She noted the program, which began in 2015, had aimed to build 672 homes in seven communities across the country, including Edmonton, Calgary, Sudbury, Ottawa, Sherbrooke, Halifax, and St. John’s. However, just 12 homes had been completed and they were all in the community of Sherbrooke, Quebec, Ms. Wallin told the committee.
“What takes so long when we know there is a lot of Crown land out there?” she asked.
“There has to be someone open and available to actually develop that property,” Mr. Levesque answered.
“There are times when those federal lands need to be remediated and that takes some time, and by remediated there could be other contaminations or constraints related to the property. That does take some time to address.”
Mr. Levesque added that they needed to have a partner open to developing the land.
Ms. Wallin pushed the issue, saying it was not a great record.
“We want to do better for sure,” Mr. Levesque said.
He also said the turnaround time to process applications was 51 days, calling it an improvement.
During the meeting, the chief economist for CMHC said that Canada needs 3.5 million more homes by 2030 to keep up with demand, which would cost about $1 trillion.
Concerns Over Housing Affordability
Affordable housing has become a hot topic for the Liberal government.