PM visits Waterloo Region to make substantial funding announcement

The Prime Minister made the trip from Ottawa to Waterloo Region to make a major funding announcement.

At the Fairview Parkwood Senior Community homes in Waterloo, Trudeau revealed that the federal government and the City of Waterloo have struck a deal on a $22 million investment. It’s the second federal investment in Waterloo Region through the Housing Accelerator Fund.

“[The investment] will unlock 650 homes in the coming years and over 15000 homes over the next decade,” said Trudeau. “That kind of math shows the leveraging amount when we work directly with municipalities to respond to their needs and concerns.”

Justin Trudeau in Waterloo
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Waterloo to announce a Housing Accelerator Fund investment worth $22 million. / Brad Kraemer

Part of the agreement includes implementing several new municipal initiatives in the City of Waterloo. Mayor Dorothy McCabe said that the investment will change the future of housing for the community she represents.

“We will be able to invest in projects that will focus on increasing density around our existing transit areas which will make Waterloo an even more affordable, environmentally-conscious and vibrant city,” said Mayor McCabe.

According to the City of Waterloo, the new programs include using municipally owned lands for affordable housing projects, creating a toolbox to help homeowners build additional residential units on their properties, a Multi-unit Residential Acquisition program that will help non-profit and co-op housing providers purchase market rental buildings or units, and a grant program for additional affordable housing that will match the Region of Waterloo’s existing program.

Regional Chair Karen Redman also shared how close this investment takes the region to one of their housing targets.

“Through the support of the federal government, the province, local municipalities and housing partners, we are now just 150 homes shy of our five-year goal which marks a tenfold increase in the number of homes that we have built as a community,” said Redman.

In response to the announcement today, Kitchener-Centre MP Mike Morrice released his reaction via a press release. He said Waterloo Region needed this funding, but it should have came much earlier.

“While I welcome today’s announcement, sadly these are funds that were earmarked almost two years ago, and last year’s budget didn’t provide any new housing money for communities like ours,” said Morrice. “In the midst of a housing crisis, it’s disappointing for any level of government to skip a year on funding housing solutions, then pat themselves on the back for getting money out the door that was announced two years ago.”

The site of the announcement was chosen as $33 million worth of pre-Housing Accelerator funding from the Trudeau Liberals has almost come to fruition. The first senior will call the Delphine and Lloyd Martin apartments at Parkwood their home Mar. 6, and the units will be rented at affordable, modest and market rate.

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