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Ont. municipalities to get $4.7B in federal funding for infrastructure over next five years with eye to housing

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The federal government will provide Ontario municipalities with $4.7 billion over the next five years as part of a renewal of the Canada Community-Building Fund (formerly the Gas Tax Fund).


Federal Housing Minister Sean Fraser, Ontario Municipal Affairs Minister Paul Calandra, Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow and Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) President Colin Best announced the renewal of the deal Wednesday.


They said in a joint statement that the deal “will ensure that critical infrastructure that supports housing continues to be built, maintained, and expanded” over the next few years


“The renewal of this agreement means that our communities’ roads, bridges, and transit systems will be positioned to accommodate growth,” the statement read.


While the fund is not specifically aimed at housing, the statement said the renewed deal was crafted after the parties agreed on three points: reporting on affordable units created to meet the needs of communities and increase capacity of the non-profit sector; working across all orders of government to leverage public lands to meet housing needs; and committing to a provincial innovation strategy for modular and prefabricated housing, including working with the federal government to develop and adopt a design catalogue.


In 2021 and 2022, Toronto received $174 million through the fund, along with $166.6 million in top-up funding. That was out of a total allocation to Ontario of nearly $1.6 billion.


It was not immediately clear how large a share the city will receive from the new funding over the next few years.


The announcement comes weeks after a provincially-mandated report by city staff showed that Toronto is short by around $26 billion over the next decade when it comes to maintaining infrastructure at a standard which would upkeep current service levels.


It also comes as all levels of government look to ramp up the supply of housing to combat housing and affordability crises.

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