Ontario announces $1.8 billion for ‘housing enabling’ infrastructure projects


Robin MacLennan

Ontario Construction Report staff writer

The Ontario government has unveiled a substantial investment of over $1.8 billion aimed at boosting housing development across the province. Premier Doug Ford announced the commitment towards housing-enabling infrastructure projects, with the goal of facilitating the construction of at least 1.5 million homes by 2031.

“Time and time again, I’ve heard from our municipal partners that a lack of infrastructure is one of the biggest barriers to getting more homes built,” Ford said. “Today’s announcement of more than $1.8 billion in housing-enabling infrastructure funding, on top of the billions of dollars of infrastructure funding we’re already providing, will help get more shovels in the ground so we can keep the dream of homeownership alive in Ontario.”

Funding includes $1 billion allocated to the newly established Municipal Housing Infrastructure Program and an additional $625 million designated for the Housing-Enabling Water Systems Fund. Premier Ford emphasized the significance of infrastructure in expediting housing construction, addressing a key barrier identified by municipal partners.

“Investment in infrastructure is crucial to meet Ontario’s ambitious housing targets,” saidDave Depencier, president of the Ontario Home Builders Association, affirming the government’s proactive stance.

The Municipal Housing Infrastructure Program will prioritize core infrastructure projects such as roads and water systems to accelerate critical infrastructure development essential for housing expansion. Eligibility criteria and application procedures for the program will be released later this year.

The construction industry responded positively to the announcement, with Patrick McManus, executive director of the Ontario Sewer and Watermain Construction Association (OSWCA), praising the investment for its contribution to infrastructure modernization and housing construction facilitation.

Nadia Todorova, executive director of the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO), commended the government’s commitment to providing municipalities with necessary funding to meet infrastructure demands, underscoring its role in supporting economic growth and addressing population growth challenges.

Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy reiterated the government’s commitment to expedite infrastructure development, highlighting the importance of increased investments in supporting housing expansion.

Ontario also plans to allocate $200 million to $825 million over three years to assist municipalities in repairing, rehabilitating, and expanding drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure. Municipalities can submit applications for this program until April 19, 2024.

Premier Ford emphasized collaboration with municipalities to unlock housing opportunities and urged the federal government to contribute its fair share to funding housing-enabling infrastructure investments.


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