Canada supports rapid housing in Toronto

Canada supports rapid housing in Toronto

by ahnationtalk on July 29, 202160 Views

July 29, 2021

Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for affordable housing and led to rising levels of homelessness. The Government of Canada created a national strategy to build hundreds of thousands of units and provide affordable housing to people across the country. By continuing to make investments in affordable housing, the government is building stronger communities, creating jobs, and growing our middle class, while fighting homelessness and helping vulnerable Canadians.

The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Jean Yip, Member of Parliament for Scarborough – Agincourt, John Tory, Mayor of The City of Toronto, and Ana Bailão, Deputy Mayor of Toronto, today announced $132.2 million to create at least 233 new affordable homes for individuals and families in Toronto through the Cities Stream under the expanded Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI). These homes will support Canadians who are in uncertain housing situations, experiencing or at risk of homelessness, or living in temporary shelters because of the pandemic.

This is in addition to the Government of Canada’s previous investment of $238 million through the first phase of the Rapid Housing Initiative to support the creation of 661 new supportive homes in Toronto.

In its initial round, with funding of $1 billion announced in October 2020, the RHI exceeded its original target of 3,000 permanent affordable housing units and achieved 4,700 units nationally. Due to this success, an additional $1.5 billion for the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) was recently announced to create 4,500 new units of permanent affordable housing across the country. Thanks to this expansion, this initiative will now create over 9,200 affordable homes for the most vulnerable Canadians across the country.

This new investment will create thousands of good jobs in the housing and construction sector, grow the middle class, and build back stronger communities, while getting us closer to our goal of eliminating chronic homelessness in Canada.

Quotes:

“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Today’s funding through the Rapid Housing Initiative will go a long way to support those who need it most by quickly providing more than 230 new affordable homes for vulnerable individuals and families in Toronto to keep them safe. This is one of the ways our National Housing Strategy continues to ensure no one is left behind.”

— The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

“We have seen how COVID-19 has worsened existing housing and provided challenges for those who are vulnerable, including low income Canadians who need additional supports. Creating housing rapidly to address this housing crisis is a priority for our Government. This new funding is part of our commitment to addressing severe housing needs across the country. It will provide immediate support to create safe and stable housing to thousands of vulnerable low-income individuals and families throughout Toronto.”

— Jean Yip, Member of Parliament for Scarborough—Agincourt

“I want to thank the Government of Canada for their renewed commitment to creating affordable housing in Toronto. There has been an increased need in our city for more affordable housing and through this funding we can bring forward new spaces quickly. As a city we have been very focused on addressing homelessness and quickly building affordable and supportive housing — today’s funding will help us achieve these goals. Today’s announcement is another example of what we can accomplish when we work together to address the emerging issues our city faces. Together we are making a tangible difference and helping vulnerable people in our city.”

— Mayor John Tory

“Our plan at the City of Toronto is to build quality housing rapidly, and this funding will make that possible on a larger scale. Creating at least 233 homes over 12 months means 233 people will have a safe, secure and stable place that they can permanently call home. Through the ambitious goals set out in our HousingTO 2020 – 2030 Plan, we are creating more of these opportunities faster than ever before and ensuring we build a more equitable City for all of us.”

— Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão, (Davenport), Planning and Housing Committee Chair

Quick facts:

  • The RHI is delivered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), under the National Housing Strategy (NHS).
  • Canada’s NHS is an ambitious, 10-year plan that will invest over $72 billion to give more Canadians a place to call home. Launched in 2017, the NHS will build and repair thousands of housing units, and help households with affordability support.
  • The RHI is a $1 billion program launched in October 2020 to help address urgent housing needs of vulnerable Canadians, especially in the context of COVID-19, through the rapid construction of affordable housing.
  • Due to this success, an additional $1.5 billion for the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) was recently announced through Budget 2021 with $500 million in funding under the Cities Stream being allocated to the following municipalities: Burnaby, Calgary, Capital Regional District, Durham, Edmonton, Gatineau, Greater Sudbury, Halifax, Hamilton, Iqaluit, Kingston, Laval, London, Longueil, Montreal, Niagara, Ottawa, Peel, Quebec, Regina, Saskatoon, Surrey, St. John’s, Toronto, Vancouver, Waterloo, Whitehorse, Windsor, Winnipeg, and Yellowknife. Under the Projects Stream: $1 billion will be allocated to eligible applications submitted during the RHI’s initial application period last fall and having not yet received funding.
  • Based on feedback from stakeholders, CMHC has introduced new flexibilities to the RHI:
    • Program applicants will be eligible to receive funding for additional forms of new construction beyond modular, if units can be built within 12 months.
    • Non-profits will now have an opportunity to demonstrate that they have the financial capacity to support the viability of units without government subsidy (self-funded).
    • Cities will have a longer time to submit projects (60 days instead of 30).
    • Project delivery timelines have been adjusted for projects located in the North and special access communities.
  • At least 25 per cent of this new funding will go toward women-focused housing projects. The units will be built within 12 months of when funding is provided to program applicants.
  • The RHI will continue to prioritize proposals that target units serving Indigenous peoples and other vulnerable groups. It will also continue to provide flexibilities on timelines to Indigenous governing bodies or organizations as needed.
  • Due to the considerable response during the first round of the Projects Stream, many eligible applications remain unfunded. Applicants with eligible proposals from the first round of RHI that have not yet received funding will be contacted directly with further details.
  • The RHI takes a human rights-based approach to housing, serving people experiencing or at risk of homelessness and other vulnerable people under the NHS, including: women and children fleeing domestic violence, seniors, young adults, Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, people experiencing mental health and addiction issues, veterans, LGBTQ2 individuals, racialized and Black Canadians, and recent immigrants or refugees.
  • CMHC supports the government’s efforts to improve the well-being of Canadians facing housing and homelessness challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Associated links:

As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. CMHC’s aim is that by 2030, everyone in Canada has a home they can afford, and that meets their needs. For more information, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Information on this news release:

Mikaela Harrison
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
[email protected]

Audrey-Anne Coulombe
Media Relations
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
[email protected]

NT5

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