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PEI Budget Gives Life Line To Communities To Address Housing

Honourable Jill Burridge, Minister of Finance (Screenshot PEI Legislature Youtube)

In an effort to tackle the escalating housing crisis in Prince Edward Island and throughout Canada, the Honourable Jill Burridge, Minister of Finance and Chair of Treasury Board, unveiled the Prince Edward Island Provincial Budget today.

The budget places significant emphasis on enhancing the accessibility and availability of housing for Islanders, acknowledging that years of inadequate funding have resulted in a lagging housing sector.

Among the key initiatives outlined in the budget is a $50 million increase to the Housing Challenge Fund. This fund will now offer private developers two percent financing for construction-ready projects, aimed at stimulating immediate development.

"In addition, we will allocate $25 million through the Federation of PEI Municipalities to establish an Infrastructure Fund. This fund will collaborate with communities outside the capital area to develop construction-ready lots that Islanders can purchase and utilize for future homes," Minister Burridge declared during her budget address to the legislature.

The primary focus of this fund will be to create construction-ready lots in communities across the province, enabling Islanders to acquire these lots for future home construction.

Acknowledging the necessity to reduce barriers to home ownership, the King government will invest $1 million in a Rent-to-Own program. Administered by Finance PEI, this program will provide financing options to first-time homeowners who wish to rent a property with the intention of purchasing it within 24 months.

In a bid to provide more affordable housing alternatives, the government plans to invest $1 million in the establishment of Tiny Home communities in rural areas of Prince Edward Island. Burridge envisions these "tiny home communities" as enabling islanders to purchase smaller, more attainable homes, allowing them to build equity instead of paying rent.

"To support local ownership of housing developments through cooperatives and non-profit organizations, the Department of Housing Land and Communities will invest $125,000 this year to offer mentorship and support, fostering increased participation in tenant and non-profit owned housing developments throughout the province," the finance minister stated.

The King government says that it is still committed to public housing.

"This funding will facilitate the construction of an additional 465 housing units, addressing the needs of low-income Islanders," Burridge affirmed during her speech.

Minister Burridge emphasized the government's unwavering dedication to addressing the housing crisis on Prince Edward Island, stating, "The availability and attainability of housing have increasingly become challenges not only in Prince Edward Island but across our entire nation. Our government is fully committed to making the necessary investments now and in the future to enhance the availability and attainability of housing on our Island."


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