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Federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland says she stopped at a recently built downtown Victoria rental apartment building Monday before meeting with British Columbia Premier David Eby, where housing was slated to top the agenda.

Freeland says her stop at the 23-storey Hudson House helped her highlight Canada's need to build more homes expeditiously.

She says Hudson House, built with $100 million from the federal government's Apartment Construction Loan Program, provides rental apartments to 245 families, and is part of a larger neighbourhood development of 950 homes across six buildings.

Freeland says housing will be a major component of the federal government's upcoming budget, due to be tabled next month.

The federal government recently announced it will invest $2 billion in the B.C. New Democrat government's recently announced BC Builds program to build more middle-income rental housing to help firefighters, paramedics and police officers and others live in the communities where they work.

Freeland says the federal government is looking to incorporate some of the government's housing program across Canada.

"For me, it's actually pretty simple," she says about the coming budget. "It's housing, housing, housing. Supply, supply, supply, affordability, a strong economic plan that delivers great jobs and a real focus on younger Canadians."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 11, 2024.

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