Housing Accelerator Fund

Coquitlam was awarded a $25 million grant from the Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF) Initiative. This program, established by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), provides financial support to local governments to address housing affordability and supply challenges in their communities.

Coquitlam’s HAF Action Plan

By receiving the grant Coquitlam committed to implementing an Action Plan that includes seven initiatives to meet the Housing Supply Targets outlined below:

  1. Development Approvals Process Review (Phase 2) – streamlines application procedures, enhances collaboration, and reduces processing times through process improvements and digital upgrades including digital plan reviews, expansion of the online application portal, refined review processes across City departments, and a revamped Zoning Bylaw for increased clarity.
  2. Rental Incentive Program Review – evaluates and expands rental incentives for the development of affordable and purpose-built rental housing.
  3. Delegated Authority for Minor Development Variance Permits – explores delegating approval of minor development variances to staff, along with criteria for evaluating proposed variances, in order to reduce processing times and enhance customer service.
  4. Official Community Plan Update: Urban Design Guidelines Review – enhances clarity of City design guidelines in the Official Community Plan by refining urban design directions and fostering smoother application processes, shorter review timelines, and reduced design-related debates.
  5. Citywide Parking Review (Phases 3 and 4) – optimizes parking regulations for both on-street and off-street spaces including a Curbside Management Strategy (Phase 3) for improved transportation efficiency, and off-street parking updates (Phase 4) to enhance housing delivery and development certainty.
  6. Southwest Housing Review (Phase 3) – considers updates to land use designations along key corridors in Southwest Coquitlam, and the expansion of the City’s Housing Choices Program
  7. Non-Profit Housing Partnerships – focuses on developing partnerships with non-profit housing providers on City land, and developing updated processes and procedures to streamline development processes for non-market housing on City and private lands.

While all of the proposed action plan initiatives were already on the City Business Plan or aligned with other future priorities, the injection of funding will advance the timelines for these projects to ensure faster improvements to the housing process. 

Housing Supply Targets

The Housing Accelerator Fund helps the City increase the supply of new homes. It ensures that the City can resource and quickly advance a number of key initiatives aimed at improving the processes around the planning and development of the infrastructure and amenities needed to support more homes and people. 

With this fund, Coquitlam committed to increase the number of new homes by at least 10% every year. This works out to more than 2,130 new homes each year until 2026 (compared to an average of nearly 1,900 new homes from 2018 to 2022). 

Most of these units will be in multi-unit housing close to rapid transit, as well as missing middle housing such as townhouses, duplexes, triplexes and laneway homes. Housing Accelerator funds will also be used to support meeting the needs of priority populations identified in Coquitlam’s Housing Needs Report, including seniors, families, and those in core housing need.

Background Documents