Thunder Bay getting $20.7 million from Ottawa to fast-track housing development

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces 20.7 million dollars in federal funds for new homes to be built at Smart Modular Canada in Thunder Bay, Ont., Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Jackson

The northern Ontario city of Thunder Bay is set to receive $20.7 million in federal funding to help fast-track housing development.

Speaking in the city Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the money will help accelerate the construction of 600 new units over three years.

The money is allocated under the $4 billion Housing Accelerator Fund, which is a federal initiative to encourage municipalities to make changes to bylaws and regulations that would spur more housing construction, in exchange for money.

The federal government says that as part of the agreement, Thunder Bay will explore ways to better support the housing needs of Indigenous communities.

It says the deal will encourage mixed-use development and unlock a significant area for residential development by allowing housing on underutilized and vacant commercial sites.

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The city is also expected to accelerate housing through a program that will consider residential developments on former industrial lands.

Including the Thunder Bay announcement, Ottawa has signed 61 agreements since the launch of the housing fund.

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