The federal government is planning to launch a catalogue of pre-approved home designs to speed up the home-building process for developers.
Housing Minister Sean Fraser announced Tuesday the federal government will begin a consultation process to develop the catalogue in January.
Fraser says this brings back a policy from the post-Second World War era when the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. developed blueprints to speed up the construction of homes.
“When many thousands of soldiers were returning home to be reunited with their families at once, Canada faced enormous housing crunches. One of the tools that was deployed … to respond to the challenges they faced at that particular point in time was the development of simple pre-approved designs,” Fraser said.
“We intend to take these lessons from our history books and bring them into the 21st century.”
Many of the post-war home designs — including those for modest detached homes known as strawberry box houses — are still scattered in neighbourhoods across the country today.
Fraser says the next version of the catalogue won’t focus on the same types of homes.
Instead, the initiative will start with low-rise builds, such as small multi-plexes, student housing and seniors’ residences, then explore a potential catalogue for higher-density construction.
The minister says the catalogue should come together sometime next year.
A report released this summer co-authored by housing expert Mike Moffatt came with a set of recommendations for the federal government that included developing such a catalogue.
Nojoud Al Mallees, The Canadian Press
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 12, 2023.