Ottawa to Offer Low-Cost Construction Loans to Build More Student Housing

Housing Minister Sean Fraser on Monday announced a new initiative to support the construction of student housing.

Starting this fall, post-secondary institutions, along with non-profits, private developers, and colleges, will be eligible for low-interest loans. This step is part of an effort to expand the Apartment Construction Loan Program, which now holds a total of $40 billion after a recent $15 billion increase.

“By allowing postsecondary institutions to access low-cost loans in order to build more student housing, we will help more students find affordable places to live close to where they study, and help ensure there are more homes available for families and folks who live in the community nearby,” Fraser said in a statement.

Under this program, developers can secure a loan for a ten-year term with a fixed interest rate and an amortization period extending up to 50 years. During the construction phase, developers are required to pay only the interest on the loan. The principal and interest payments commence only after twelve months of stabilized effective gross income from the rental units.

READ: Pierre Poilievre Lambasts Sean Fraser On Housing Immigrant Students: “A Devastating Critique of Himself”

This announcement comes as the federal government addresses challenges in the local housing market, exacerbated by a significant increase in international students. Last year, over 900,000 foreign students held Canadian study visas, with more than half being new permits, a figure triple that of a decade ago.

This move coincides with the federal government’s recent decision to implement a two-year cap on international student enrollments, aiming to reduce new permits by 35% this year.

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