What does the federal budget mean for housing and homelessness?

Canada’s 2024 Federal Budget: What it Means for Housing

With Ottawa’s housing landscape in turbulence, Canada’s new 2024 federal budget unveils measures to boost affordable housing nationwide. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key points and their potential impacts for Ottawa’s residents and communities.

Canada Rental Protection Fund: $1.5 billion

This fund aims to stop the loss of affordable rental properties, empowering affordable housing providers across charitable and private sectors to purchase rental units. Access to $1 billion in loans enables buyers to act swiftly, safeguarding affordable housing from being converted into to luxury rentals or condos. The other $470 million offsets provider efforts to stabilize rental rates and preserve the quality of units, ensuring sustainability over the long haul.

What it means for renters

  • Better protection from evictions resulting from renovation or demolition
  • Stabilization of affordable rental rates
  • Safeguarding of rental units near vital infrastructure

What it means for non-profits

  • Streamlined processes for securing financing
  • Support to uphold affordable rental rates
  • Cost-effective savings compared to new builds

Apartment Construction Loan Program:
+$15 billion ($55 billion total)

This program aims to create more rental housing stock, particularly for students and seniors. This loan program presents compelling incentives for apartment development in sought-after neighbourhoods. By injecting an additional $15 billion, the federal government aims to add 30,000 new homes to its goal of 131,000 across Canada by 2032. $100 million will be directed to building in urban cores already equipped with essential infrastructure to accommodate greater population density. 

What it means for renters

  • Increased availability of new rental units for students and seniors
  • Enhanced affordability through a surge in supply
  • Access to rentals in urban hubs with proximity to critical services and transitways

What it means for builders

  • Enticing financing terms to spur construction
  • Streamlined service for frequent builders
  • Competitive interest rates to encourage development

Housing Accelerator Fund:
+$400 million

A $400 million boost to the current $4 billion commitment aims to maintain momentum in new home construction across Canada. Working hand-in-hand with municipalities, the fund aims to create more than 100,000 new homes in the next three years, with a target of 750,000 within the decade.

What it means for Ottawa

  • The City will receive $176.3 million to construct of 32,600 new homes over ten years
  • Most (90%) of this funding for Ottawa will be for non-profit housing initiatives

Public Lands for Homes Plan:
$1.8 million

Unlocking the untapped potential of public lands, this plan pledges to bring forth 250,000 new homes by 2031. The goal is to create more sustainable, mixed-market housing developments by streamlining construction on government-owned land. In Ottawa, the first phase includes the immediate construction of 500 new homes in Rockcliffe’s Wateridge Village. 

What it means for renters

  • Access to diverse housing options, including affordable rentals
  • Potential for stable rental rates due to cost-saving incentives for builders

What it means for builders

  • Opportunity to access public lands for development
  • Favourable land lease arrangements to ensure rental affordability
  • Access to low-cost financing options

Converting Under-used Federal Offices Into Homes:
$1.1 billion

With over six million square metres of underused office space, the federal government aims to repurpose wasted space into much-needed housing. Public Services and Procurement Canada plans to offload 50% of its office footprint over the next ten years, prioritizing non-market and student housing developments. This initiative is projected to save $3.9 billion over ten years.

What it means for communities

  • Revitalization of neglected areas
  • Enriched housing options in urban centres
  • Potential for mixed-use developments

Canada Housing Infrastructure Fund:
$6 billion

To support the construction of more homes, the federal government has allocated $6 billion over ten years to essential infrastructure. Of this amount, $1 billion is earmarked for prioritizing urgent water infrastructure needs, with the remaining $5 billion available to provinces and territories committed to strategic initiatives to enhance housing accessibility, affordability, and environmental sustainability.

What it means for Ontario

  • Enhanced flexibility in directing resources to the Province’s specific areas of need

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