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$35 million in federal funds to build 1,000 homes in Regina

Minister Sean Fraser joins Mayor Sandra Masters in announcing funding from federal Housing Accelerator Fund to Regina.
Mayor Sandra Masters and Minister Sean Fraser at announcement of $35 million from Housing Accelerator Fund to build 1,000 homes in Regina.

REGINA - Regina is getting $35 million from the federal Housing Accelerator Fund to fast track over 1,000 homes in the city over the next three years.

The Government of Canada and the City of Regina announced they reached that agreement at a news conference on Friday. 

Federal Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities Sean Fraser was on hand for the announcement at City Hall along with Mayor Sandra Masters.

“I want to say congratulations to the mayor, to the council and the entire city of Regina,” said Minister Fraser. “What’s way more exciting for me than the number of dollars we’re going to be investing is the number homes that are going to be added in Regina. What this means is for the next three years it will not only be an additional thousand homes, actually over and above what they were already projected to build, but over the next decade that number increases to more than 3000. When we see the ambition that Regina is demonstrating, is absolutely exciting, because when we have good partners on the ground, this is what gives me asense of optimism that we’re going to be able to actually bring to an end the housing crisis we’re living through. 

“You don’t have to dig too deep to figure out that there’s a plan behind these numbers. This is not an arbitrary target that’s been hung out for the purpose of random communications. It’s the result of analysis of the specific measures that the city is going to be putting in place.”

The Housing Accelerator Fund was established to incentivize cities to increase their ability to build new homes and to cut the red tape to make it easier and faster for homes to be built.

According to their news release the City of Regina has in place an Action Plan with 11 priorities, which include zoning changes to allow four units as-of-right per residential lot, more medium-density, duplex and multi-family homes such as townhouses and multiplexes, greater density by increasing height limits for buildings, and ensuring different kinds of homes can be built in established single-family neighbourhoods.

Last week, council approved the first of three phases of bylaw amendments to align with their housing priorities. Mayor Masters says they hope to see those come in effect as soon as possible, in time for the 2024 construction season, and plan more changes in the months to come.

“On behalf of my city council colleagues in the city of Regina, I just want to sincerely thank Minister Fraser and the federal government for awarding us over $35 million in money to increase the housing supply here in the city,” said Mayor Masters.

“ Here in the city of Regina, we know that our vacancy rate for rental is only percent in most areas of the city. We know it’s putting pressure on rent and we just don’t have enough supply coming into market. We know we have historic lows in terms of housing inventory availability. We know that we are out of serviced land for multi family development. That’s where infill becomes so important, where we can amass land for two, three or four units right across the city. It actually makes for revitalizing neighbourhoods as well because when you get new neighbors, we get new communities, we get new friends, and it actually will help to keep Regina as the most affordable city to live in Canada. It’s actually a title we’re incredibly pleased with right now, but if we don’t act, if we don’t act in a really fast manner, we risk losing that affordability here in our City.”