Premier Doug Ford announced that the Ontario government is launching the Building Faster Fund, a new three-year, $1.2 billion program that provides significant new funding based on performance against provincial housing targets during the 2023 AMO Conference in London.
The Building Faster Fund will provide $400 million in new annual funding for three years to municipalities that are on target to meet provincial housing targets by 2031. Municipalities that reach 80 per cent of their annual target each year will become eligible for funding based on their share of the overall goal of 1.5 million homes. Municipalities that exceed their target will receive a bonus on top of their allocation.
To demonstrate how the fund will work, Premier Ford cited examples of municipalities in Ontario exceeding their provincial targets, and spotlighted Brantford as “the leader of the pack,” explaining that “at Brantford’s current pace of building homes, they are on track to exceed provincial targets by 176% and would be eligible to receive $4 million additional dollars, so congratulations to Mayor Davis and his Council.”
“I am incredibly proud of our accomplishment that was highlighted during Premier Ford’s speech at the AMO Conference,” said Brantford Mayor Kevin Davis. “Brantford’s status as the ‘leader of the pack’ is the direct result of a focused Council and staff who are committed to working together to build more creative, innovative and diverse housing options in Brantford. I also want to acknowledge builders and their employees who are clearly committed to developing housing that has been approved by the City.”
In May 2023, Brantford had the highest percentage of housing starts with 110 units started.
The City’s Planning Services team has been successfully setting the stage for the city’s future growth and supporting the development of new housing through several initiatives including the City’s new Official Plan approved by the Province in August 2021, that enables a broad range of housing types including residential intensification within built-up areas and new greenfield development in an expanded Settlement Area.
The Brantford delegation including Mayor Kevin Davis, Councillor Rose Sicoli, CAO Brian Hutchings and Manager of Government Relations & Corporate Initiatives, Sasha Hill Smith, were also encouraged by a positive meeting with representatives of the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) whereby they advocated for a GO Rail Station stop in Brantford.
Identified as an urban growth centre, Brantford’s population is projected to grow nearly 60% by 2051 with an expected workforce of 80,000 people.
“With the incredible growth that our city has undergone and continues to experience, it’s clear that a new transit solution for Brantford and our neighbouring municipalities is needed to facilitate a more efficient connection between Brantford and the Aldershot GO Station,” said Councillor Rose Sicoli.
The Brantford Delegation presented a convincing case for #GOBrantford, detailing that Brantford’s uniquely situated central location can provide connection for adjacent and surrounding communities including the County of Brant and Six Nations of the Grand River, making Brantford a well-positioned hub to service surrounding communities with proximity to 1.092 million workers within 50 km (30 mi) and 6.054 million workers within 125 km.
“We look forward to continuing our discussions with MTO once we formally submit a detailed business plan to the province in September that outlines a persuasive vision for extending GO Train service from Aldershot to Brantford,” added Mayor Davis.