 billion to up to $60 billion;
    • 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;
    • The new Tax-Free First Home Savings Account, which is a registered savings account that allows Canadians to contribute up to $8,000 per year (up to a lifetime limit of $40,000) for their first down payment; and,
    • Nearly $4 billion towards ending chronic homelessness, through Reaching Home, Canada’s Homelessness Strategy. 

Associated links


Media may contact:

Katherine Cuplinskas
Press Secretary and Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

 Media Relations
 Department of Finance Canada

General enquiries

Phone: 1-833-712-2292

TTY: 613-369-3230

Stay Connected

Twitter: @financecanada



Micaal Ahmed
Office of the Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities

Media Relations
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation 

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