Community

Agreement to fast track new housing

Markham will fast track the construction of 1,640 housing units over the next three years under an agreement that promises to spur the construction of more than 6,630 homes over the next decade.

“The City of Markham is grateful for the support from the federal government under the Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF) to fast track homes being built to address housing supply and affordability,” Mayor Frank Scarpitti says of the March 12 announcement.

The HAF, launched in March 2023, is part of Canada’s National Housing Strategy and helps to cut red tape to fast track permitted homes. The $4-billion initiative runs until 2026-27 and asks local government for innovative action plans to create new housing. Once plans are approved, the HAF provides upfront funding to ensure the timely building of new homes. It will also provide additional funds upon completion.

“We are in a housing crisis,” says Markham-Stouffville MP Helena Jaczek. “The only way we’re going to solve this challenge is by working together with municipalities. The HAF helps to remove barriers and encourage local initiatives. With this agreement, working collaboratively with the City, we will get more homes built for the people of Markham.”

Markham will receive $58.8 million in upfront funding. Its action plan commits to seven local initiatives that will help increase different housing types and density. Those initiatives include partnering with developers, increasing density around the city’s major transit stations, offering incentives to create additional residential units and affordable homes, modernizing application processing, and reducing minimum parking requirements for new developments.

“The upfront funding will ensure 1,640 housing units will be built over the course of the next three years,” Scarpitti says. “By working with our federal and provincial partners, the home building industry and the trades sector, we aim to increase the housing supply in a timely and streamlined manner to meet the needs of our community.”

Pictured, from left, Markham-Unionville MP Paul Chiang; Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development and Markham-Thornhill MP Mary Ng; and Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti outside of Markham Civic Centre on March 12. Photo courtesy of the City of Markham.

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