City could qualify for more than $114M through Housing Accelerator program to fight housing crisis in Brampton


Published September 15, 2023 at 10:48 am

Burlington Ontario housing starts construction

Reducing restrictions on additional residential units, doubling the radius of key corridors and adding more units along transit arteries could unlock more than $114 million dollars to jump-start Brampton’s housing market.

Applications opened in July for the federal government’s $4-billion Housing Accelerator Fund, a program announced last year aimed at funnelling dollars through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to municipalities to increase housing supply and promote development.

Brampton’s application shows the city estimates it could be eligible for some $114.5 million through the fund, but a letter from Housing Minister Sean Fraser sent to city council earlier this week requested a few tweaks to Brampton’s housing strategy before moving forward.

“I respectfully urge you to ensure that the City is doing everything in its power to address the housing crisis,” Fraser said, outlining three that would improve Brampton’s application; doubling the radius of four-storey buildings within support corridors from 400 metres to 800 metres; reduce restrictions on additional residential units (ARUs) from 35 square metres to at least 100 square metres; and increasing the number of as-of-right developments from three to four.

Those recommendations have been accepted by council and come after a meeting between Fraser and Mayor Patrick Brown, who with Mayor said the city is “committed to ensuring there is greater access to safe, affordable homes where residents can live, grow and thrive.”

Housing Accelerator applications require provisions of an “Action Plan” with a minimum of seven initiatives, a housing supply growth target and additional targets set for different types of housing projects.

The city’s application outlines eight housing initiatives, including incentives for purpose-built affordable housing units, scaling up construction of units in key transit corridors, and encouraging the development of more “garden suites” on low-density properties.

“Brampton’s Municipal Housing Pledge provides details on the range of ongoing and planned City initiatives that will support strategic growth and accelerate new housing supply in Brampton,” Mayor Brown said in a release.

On Wednesday, London became the first city to get its Housing Accelerator funding approved. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with reporters following a three-day caucus retreat Thursday, where he also announced a pledge to remove GST on construction of new rental apartment buildings — a move Trudeau first promised in the 2015 election that brought the Liberals to power.

The Prime Minister urged the provinces to follow suit, and Ontario Housing Minister Paul Calandra said in a statement that the province will work with Ottawa to remove Ontario’s portion of the HST from purpose-built rentals “as soon as possible.”

With files from the Canadian Press

INsauga's Editorial Standards and Policies