Government making it easier for homeowners to add additional suites to their homes

April 14, 2024 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada

Today, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, announced that, as part of Budget 2024, the federal government will make it easier for Canadian homeowners to increase the number of units in their homes.

Many homeowners have extra space they may want to convert into rental suites, such as an unused basement, or a garage that could be converted into a laneway home. Historically, the cost of renovating, combined with municipal red tape, has made this both difficult and expensive.

Recent municipal zoning reforms in Canada’s major cities, made possible through Housing Accelerator Fund agreements, are creating new opportunities for homeowners to add additional suites and increase density. New rental suites would provide more homes for Canadians and could provide an important source of income for seniors continuing to age at home. New suites can also be purpose-built to be barrier-free, to accommodate physical impairments of an aging family member or a child with a disability.

To unlock new housing supply, Budget 2024 will propose a new Secondary Suite Loan Program to enable homeowners to access up to $40,000 in low-interest loans to add secondary suites to their homes. Whether used to bring in a new tenant, or build a space for family members to live close by, this new loan program will help increase density to make the most of available space in communities across the country.

Budget 2024 will also announce the government’s intention to make targeted changes to mortgage insurance rules to encourage densification and enable homeowners to add more units to their homes. The government will consult on proposed changes to regulations, including for refinancing, maximum loan and home price, as well as other mortgage insurance rules where homeowners are adding additional units.

This is about realizing Canada’s promise of affordable housing for every generation—and making it easier to add additional suites is only one of the ways Budget 2024 will build more homes. Alongside this measure, in Tuesday’s budget, the government will take further action to build more homes, make life more affordable, and create more good jobs to ensure every generation can get ahead.

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