(Bloomberg) -- The Canadian government will provide up to C$2 billion ($1.5 billion) in low-cost financing to accelerate homebuilding for middle-income families in British Columbia, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday. 

The investment adds to the province’s commitment to provide C$2 billion in loans and C$950 million in spending as part of a program dubbed BC Builds, unveiled by Premier David Eby last week.

Trudeau said the federal financing will be available through the apartment construction loan program. Combined with the provincial investment, the loans will help build a minimum of 8,000 to 10,000 additional new homes for the middle class, he said.

The prime minister praised Eby for taking “concrete visionary action” with BC Builds.

“What you’re doing here is transformative and I am hoping that other provinces take careful note of the leadership that you’ve shown,” he said at a news conference alongside the premier in Vancouver.

Read More: British Columbia Hatches $1.5 Billion Loan Plan for Homebuilding

The federal government’s involvement highlights the rising urgency in addressing Canada’s housing shortages, which are acute in British Columbia. Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, Trudeau’s main opponent, has built a sizable lead in polls in part due to public frustration over housing costs.

The funding announced Tuesday comes from the C$15 billion announced by the Trudeau government in its fall budget update, where it committed to creating 30,000 more purpose-built rental units through the apartment construction loan program.

The budget update pledged to use this funding to encourage provinces and territories to develop ambitious housing plans. 

Eby’s BC Builds initiative aims to identify owners of low-cost land, bring them together with contractors and developers and then work with local governments to expedite planning approval. The program will define “middle income” earners, toward whom the housing is targeted, depending on the community.

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