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Ottawa takes up post-war idea of ​​“vacation houses” ;terans »

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An old veteran's house on rue des Mélèzes, in Montreal (Archive photo)

The Canadian Press

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The federal government wants to draw inspiration from a post-war initiative that aimed to accelerate the construction of housing across Canada, “veterans homes,” but with a 21st century twist. /p>

A consultation process will begin in early January on the possible development of a catalog of pre-approved house designs, to speed up the construction process for developers, the federal Housing Minister announced on Tuesday , Infrastructure and Communities, Sean Fraser.

This would be a reinterpretation of a policy of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) initiated after the Second World War. To address housing shortages, CMHC developed a series of house design catalogs to accelerate their construction between the 1950s and 1970s.

As thousands of soldiers returned home all at once to reunite with their families, Canada faced enormous housing shortages . We intend to take these lessons from our history books and apply them to the 21st century.

A quote from Sean Fraser, Federal Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities

Many examples of these veteran home designs exist still today in various districts of the country, notably in Montreal, in Côte-Saint-Paul and Villeray, or in Quebec, in the Saint-Charles district. These are often small houses with gable roofs.

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Veterans' homes in Cartierville, Montreal, in 1943

Version 2.0 of the pre-approved design catalog will instead focus on low-rise buildings, such as small multiplexes, student accommodation and retirement homes, and then explore a potential catalog for higher density construction, the government says federal.

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Aim is to allow construction housing developments can be fast-tracked to obtain approval from CMHC and other agencies, while promoting larger-scale production through factory construction.

I have seen estimates from experts in the field indicating that this could reduce the construction time of a project by up to a year, said Minister Fraser on Tuesday, who believes that this catalog should be published next year.

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Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities (Archive photo)

The minister specified that this catalog will go hand in hand with the National Building Code. This code, which the government plans to update, added Mr. Fraser, provides guidelines that are only applicable if a province or territory chooses to adopt them.

This idea of ​​a catalog of pre-approved plans was one of several recommendations contained in a report co-authored by housing expert Mike Moffatt and released earlier this year, called National Housing Accord. /p>

This initiative has the potential to have a tangible impact, Mr. Moffatt argued in an interview. Creating a catalog will help start work more quickly by speeding up the approval process at all stages, from financing to municipal permits, he explained.

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Mike Moffat was invited to the Liberal cabinet retreat at the end of August to speak about the country's housing crisis. (File photo)

After releasing the report last summer, Mr. Moffatt, who is senior director of policy and #x27;innovation at the Smart Prosperity Institute, was invited to the Liberal cabinet retreat at the end of August to talk about the country's housing crisis.

Mr Moffatt believes the plan catalog could also increase productivity in the construction industry.

One ​​of the big challenges we will face in building enough housing is having enough skilled labor.

A quote from Mike Moffatt, Housing Expert

And we certainly need to increase the number of workers we currently have. But we also need to find ways to be more productive. And that would help us achieve that goal.

The federal government has so far implemented several recommendations contained in the National Accord on housing, developed by Mr. Moffatt and other industry stakeholders.

We made sure to bring together the home builders and developers in the real estate sector, as well as academics, but also non-profit organizations, explained Mr. Moffatt.

As we have essentially [locking] everyone in a room for a day and trying to find what we can all agree on, that gives, in my opinion, credibility to these recommendations.

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