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April 5, 2024

3D printed homes? Trudeau announces $600M for homebuilding innovations

It is now the third consecutive day a major housing funding announcement has been made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Friday’s announcement entails over $600 million in investments targeted to help lower the construction cost of homes and speed up building timelines, with a new focus on creating new building innovation technologies.

This includes a new $50 million Homebuilding Technology and Innovation Fund, which the federal government aims to leverage an additional $150 million from the private sector and other levels of government.

Another $50 million will be invested in ideas and technology such as prefabricated housing factories, mass timber production, panelization, 3D printing, and pre-approved home design catalogues — specifically projects already funded.

As well, $11.6 million will go towards the federal government’s previously announced Housing Design Catalogue to create a standardized home structure design for simplicity as well as construction and cost efficiencies.

The vast majority of today’s announced funding will go into the federal Apartment Construction Loan Program, which provides low-cost financing to support new rental housing projects using innovative construction techniques from prefabricated and modular housing manufacturers as well as other homebuilders.

Today’s funding announcements are the federal Liberal party’s continued response to criticism that it has not done enough on the affordable housing front. Its polices — particularly immigration without sufficient supporting investments — have had the unintended impact of exacerbating Canada’s housing challenges.

This week’s various housing funding announcements are components of the 2024 federal budget, which will be tabled on April 16.

“We’re changing the way we build homes in Canada. In Budget 2024, we’re supporting a new approach to construction, with a focus on innovation and technology. This will make it easier and more cost-effective to build more homes, faster. You should be able to live in the community you love, at a price you can afford,” said Trudeau in a statement.

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