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Liberals to revive ‘war-time housing’ blueprints in bid to speed up builds – National

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Nearly 80 years after it was first introduced, Global News has learned that the federal government is reviving a Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) program to provide standardized housing blueprints to builders, according to a senior government source.

Housing Minister Sean Fraser will announce tomorrow that the Liberal government will hold consultations on how the relaunched program will work. A senior government source tells Global News, blueprints of various building types and sizes will be available by the end of 2024.

Pre-approved housing plans are expected to reduce the building timeline, by expediting municipal zoning and permitting projects.


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Mike Moffatt, senior director of policy and innovation at the Smart Prosperity Institute, proposed this idea directly to the federal cabinet during meetings in Charlottetown, PEI, and believes it could cut up to a 12-month break in construction times. .

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“I think builders and developers will be interested in it, especially if it helps track the approval process,” Moffatt told Global News.

Moffatt cautioned that for the program to be effective, it would require an extensive catalog of blueprints.

“They definitely need to have, you know, a pretty broad catalog of designs so that people aren’t forced to choose between, you know, one or two designs or nothing,” Moffatt said.

The program is a throwback to CMHC’s work from the 1940s to the late 1970s, where hundreds of thousands of homes were built from thousands of plans approved by the federal housing agency.

Many of these homes, called “strawberry boxes” or “victory homes,” were built for returning World War II veterans, and still stand in many Canadian neighborhoods.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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