Canada is creating a catalogue of pre-approved home designs that builders can use to boost density and help solve the housing crisis.
The concept has roots in the post-Second World War era when housing was scarce for returning veterans and their families. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation made a series of housing design catalogues from the 1950s to 1970s to expedite construction.
Consultations on the new catalogue will begin in January 2024. The initiative will start with low-rise designs and explore the potential for higher density construction, from mid-rise buildings to modular and prefabricated homes. The government will also help municipalities, provinces and territories to implement their own housing design catalogues.
Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities, made the announcement yesterday.
“In order to build more homes faster, we need to change how we build homes in Canada. We are going to take the idea of a housing catalogue which we used the last time Canada faced a housing crisis, and bring it into the 21st century,” he said. “This is going to help accelerate future developments, and tap into new and innovative construction methods that will make a real difference in building communities across Canada.”
Sometimes the solutions we need can be found in our history books.
Canada’s “war-time” housing response created simple pre-approved designs that could be built quickly, to build homes we needed when our soldier came home.
It’s time to take that idea into the 21st century. pic.twitter.com/GlCtHLWEoa
— Sean Fraser (@SeanFraserMP) December 12, 2023