The federal government and the Town of Ajax have agreed to fast-track 580 new housing units, over a three-year period, and $22M dollars.
Officials and local dignitaries gathered on Jan. 19 at Pat Bayly Square, to announce the big housing boost, that Ajax Mayor Shaun Collier said is critical. “Simply put, we are increasing the number of places people can live in Ajax,” said Collier.
The funds are part of the Housing Accelerator Fund, which was launched last March. It’s a $4 billion dollar initiative part of Canada’s National Housing Strategy, designed to tackle the affordable housing crisis. Ajax MP Mark Holland adds that not only will this fund remove barriers that slow down housing, it will help construct over 11,000 new homes in the town over the next decade.
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“To start, we’re allowing for duplexes across the town, increasing density and height restrictions around the GO Station and Durham Region Transit stops, and embracing inclusionary zoning and encouraging accessory units where they make sense,” said Collier. According to officials, the fund will ultimately change how homes are built by cutting red tape.
Last fall, Ajax’s mayor used his strong mayor powers to expedite twin 60-storey developments in the towns Major Transit Area, and now, he’s thinking beyond that. “We’re going to work with the Region of Durham and other partners to increase affordable housing,” said Collier. “And council has already committed to hiring an affordable housing liaison using these funds, and we’ll be looking at ways to incentivize more affordable units.”
According to the federal government, Since last September, over 38$ billion dollars has been committed to building almost 152,000 units and the repair of over 241,000 units, prioritizing those with the great need, including seniors, Indigenous Peoples, peoples experiencing homelessness, and women and children fleeing violence.
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