The federal government will provide $10 million to Charlottetown through the Housing Acceleration Fund as part of an agreement to quickly build 300 homes over the next three years.
Charlottetown agreed to change its building permit and zoning as part of the agreement. Those changes include:
- New formal plans to enable more medium-density housing.
- Up to 4 units can be moved into an existing residential lot.
- Building heights will be increased from six to eight storeys near secondary educational institutions and in high-growth areas.
- expediting permitting of accessory dwelling units;
- Reduced parking requirements.
- Improving the building permit process, including electronic permits.
Charlottetown Mayor Philip Brown said the funding will help increase net residential density in the city and provide administrative support to complete a thorough review of the Official Plan.
“There’s probably over 300 of them already in the hopper.” [homes] With population growth, we want to surpass that,” he said.
“Is the number 300 achievable? Yes. Will we go beyond it? Yes. So I’m very confident that this number… is just the foundation. We’re going to work from there. is.”
PEI’s housing situation has been described as a crisis since 2018, when the apartment vacancy rate dropped to 0.3%.
The crisis is being driven by unprecedented population growth, which continues to grow at 3-4 percent per year.
Prince Edward Island’s residents grew by approximately 6,700 people, according to the latest population statistics measuring growth from Oct. 31, 2022 to Oct. 31, 2023.
The island has an average of 2.3 people per household, and the housing requirements for these new residents will be 2,900.
However, only 1,139 housing starts were administered in the province in 2023, according to the Canada Mortgage Corporation.
Lantz says even bigger projects are planned.
Federal and provincial politicians who attended Friday’s announcement assured that the construction of 300 homes is just the beginning for PEI’s capital.
“I don’t think it’s as ambitious as what would actually happen,” Charlottetown MP Sean Casey said. “We have some very strong plans on the books. [and] Developers are working hard to do their part in the housing crisis. These changes, which will be funded by the Government of Canada, will allow for faster delivery. ”
Rob Lantz, PEI’s Minister of Housing, Lands and Communities, hopes the funding will help Charlottetown complete the revamped Official Plan it has been working on since 2018.
“I personally know there are some very large projects underway here in Charlottetown, and it takes a lot of effort for this city to get all these projects through the process and approved. We’re going to need all the resources we can get, and with this money, we can do it.’ We’re here to help,” Lantz said.