Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association Applaud City of Saskatoon’s $41.3 Million Housing Accelerator Fund Approval - Saskatoon & Region Home Builders' Association

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Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association Applaud City of Saskatoon’s $41.3 Million Housing Accelerator Fund Approval

SASKATOON, SK (FEB 28, 2024) — The Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association (SRHBA) congratulates the City of Saskatoon on their successful approval of the Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF), which is part of a $4 billion-dollar federal initiative administered through CMHC to incentivize more market rate housing over the next three years.

“Today’s announcement is a game-changer for Saskatoon’s future,” said Nicole Burgess, CEO of the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association. “It’s about more than just building homes faster; it’s about addressing municipal barriers to housing such as restrictive policies, complex processes, and high fees.   We’re happy to collaborate with the City to streamline these processes, aiming not only to meet Saskatoon’s increasing housing demand but also to safeguard our eroding affordability.”

The HAF allows for more homes to be built than initially planned through streamlining development approvals and expediting land-use planning. The $41.3 million dollars in funding, provided directly to the City of Saskatoon, will be utilized to implement 15 initatives previously approved by Council, which include the four requirements requested by the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure, and Communities back in the fall.

“As Saskatoon continues to experience unprecedented growth, attracting both investment and people to our city, it is imperative to recognize that these individuals need a place to live,” Burgess emphasized. “Without intentional action and bold policy changes, our housing affordability is at risk of further erosion. The HAF represents the type of transformative action needed to address our pressing housing challenges.”

Burgess emphasized SRHBA’s continued commitment to supporting the city in the development and execution of these initiatives. “Now is the time when the work truly starts, and we are here to support the city in achieving the required 940 additional units under this agreement, over the next three years.  In order to do this however, it will be crucial for the city to prioritize the projects that support the development of sustainable and affordable housing options, while reducing costs and fees associated with new housing construction.”

Burgess also stresses the need for harmonization with other ongoing processes, such as the development levies review process and alignment of development charges with the cost of development, “This is an important first step but we must coordinate all efforts to reduce fees and red tape as they relate to housing development. The more we can reduce red tape and fees, the better it will be for those who are looking to buy a home in our city.”

Continued engagement with local builders, developers, and stakeholders will be important in ensuring that the initiatives identified, are effective in incentivizing the key deliverable of increasing new market rate housing supply in Saskatoon.  “If done right, this funding has the potential to make a lasting impact on housing affordability and make significant progress in meeting our city’s growing demand for housing,” Burgess concluded.

To read the Government of Canada’s news release, please click here. To learn more about the HAF Action Plan, visit saskatoon.ca/HAF.

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For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Nicole Burgess
Chief Executive Officer
Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association
ceo@saskatoonhomebuilders.com
306-955-5188

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