As the Canadian housing market braces for possible interest rate cuts this year, Housing Minister Sean Fraser says the mission remains the same, to build as many homes as possible, as fast as possible.

In a press conference Tuesday with Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland, Fraser spoke about the impact interest rates have on restricting housing supply. He explained that based on conversations he has had with developers, a cut in interest rates would spur developers to “start those projects that are marginal today.” 

“Regardless of whether interest rates remain where they are, or come down a whole point or half a point or whatever may happen, the course of action remains the same because we know we need to build millions of homes,” Fraser said.

He added that the interest rate environment “doesn’t change the mission.”

There is a need to simplify the building process at the municipal level, Fraser said, as well as ensuring efficient spending on infrastructure investments and reducing red tape. 

 “We need to make the math work for builders by getting rid of the GST, recapitalizing (the) Canada Mortgage Bond program (and) putting low-cost financing through the Apartment Construction Loan program into the system,” he explained. 

Fraser also mentioned the critical need to invest in affordable housing.

“We need to do everything we can as quick as we can to build as many homes as we can, and that’s going to be true today and six months from now regardless of what we have in the interest rate environment that we’re dealing with,” he said. 

Freedland said in the press conference that “supply is at the heart of the challenge,” and that a major objective is increasing the speed of construction.