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Task Force delivers 140 recommendations to meet housing and climate targets

Press Release

OTTAWA, ON, March 5, 2024  – Today the Task Force for Housing and Climate issued its final recommendations for rapidly building new housing in a way that supports Canada’s climate goals.

The Blueprint for More and Better Housing calls on governments to take 140 specific actions that, together, could add 5.8 million new homes by 2030 that are affordable, low carbon and resilient to climate impacts.

The Task Force, co-chaired by former federal cabinet minister Lisa Raitt and former Edmonton mayor Don Iveson, identifies four transformative moves that all orders of government need to advance: legalize density, implement better building codes, invest in factory-built housing, and regulate housing growth in areas at high risk of climate impacts.

Municipal governments are urged to take 40 actions, including legalizing density by fully abolishing parking minimums, eliminating unit maximums, establishing ambitious density rules near transit, and streamlining approval processes.

Provinces are urged to take 50 actions, including supporting municipal governments with pro-density reforms while overriding counteractive policies, investing in factory-built housing, and adopting the highest tiers of Canada’s National Model Building Code to improve energy efficiency – a commitment only made by British Columbia to date.

The federal government is advised to tie all future housing, infrastructure and transit funding to provincial and municipal adoption of density reforms and adoption of stronger building codes. It should also coordinate with provinces to map climate hazards and disincentivize housing growth in areas of high risk of flooding and wildfire.

“Fixing the housing crisis, like the climate crisis, requires every order of government to do its part,” said Co-Chair the Honourable Lisa Raitt. “Our Blueprint will help every government take smart steps towards building more and better housing.”

“We need a lot more housing,” added Co-Chair Don Iveson, “and our Blueprint shows that climate-aligned housing can be faster to build and more affordable as a result of lower utility and insurance bills, lower infrastructure costs, and less regulation-blocking density.”

The Blueprint for More and Better Housing marks the final output of the Task Force for Housing and Climate, which was struck in September 2023 to develop solutions for meeting a national housing target pegged at 5.8 million by 2030. The Task Force consists of fifteen housing experts, including former mayors, chief planners, builders and developers, finance experts and Indigenous leaders.

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