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Federal funds to focus on northern housing supply chain issues

Applications open until June 23
Ahmed Hussen, federal minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, is seen feilding questions on July 13, 2021. Hussen announced Feb. 23 the third round of funding in the Housing Supply Challenge is now available. (Andrew Vaughn/The Canadian Press file)

With an aim to address housing in the North, applications have opened for a third round of funding through the federal government’s Housing Supply Challenge.

A total of $80 million is available in this round.

Ahmed Hussen, the federal minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, and Daniel Vandal, the minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, announced the application opportunity during a virtual press conference on Feb. 23.

Identified as Northern Access: Supply Chain Solutions for Northern and Remote Housing, this funding round aims to find ways to break down supply chain issues in the north and remote areas, opening the door to more housing, the federal government said in a statement.

Among the barriers faced are long distances and shipping timelines, the harsh climate and short construction season, and the high cost for materials and skilled labour.

“Every Canadian deserves a home that [they] can afford and that meets their needs,” Hussen said. “Increasing the supply of housing requires innovative and disruptive thinking, and that’s exactly what the Northern Access round of the Housing Supply Challenge intends to do. By bringing forward the best new ideas, we are working with our partners to turn these ideas into realities and address housing supply chain issues in northern and remote communities across Canada.”

Among those encouraged to apply are supply chain professionals; both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations; Indigenous organizations and groups; post-secondary institutions; and local, provincial/territorial and Indigenous governments.

“The Housing Supply Challenge is all about bringing people together to find local solutions that work for each community,” Vandal said. “The investment our government is announcing today, made possible through the National Housing Strategy, will lead to innovative solutions that will break down barriers and make real positive change in northern and remote communities.”

The $80 million identified for this round of funding is part of the larger five-year $300-million Housing Supply Challenge.

A total of 14 finalists have been selected for the first round of the Housing Supply Challenge for up to $25 million for data-based projects, with 29 applicants short-listed for up to $40 million in the second round of funding for projects focused on improving processes in pre-development of affordable housing. The final projects selected will be announced in July.

The application phase for this third round of funding is open until June 23 with application details available online.

A shortlist process will take place following the deadline, with the final selection to happen between September and November 2023. Funded projects will be implemented up to March 2025.

Future rounds of the Housing Supply Challenge are anticipated to focus on construction technology, scaling solutions, and public perception of new development.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at

Stephanie Waddell

About the Author: Stephanie Waddell

I joined Black Press in 2019 as a reporter for the Yukon News, becoming editor in February 2023.
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