Skip to main content

Quebec and Ottawa sign $900-million housing agreement

Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities Sean Fraser rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Friday, Oct. 6, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities Sean Fraser rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Friday, Oct. 6, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Share

Quebec and Ottawa reached an agreement on housing construction Friday. Under the agreement, the federal government will provide the province with $900 million under the Housing Acceleration Fund (HAF).

The federal Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities, Sean Fraser, made the announcement on X (formerly Twitter) late Friday, even calling the agreement "historic."

"We have reached an agreement with Quebec on housing. This agreement comes at a time when we must do everything we can to solve the housing crisis," he posted.

An announcement will be made shortly to divulge the details of this agreement, Quebec's Minister of Housing, France-Élaine Duranceau, said on X. The announcement is expected in the coming weeks.

"I am very pleased to have reached an agreement with Sean Fraser on behalf of Quebec regarding the allocation of funds from the LACF (...) We will make no further comment until then," she wrote.

Last week, Quebec Premier François Legault called on Ottawa to reach an agreement with the province by the end of this week.

He wanted confirmation of the agreement before his government's economic update, scheduled for November 7.

"What Finance Minister Eric Girard is telling me is that if we want to include the $900 million from the federal government, the deadline is Friday of next week, so we have one week left, and it's urgent," the premier said at the time.

The $900 million figure was confirmed by The Canadian Press from a government source.

Quebec has pledged to double the amount. This means that $1.8 billion will be invested in building affordable housing over the next five years.

The broad strokes of the agreement were outlined last week, according to The Canadian Press.

Announced in the 2022 federal budget, but officially launched last July, the Housing Acceleration Fund aims to cut red tape and update local zoning policies. The initiative, overseen by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), is scheduled to run until 2026-2027. It is part of the National Housing Strategy, which calls for $82 billion in investments over a decade.

The HAF has been allocated $4 billion across the country to accelerate the construction of 100,000 new homes from coast to coast over the next five years.

Ottawa can sign agreements directly with municipalities, as it has done with Halifax, Nova Scotia, London and Vaughan, both in Ontario.

In Quebec, the law prohibits the federal government from going beyond the province to negotiate such agreements.

Several Quebec cities, including Quebec City, Laval, Sherbrooke and Gatineau, have applied to the HAF and are eagerly awaiting the intergovernmental agreement.

 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Oct. 13, 2023.

CTVNews.ca Top Stories

opinion

opinion The big benefits of adopting a debt-free lifestyle

In his column for CTVNews.ca, columnist Christopher Liew explains the benefits of adopting a debt-free lifestyle, as well as the change in financial mindset and sacrifices it takes.

Stay Connected