Today the Government of Canada launched the Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF). Outlined in Budget 2022, this $4 billion Fund was created to tackle the status quo, fast. This is a fund for municipalities that are willing to bring forward innovative solutions, remove barriers to housing supply, accelerate the growth of supply and support the development of complete, low-carbon and climate-resilient communities which are affordable, inclusive, equitable and diverse.
Helping cities accelerate housing construction
Building more housing will require investments, but it will also require changes to the systems that are preventing more housing from being built.
The Housing Accelerator Fund will offer support to municipalities that will take action, such as:
- growing housing supply faster than their historical average;
- increasing densification;
- speeding-up approval times;
- tackling NIMBYism and establishing inclusionary zoning bylaws; and,
- encouraging public transit-oriented development.
Flexible by design, this Fund will support a wide range of eligible municipal investments, including red tape reduction efforts, and provide incentives to cities and communities that build more homes, faster. The Fund will provide upfront funding to support implementation, as well as additional funds upon delivering results.
In order to be eligible, municipalities must:
- Develop an action plan as part of their HAF application. The purpose of the action plan is to outline supply growth targets and specific initiatives to grow housing supply and speed up housing approvals.
- Commit to a housing supply growth target within the action plan that increases the average annual rate of growth by at least 10%. The annual growth rate must also exceed 1.1% (the national average).
- Complete or update a housing needs assessment report. This requirement may be waived if the applicant recently completed or updated a housing needs assessment.
The action plan will include:
- A housing supply growth target, which reflects the total number of permitted housing units projected with HAF;
- Additional targets related to the type of housing projected, as well as affordable housing;
- Proposed initiatives such as measures to increase density, revise parking requirements, enhance processes or systems, etc. that will help the applicant achieve their committed targets and support the objectives of the program. There is flexibility for CMHC to consider alternative initiatives proposed by applicants.
The application portal for the Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF) will open this June.
Tackling supply issues, together
There are several factors making housing more expensive, but the biggest issue is supply. Put simply, Canada needs to build more homes. Increasing housing supply will help make housing more affordable for everyone.
Each year, Canada constructs about 200,000 new housing units—standalone houses, individual condos, and other types of homes alike. While annual construction has increased in recent years, it is not enough to address affordability challenges and keep up with the housing demands of a growing population.
A home for everyone
The housing challenges we face are complex. The Government of Canada has laid out a plan to build more homes and increase supply with programs like the Housing Accelerator Fund, to help Canadians save for a down payment for their first home, and to fight speculation. We’ve put Canada on a path to double housing construction over the next decade and make it affordable for people of all income brackets.