The City of Moncton is the first municipality in the province to receive a federal housing acceleration fund.
Officials gathered at City Hall on Thursday to announce that $15.5 million in federal funding will be allocated in the form of grants to developers as well as private homeowners, with the goal of building more housing faster.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg of what is needed to ensure we have safe and sustainable housing for all of our citizens,” said Moncton Mayor Dawn Arnold.
The hope is that the funding will build “more than 490” units over three years.
Arnold said it’s “absolutely not enough” to meet housing demand in Canada’s fastest-growing city.
In early November, Premier Blaine Higgs reportedly said he was considering legislation to prevent federal housing funding from going directly to municipalities.
When PKBNEWS requested comment regarding the funding announcement, Higgs said in an emailed statement: “Bypa*sing provincial governments is not the solution. Collaboration is key here because we need all three levels of government to work together on housing and other critical issues.
He also said: “We are also asking for the same consideration that Quebec receives to work directly with the federal government on key funding initiatives for our communities.
Quebec law requires the federal government to work with the province rather than with municipal governments.
In fashion now
Asked about it during the funding announcement, Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe MP Ginette Petitpas Taylor said Higgs should “put money on the table” for housing and create incentives for builders.
“The federal government has been very clear that we will eliminate the HST on residential bills to accelerate growth. Many Atlantic provinces have removed the provincial portion of this tax and I think it’s a great way to encourage growth,” she said.
Mayor Arnold said she was “pleased that the premier is thinking about affordable housing and has called on (the provincial government) to match the funds invested by the federal government.”
She said provincial housing announcements are “not moving very quickly.”
Moncton was one of 49 communities that applied for federal funding.
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