Municipalities making changes to boost the number of homes in their boundaries will be able to tap into more federal dollars in the coming years, a federal official said in Greater Victoria Wednesday.
Ahmed Hussen, federal minister of housing, made the comments while fielding a question on whether more funding will go to municipalities pushing policies like Victoria’s proposed missing middle initiative.
The minister pointed to how the governing Liberal’s 2022 budget includes a $4 billion housing accelerator fund that’s set to roll out this year and looks to spur the creation of 100,000 net new homes over five years.
“The idea there is to invest in system changes that will enable communities to be able to unlock more housing supply and to be able to build more housing faster,” Hussen said.
Missing middle housing refers to types that bridge the gap between standalone dwellings and high-density apartments. That missing cluster currently doesn’t exist on a scale anywhere near the level needed by groups like growing families. Victoria’s proposal looks at rezoning areas only permitting single-family homes so that they can also allow for smaller multi-family builds like townhomes and houseplexes.
Hussen said the funding will toward municipalities building more housing through expediting the permitting and rezoning processes.
The minister met with Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps recently and was shown the missing middle initiative and other housing moves the city is making, such as its expedited approval process for certain affordable projects.
“She showed me her plan for increasing density but also just having more affordable housing, more types of housing across the housing spectrum and I thought it was a good plan,” Hussen said.
“Those are the kinds of things that we would like to see.”
A public hearing for the missing middle initiative has a tentative date of Aug. 4. A public information session outlining what’s in the proposal will be held on July 12.
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