Housing Accelerator Fund

Housing is a top priority for us here at City Hall. We recognize the pressing need for more homes as our community continues to grow. In total, Bathurst needs around 165 new homes each year through 2026 to meet the current and projected demand.

The Housing Accelerator Fund

The Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF) is a new Federal program intended to help local governments accelerate the planning and permitting processes for new housing developments to help increase the availability of housing.

Assessing our Housing Needs

The City of Bathurst, in collaboration with the Regional Service Commission, recently completed a Housing Needs Assessment to better understand its immediate and future needs in housing. The report states:

“There is an acute demand for approximately 165 new housing units in Bathurst per year to 2026. Most of this demand is driven by seniors as well as a surge in demand for affordable and market rental housing among students, migrant workers, and younger individuals. Housing demand in Bathurst is expected to slow to 50-60 units per year through to 2036, shifting gradually toward 2-bedroom and larger units.”

The Action Plan

On March 1st, 2024, it was announced that the City of Bathurst would be receiving up to $3 million from the Housing Accelerator Fund to support its housing initiatives. Through this HAF contribution agreement, the City has committed to an Action Plan which includes the following initiatives:

Housing Incentive Policy

  • The City will offer grants for new housing developments. This new policy will be based on the City’s Housing Needs Assessment and other important information.

Disposition of Municipal Land Policy

  • The City will create a new policy for the sale of city-owned land, in order to promote housing development.

Infrastructure Plan

  • The City will create a plan to improve or expand city infrastructure — roads, water, and sewer — for future housing growth. This ensures that investments made today accommodate the housing projects of tomorrow.

Increased Housing Density

  • The City will change its zoning by-law to encourage more residential units on a single lot and to allow for taller buildings, especially in the City’s downtown area.

Reduced Parking Requirements

  • The City will update its zoning by-law to require fewer parking spots for newly constructed apartment buildings, especially in the City’s downtown area.

Delegate Approval Authority

  • The City will change its by-laws to give more flexibility to the Director of Municipal Planning to approve permits faster in certain situations.

Introduce and Encourage Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s)

  • The City will update its zoning bylaw to permit ADU's (Accessory Dwelling Units). An ADU is a separate living space (e.g.: in-law suite) on the same property as the main home.

Committing to the Action Plan

A portion equal to 75% of the City’s $3 million contribution is contingent on completing the abovementioned. Details for each initiative will be made available to the public as we work through our Action Plan. The City is committed to completing its Action Plan by March 31st, 2025.

The remaining 25% is based on achieving a housing target of 160 permitted units by the end of 2026.

The City encourages any developer who wishes to learn more about the Housing Accelerator Fund to contact Chris Legacy, Director of Economic Development at (506) 548-0400 ext. 286 or by email, chris.legacy@bathurst.ca.