(London) “We should ask the different mayors why it took so long.” The Canadian Prime Minister threw the ball into the hands of cities on Wednesday when he was asked to justify the slow deployment of a federal fund dedicated to the rapid construction of housing.
Pressure is strong on the Trudeau government to do more to facilitate access to housing. A month ago, the issue was identified as the priority for the Cabinet retreat, but no announcement was made following the meeting.
He wanted to kick off the meeting of the national Liberal caucus with a concrete project: an agreement with the City of London to create 2,000 additional housing units over the next three years.
This agreement is the first to be funded by the Accelerated Housing Fund, launched last March to provide local governments with money to accelerate the construction of 100,000 new housing units across Canada.
Why did it take six months before a first agreement was signed? “We should ask the different mayors why it took so long,” replied Justin Trudeau when the question was asked at a press conference.
“We are calling on all mayors across the country to show ambition,” he continued.
Before him, Housing Minister Sean Fraser had delivered a similar plea: “My message today is this: to all mayors, to all municipal councils, to all cities, to all communities across the country: if you want federal investments, give us a reason to do it.”
According to data released Wednesday by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Canada will need to build about 3.5 million more homes than planned by 2030 if it wants to restore affordability.
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