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Ottawa gets $37.5 million for making 'substantial progress' towards housing targets

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The city of Ottawa is receiving $37.5 million in provincial funding for the progress made towards its 2023 target to build new homes.

Premier Doug Ford was in Ottawa on Friday to announce the funding through the Building Faster Fund.

"Ottawa made substantial progress towards its 2023 target, breaking ground on 10,213 homes last year," Ford told reporters at Ottawa City Hall.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Ottawa city Mayor Mark Sutcliffe pose with a box of a donuts from a local bakery following an announcement, Friday, April 5, 2024 in Ottawa. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

"That's 10,213 families that are going to have a roof over their head."

The city of Ottawa reached 93 per cent of its housing target in 2023, qualifying for funding under Ontario's Building Faster Fund. Statistics presented by the city last month show there were 10,313 housing starts in Ottawa last year.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing set an annual housing target of 11,073 housing starts in Ottawa last year.

Mayor Mark Sutcliffe said the provincial funding is a "big help" to expand infrastructure and transit.

"The funds that we're receiving today go towards infrastructure that will help us build and enhance existing communities," Sutcliffe said.

"As the city is growing, we need more support for infrastructure."

Sutcliffe added the Building Faster Fund, "will help us create the conditions for builders and community organizations to build homes faster."

Ontario's Building Faster Fund is a three year, $1.2 billion program to provide municipalities funding based on performance against the provincial housing targets.  Municipalities that reach 80 per cent of their annual target each year will be eligible for funding based on their share of Ontario's overall goal of 1.5 million new homes, according to the province.

This is the second straight week Ford is in Ottawa for an announcement. Last week, the premier announced a new deal between the Ontario government and the city of Ottawa to provide $543 million in operating and capital funding to the city over 10 years.

The province said last week that Ottawa is eligible for up to $118 million over three years through the Building Faster Fund, conditional on the capital's progress towards its housing targets.

Ottawa is also receiving $176.3 million in federal funding to help build new homes over the next 10 years. Council has confirmed 90 per cent of the funding will be allocated to building affordable housing projects by non-profit housing providers.

Funding for Kingston

The city of Kingston has received millions of dollars in new funding for exceeding its provincial housing target.

On Thursday, Ontario announced $3.2 million in funding for Kingston through the Building Faster Fund, after the city exceeded its 2023 housing target. There were 1,465 new housing units built in the city last year.

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