Ontario Announces Building Faster Fund and Expansion of Strong Mayor Powers

During his speech at the 2023 AMO conference, Premier Ford announced the Building Faster Fund, a new three-year $1.2 billion program that provides funding to municipalities based on housing starts.  

The Building Faster Fund will provide $400 million in funding per year for three years to municipalities that are on target to meet provincial housing targets by 2031. Municipalities that reach 80% 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.  

With this program, the Province is expanding strong mayor powers to municipalities projected to have populations of 50,000 or larger by 2031 whose mayors commit to meeting their provincial housing target by October 15, 2023. The expansion of strong mayor powers will take effect on October 31, 2023. 

10% of the overall funding will be allocated to single and lower-tier municipalities that have not been assigned a housing target, including small, rural, and northern communities, in order to address their unique needs. Details of this aspect of the program have yet to be released.

Funding from the program can be used for housing-enabling infrastructure and other related costs that support community growth. The Government has said that it will be working with AMO and the City of Toronto to further determine eligible expenses.

AMCTO will continue to monitor the roll-out of this new program, including its impact on the municipal reporting burden and its link to the Province’s commitment to make municipalities whole.