The City of Thunder Bay has surpassed its provincially assigned housing target for 2023. One of only nine Ontario municipalities to achieve this goal, the City expects to receive funding from the provincial Building Faster fund.

Based on Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) data as of October 26, construction had occurred on 167 units, 104% of the assigned target of 161. Additionally, the city has issued 290 permits for residential units this year, nearly doubling the five-year average. This contributes to a construction value of $440 million – three times more than the five-year average of $125 million.

“By creating the city’s new zoning bylaw, City Council proactively supported multi-residential housing, and that has dramatically accelerated the development process,” said Joel DePeuter, Director of Development Services. “Capitalizing on this momentum, we have applied to the CMHC’s Housing Accelerator Fund for $46 million with a target of building 2,200 homes in 3 years.”

Mayor Ken Boshcoff has issued an open letter to Federal Housing Minister Sean Fraser urging the approval of Thunder Bay’s $46 million application.

“We are all in on housing development and the city team is working hard to set the stage for development success. Our focus is the same as the Federal government,” said Mayor Boshcoff. “We want to build as many homes as possible, as quickly as we can.”

The Housing Accelerator Fund asks for action plans from local governments and provides upfront funding to ensure the timely building of new homes, as well as additional funds upon delivering results. Local governments are encouraged to be innovative and aggressive in their approaches to accelerating project timelines, allowing increased housing density, and encouraging affordable housing units.

“We recognize that the target is aggressive, and we’ve shown that we are up to the challenge,” continued DePeuter. “We have a new Zoning By-law and Official Plan that makes it easier to build additional dwellings units, multi-residential units and other types of housing, and we are identifying city lands that could be used for housing development.”

City Council emphasized housing within various objectives of the 'Growth' section of the City’s Strategic Plan, and a Mayor's Task Force to accelerate housing is being created.

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 Contact:       Joel DePeuter, Director - Development Services, 807-625-2833,