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On January 29, Canadian federal ministers provided an update on the federal government’s economic plan—including initiatives to create more student housing.

Watch the federal ministers’ update

Among the ministers present, former immigration minister turned housing minister Sean Fraser, announced that Canada will offer low-cost loans to postsecondary institutions and builders to build student housing on and off campus.

The Canadian government will start accepting applications for the Apartment Construction Loan Program in the fall of 2024. The federal program is expected to allow 101,000 new rental homes across Canada by 2031-2032.

The Apartment Construction Loan Program received an additional $15 billion in the fall, bringing the total funding available to $40 billion.

The announcement of the new loan comes on the heels of the announcement that Canada would cap international student admissions. In 2024, Canada will approve 364,000study permits—a decrease of 35 percent from last year.

Canada’s move to incentivize developers to build student housing is one way that the government is supporting housing supply to lower costs.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland doubled down on the government’s objective to address housing shortages with more supply measures.

“Our government and the vast majority of Canadians continue to recognize that diversity is our strength,” Freeland told reporters. “We need to be sure that we do it properly.”

Learn more about buying your first home in Canada as a newcomer

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Other highlights from the economic statement

The federal economic update included some highlights on the Canadian economy affecting everyone who calls Canada home.

Among the highlights, Freeland announced:

  • Inflation is down to 3.4 percent from the peak of 8.1 percent
  • Wage growth has out-paced inflation for the eleventh month in a row
  • Economists predict that Canada will avoid a recession
  • Childcare feels have dropped about 50 percent across the country, and seven provinces and territories have reduced daycare fees to CAD$10 per day
  • There are one million more jobs in Canada than compared to before the pandemic

Freeland also called on members of parliament to support the Fall Economic Statment Implementation Act, 2023, to advances the government’s economic plan to make life more affordable, and build more homes for Canadians.

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