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Bowen Island: Latest Municipality to Benefit From Housing Accelerator Fund Grants

Model house with a Canadian flag in the background, funded by Housing Accelerator Fund Grants.

Another grant for affordable housing through the CMHC Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF) has been announced. 

In an announcement made by Patrick Weiler, Member of Parliament for West Vancouver – Sunshine Coast – Sea to Sky Country, alongside Mayor Andrew Leonard of Bowen Island Municipality, the Government of Canada declared that an agreement was reached with the Bowen Island Municipality, aiming to speed up the development of 35 housing units over the next three years. It will also help boost the construction of 114 homes across the island over the next ten years.

This collaborative effort falls under the CMHC Housing Accelerator Fund, a $4 billion initiative launched by the Government of Canada in March 2023. The Housing Accelerator fund program is planned to run until 2026-27.

The agreement, facilitated by the Housing Accelerator Fund, has allocated over $1.6 million to overcome obstacles that are hampering the timely construction of necessary housing. Bowen Island’s Action Plan commits to six localized initiatives aimed at bolstering affordable housing.

These efforts include increasing the number of affordable houses, lowering minimum parking requirements for new housing developments, streamlining and simplifying approval processes, creating and implementing an e-permitting system, and developing a process for making public lands available for affordable housing projects.

The overall goal of the Housing Accelerator Fund is to streamline bureaucratic processes and accelerate the authorization of at least 100,000 new housing units within the initial three years. This ambitious endeavour is anticipated to lead to the creation of over 750,000 new homes across Canada’s towns, cities, and Indigenous communities over the next ten years. The initiative invites local governments to submit innovative proposals, and provides upfront funding upon approval to help ensure timely construction. Additional financial support may be provided upon achieving tangible outcomes. Local governments are encouraged to be ambitious; key goals could include expediting project timelines and finding ways to enable higher housing densities and affordable housing development.

New residential construction site with wooden frame structures under a clear blue sky, financed by Housing Accelerator Fund Grants.

The Housing Accelerator Fund is part of the Government of Canada’s efforts to enhance affordability for Canadians, recognizing housing as a key element of that. The federal government’s aim is to collaborate with provincial, territorial, and municipal governments, as well as Indigenous partners, as a central strategy to expedite housing development across the nation. 

Several municipalities and regions throughout Canada have already benefited from the Housing Accelerator Fund program, either through the large/urban grant stream or the small/rural/North/Indigenous stream. 

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