Federal government pledges $6B for housing in new infrastructure fund | CBC News

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The federal government is pledging¬†billions of dollars in new money to tackle Canada’s housing crisis, but much of it will only be accessible if provinces and territories agree to certain conditions, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday.

Speaking in Dartmouth, N.S., Trudeau announced the federal government is creating a new $6-billion Canada Housing Infrastructure Fund.

The money will be dedicated to the construction and upgrade of water, wastewater, stormwater and solid waste infrastructure, which cities have said is crucial to building more housing.

Of the $6 billion in the fund, $1 billion will go directly to municipalities for “urgent infrastructure needs,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a news release.

Commitments for ‘missing middle’ homes required

The other $5 billion will be set aside for provinces and territories, but they can only access the funding if they make certain commitments.

Those include allowing more “missing middle” homes, including duplexes, triplexes, townhouses and multi-unit buildings, and a three-year freeze on development charges for cities with more than 300,000 people.

The federal government said the provinces will have until Jan. 1 to secure an agreement. Territories will have until April 1.

If agreements aren’t reached, the money will flow directly to cities.

The federal government is also topping up its housing accelerator fund with an additional $400 million over three years, which it says will help build another 12,000 homes, Trudeau announced Tuesday.

The  announcement is the latest in a series of announcements as Trudeau and his ministers fan out across the country ahead of the April 16 federal budget.

On Monday, Trudeau announced $1 billion toward a national school food program. Last week, he announced new measures for renters, including a renters’ bill of rights.

More to come

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