Thunder Bay getting $20.7 million from Ottawa to fast-track housing development

thunder bay trudeau

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Thunder Bay will receive $20.7 million in federal funding to help fast-track housing development.

Speaking in the city Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the money will help accelerate the construction of 600 new units over three years.

“The status quo on home-building in this country isn’t working. We need to build more homes and make sure they’re affordable – and we need to do it faster,” Trudeau said. “That’s what today’s announcement in Thunder Bay is all about.

“Let’s get more homes built at prices Canadians can afford.”

The money is allocated under the $4 billion Housing Accelerator Fund, which is a federal initiative to encourage municipalities to make changes to bylaws and regulations that would spur more housing construction, in exchange for money.

thunder. bay trudeauIt will create more housing options in the city, including more multi-unit and affordable housing projects – with up to four homes per lot.

Vacant and underused property downtown will be made available for new housing and the city will rezone commercial areas, fast-track development approvals, and put incentives and grants in place to get more housing projects off the ground.

Shovel ready projects will be prioritized, but Thunder Bay Mayor Boshcoff said there are employment factors that will be challenging.

thunder bay trudeau“There are lots of applications there that are worthy, and we will always have even more to build on, so I’m quite excited by the whole concept,” he said, adding the funds will not directly be used for construction costs, but instead will “indirectly” make construction more accessible.

Thunder Bay will also create a dedicated team to recommend systemic changes and work with non-profit organizations, community organizations, advocacy groups, and home builders to reduce construction costs.

Including the Thunder Bay announcement, Ottawa has now signed 61 agreements since the launch of the housing fund.


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