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Ford Pitches $1.2B for Housing at AMO Conference

In a bid to address Ontario's ongoing housing crisis, Premier Doug Ford announced the launch of the "Building Faster Fund," a three-year, $1.2 billion program aimed at accelerating the province's housing construction efforts.

Premier Ford made the announcement during his keynote address at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference held in London, Ontario.

"This new fund is an incentive program that supports municipalities to build more homes," Premier Ford stated. "It's a three-year $1.2 billion program that will reward municipalities for reaching annual housing targets. These targets will be ambitious, but realistic. For the first year of the program in 2023, we want to achieve at least 110,000 new housing starts. It'd be the first time in over three decades."

The Building Faster Fund is set to provide a significant boost to municipalities across the province, offering $400 million in new annual funding for three consecutive years. This funding will be allocated to municipalities that are on track to meet the provincial housing targets set for 2031. Under the program's framework, municipalities that achieve at least 80% of their annual target each year will become eligible for funding based on their proportional contribution to the overarching goal of constructing 1.5 million homes by 2031.

Premier Ford emphasized, "Municipalities that reach 80% of their target each year will become eligible for funding based on their share of the overall goal of 1.5 million homes. Municipalities that fail to reach at least 80% won't be eligible."

The Building Faster Fund is designed to support the growth of communities through various avenues. In addition to aiding housing construction, municipalities can utilize the fund for housing-enabling infrastructure and other related costs that facilitate community expansion. Eligible expenses will be determined through consultations involving the province, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, the City of Toronto, and the Housing Supply Action Plan Implementation Team.

The new provincial program takes into account the diverse landscape of Ontario's municipalities. A portion of the total funding will be directed toward single and lower-tier municipalities that have not been assigned specific housing targets.

The announcement of the Building Faster Fund has generated some social media traffic, With Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic posting that the announcement from the Premier was good news, "Exciting news about the new $1.2b Building Faster Fund for new infrastructure to support housing construction."

Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie simply put a post about the announcement, "Wow. Today

(Premier Doug Ford) announced more measures to help build more homes in Ontario,"

Premier Ford concluded his announcement by expressing his commitment to addressing Ontario's housing challenges. "Our government is dedicated to providing more housing options for the people of Ontario," he stated. "The Building Faster Fund represents a significant step towards achieving that goal, and we are eager to work collaboratively with municipalities to make a real impact on housing construction across the province."

A portion of the overall funding will also be allocated to single and lower tier municipalities that have not been assigned a housing target, including small, rural and northern communities, in order to address their unique needs, following municipal consultations.


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