Canada Infrastructure Bank launches Infrastructure for Housing Initiative 

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CaDCR staff writer

The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) has launched its Infrastructure for Housing Initiative (IHI), designed to help address the infrastructure constraints which are limiting new housing construction.

The CIB has developed a financing tool for municipalities and Indigenous communities which are committed to building new infrastructure in support of new housing supply. Industry and municipal stakeholders have emphasized that more municipal infrastructure investment is a prerequisite to building more housing. The CIB’s new lending product is designed to unlock new housing in a very targeted and specific way.

“Through our new lending initiative, we are committed to working with municipalities to unlock new housing developments,” said Ehren Cory, CEO, Canada Infrastructure Bank. “The housing challenge in Canada requires innovative thinking, new partnerships and a variety of financing supports to make progress.

“We are pleased to have already advanced fCanada Infrastructure Bank launches Infrastructure for Housing Initiative inancing to a number of projects which will spur new housing such as district energy expansion, transit lines, broadband networks and water treatment facilities.”

CIB is looking to partner on eligible projects which are expected to be primarily new, large-scale enabling infrastructure, including:

  • water: water, wastewater, stormwater, conveyance
  • transportation: roads, bridges and the accompanying civil work
  • transit: electric buses, light-rail transit, stations and terminals
  • clean power: district energy, electricity distribution, storage

The lending program is expected to help municipalities and Indigenous communities by sharing in risks related to the timing of community growth, linking repayments to the number of housing units expected to increase as housing growth materializes.

Other benefits of the IHI include:

  • accelerating infrastructure while limiting the requirement for future tax and rate increases
  • providing access to credit and competitive interest rates for smaller municipalities which may not have access to capital markets or a provincial borrowing program
  • municipally-owned corporations would also be eligible borrowers

IHI will work with existing federal supports for housing as part of the broader federal approach to address the housing shortage.

“With the CIB’s new Infrastructure for Housing Initiative, communities across the country will have access to financing that will help build the infrastructure needed to increase housing supply,” said Housing Minister Sean Fraser. “This is a significant lever communities can now access to enable local investments in critical infrastructure from roads to public transit and water treatment systems.

“The CIB’s innovative approach toward addressing the housing challenge will help municipalities and Indigenous communities with the development of complete, inclusive and sustainable communities with affordable and accessible housing.”

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