Winnipeg plans to make it easier to build multi-family homes.

The federal government launched a $4 billion Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF) which was launched in March of 2023 to provide a federal incentive program for municipalities.

The City of Winnipeg’s overall objectives for applying to the HAF are for:

• Implementation of initiatives to get more homes built faster.

• Accelerating approvals and building processes.

• Development of affordable, inclusive, equitable and diverse communities.

Meanwhile, the goals of the City of Winnipeg’s application to the HAF include:

• Rapid zoning by-law amendments;

• Rapid amendments to local area plans;

• Incentives to support multi-family housing development downtown and along commercial corridors;

• Creation of a land enhancement office;

• Creation of a concierge program to support affordable housing development;

• Infrastructure supports to increase residential development; and

• Digitization and facilitation of faster development and permit approvals.

On October 24, 2023, the Government of Canada’s Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities, Hon. Sean Fraser, wrote to Mayor Scott Gillingham to encourage the City of Winnipeg to bolster its application to the Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF) by including:

• Legalizing four units as-of-right city-wide;

• Legalizing up to four storeys as-of-right within 800 metres of transit; and

• Ensuring that new mid-rise housing zoning reforms targeted for mall sites and commercial corridors — as proposed in City Council’s Strategic Priorities Action Plan — allow for as-of-right development to facilitate quick approvals and construction of new rental housing.

On November 23, 2023, Winnipeg City Council voted in favour of these changes, by a vote of 13-3 to ensure the City of Winnipeg remained in the running for their $192 Million application to the HAF.

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