Ontario Construction News staff writer
Ontario Construction News staff writer The Province of Ontario last week announced $200 million over the next three years to help Ontario municipalities expand and repair drinking, waste and stormwater infrastructure required for new housing.
“Lack of housing-supportive infrastructure is a significant obstacle to delivering the 1.5 million new homes required in Ontario to add supply, balance the market and improve affordability,” said Dave Wilkes, president and CEO, Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) “The industry applauds the Province of Ontario for making this crucial investment to enable the unlocking of additional housing in areas like the Regions of Halton and York, and municipalities like Markham, Whitchurch-Stouffville and Collingwood, where infrastructure constraints are limiting, delaying or preventing the addition of new homes.
“We call on the federal government to match this investment to address the generational challenge of housing supply and affordability.”
Municipalities can apply for provincial funding for housing-related water and wastewater projects in early 2024.
“Water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure are the most critical infrastructure assets necessary in the residential construction process,” said Patrick McManus
executive director, The Ontario Sewer and Watermain Construction Association. “This is the first step in building new residential developments, so without these assets being built, homes can’t get built. The government’s commitment to provide municipalities with $200 million to build housing enabling infrastructure will have a direct, positive impact on the communities that are experiencing the housing crisis most acutely and will support thousands of high paying employment opportunities in our industry.
“We appreciate the government’s action on getting such a critical piece of the housing supply chain built.”
Ontario’s new fund will support growing communities, helping to build critical water infrastructure that would not otherwise get built and bringing the province one step closer to the government’s goal to build at least 1.5 million homes by 2031.
“We know that to build homes faster, municipalities need to service those homes. That’s why our government has been stepping up, giving our partners the tools that they need to build housing-enabling infrastructure,” said Paul Calandra, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Programs like the Housing-Enabling Water Systems Fund are just one of several ways we are working with municipalities to help build more homes.”
It was the latest in a series of announcements aimed at boosting housing construction, including removing the provincial portion of the HST for new purpose-built rentals after the federal government pledged to rebate their share earlier this fall.
According to a recent analysis by the Toronto Star, only 12 out of 50 municipalities are meeting housing targets.