Welland outperforms in housing starts but got less provincial funding than St. Catharines

Top-up funding for municipalities through the More Homes Built Faster Fund will amount to $1.2 billion over three years. Pictured: Welland Mayor Frank Campion. Photo Credit: City of Welland.


The city of Welland received $1.72 million through the province of Ontario’s More Homes Built Faster top-up fund for far exceeding its housing targets for 2023.

The 2023 target set for Welland by the province was 315, but the city saw housing starts nearly triple that number. All told, there were 868 housing starts last year.

Welland Mayor Frank Campion thanked the Ford government for the extra housing funds awarded to Welland for meeting and exceeding its housing targets for 2023. 

Campion particularly emphasized the fact that Welland was one of biggest over-achievers in its housing start performance across all Ontario municipalities. 

“We would like to thank the province for this funding,” said Campion. “Having achieved an exceeded our growth targets, we qualified to receive this funding and we appreciate the fact that the provincial government has stepped up to the plate to assist.”

Despite having fewer housing starts, the city of St. Catharines received more in provincial top-up funds. 

St. Catharines received $2.3 million in top-up funds for 648 new housing starts.

What explains the funding disparity? 

The Ford government’s system of allocating top-up funds. 

Municipalities receive a specific dollar amount in top-up funds if they meet at least 80 per cent of the provincially imposed housing starts target. Municipalities then get an additional sum of money if they exceed their targets, but that additional top-up funding is capped. 

Welland received base funds of $1.15 million for reaching 80 per cent of its original housing goal and an extra nearly $600,000 for exceeding it. 

St. Catharines received $2.3 million in base funding for meeting the 80 per cent threshold (the city had 648 housing starts despite a target of 807 new units), but no bonus funding was given because St. Catharines didn’t meet, let alone exceed, its housing target.  

Had St. Catharines met its 2023 target, the city would have received $2.9 million.

The province has a set amount of housing starts that it hopes to meet every year between now and 2031. Municipalities are allocated a certain percentage of those housing starts based on their population. 

Ontario wanted to see 110,000 new units built in 2023 and each municipality was given a share of that total number as a local target. 

Top-up funding for municipalities through the More Homes Built Faster Fund will amount to $1.2 billion over three years. Roughly $400 million will be distributed to municipalities based on their housing start performance in relation to the province’s targets in 2023, 2024 and 2025.

St. Catharines Mayor Mat Siscoe noted that “getting housing built in our community will require continued collaboration” as the city tries to ramp up housing starts to fully meet the province’s housing goals, despite falling short of its provincial target this year.

Both Welland and St. Catharines will now turn their attention toward achieving their provincial housing targets for 2024. 

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