Calgary awarded $228M from feds’ Housing Accelerator Fund

The City of Calgary is receiving big bucks from the feds to tackle the housing crisis but terms and conditions apply. Henna Saeed finds out how much money Calgary is getting and what it will be used for.

The City of Calgary and the federal government have inked a $228 million deal Tuesday which will fund initiatives aimed at increasing the city’s housing supply.

The agreement, under the Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF), supports seven strategies that will fast-track over 6,800 housing units over the next three years.

The measures include prioritized and accelerated approvals, zoning bylaw amendments that allow for more missing middle rowhouses, townhouses, and infill housing in established neighbourhoods, and inclusive and affordable housing development.

Over the next decade, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) says the moves under the new HAF agreement will help spur the construction of more than 35,000 homes in Calgary.

“Just weeks ago, Calgary Council approved a Housing Strategy which outlines a clear path to address the urgent and growing housing needs in our city,” Mayor Jyoti Gondek said. “This significant investment demonstrates our federal partners are eager to enable the city to partner with nonmarket and private developers to create new homes quickly.”

Calgary has seen a “substantial increase” in housing growth since 2021, according to the CMHC, and this investment is expected to keep that going.

The HAF asks for housing plans from local governments, and once approved, provides funding upfront to ensure the timely building of new homes, as well as additional funds upon delivering results.

“Local governments are encouraged to think big and be bold in their approaches, which could include accelerating project timelines, allowing increased housing density, and encouraging affordable housing units,” the CMHC says.

The city says 1,050 new units are anticipated to be created by office space conversions through the Accelerating Housing in the Downtown Initiative.

Over the next three years, the HAF is also expected to incentivize the creation of 400 housing units on city-owned land close to transit stations.

Launched in March 2023, the HAF is a $4 billion initiative from the feds set to run until 2026-27.

The HAF is part of Canada’s National Housing Strategy, an $82 billion plan that has so far, committed to the creation and repair of over 400,000 units.

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