January 22, 2024
The development of a tailored framework for an Atlantic Innovation Initiative designed to develop solutions for the rapid expansion of housing supply for the Atlantic provinces was the focus of discussions today in Halifax between and the Atlantic Provincial housing ministers and The Honourable Sean Fraser, Federal Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities.
Both the Federal and Atlantic Ministers acknowledged the momentum from recent achievements and progress already made and agreed that continued collaboration between both levels of government is needed to address the challenges facing the housing sector.
Incentivizing factory built construction
Central to discussions on incentivizing the construction of factory-built homes were methods to source innovative building materials. The Ministers agreed to identify options, including non-regulatory approaches, to improve alignment of construction practices, particularly for modular and mass timber construction methods, across Atlantic Canada.
Establishing an Atlantic Canada chapter in the housing catalogue
Acknowledging the significant interest in the Federal Government’s recently announced housing design catalogue initiative, Atlantic Ministers discussed the opportunity to collaborate with the Federal Government to include regional specific options within the catalogue of pre-approved home designs. This would include the development of modular housing, a sector in which the Atlantic provinces are poised to lead.
Flexibility that recognizes the unique needs of the Atlantic region
Highlighted throughout discussions was the significant change of the housing landscape in the Atlantic Provinces over the last five years. Rapid population growth, both in large urban cities and in rural areas, as well as the effects of high interest rates, inflation and labour shortages have contributed to difficulties finding affordable and available homes in the region. Ministers were united in recognizing that there is no “one size fits all” solution for addressing these issues, and that flexibility and dedicated funding is required to deliver housing solutions that respond to local needs.
The Atlantic Provinces and the Federal Government are committed to increasing regional collaboration and working together to develop innovative construction methods, increase productivity, and create sustainability and affordability throughout Atlantic Canada’s housing sector.