TORONTO, June 16, 2021 /CNW/ - Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. The COVID-19 crisis has made it clear that affordable housing is key to Canada's recovery for regions across the country, including right here in Toronto.
Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), alongside Marci Ien, Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre, John Tory, the Mayor of Toronto, Ana Bailão, the Deputy Mayor of Toronto, and Kristyn Wong-Tam, City Councillor for Toronto Centre, announced details of an approximately $1.2 million investment through the Major Cities Stream of the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) for the conversion of a vacant property into 24 affordable low-rise apartment homes.
These 24 homes will be part of innovative and cost-effective supportive housing build located at 292-296 Parliament St., for those who are exiting or at risk of homelessness. Supportive housing provides a rapid, dignified response to connect people experiencing and at risk of homelessness with homes and appropriate supports to help them achieve housing stability.
Delivered by CMHC, under the National Housing Strategy (NHS), RHI provides capital contributions to develop new, permanent affordable housing by covering costs associated with modular multi-unit rental construction; conversion of non-residential to affordable multi-residential homes; and, rehabilitation of buildings in disrepair and/or abandoned to affordable multi-residential homes. Investments made under the RHI are expected to support thousands of construction-related jobs for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
"Our Government is taking steps, right now, to ensure that every Canadian has a safe and affordable place to call home. Our investments will go a long way to effectively support those who need it most by quickly providing new affordable housing units to vulnerable Canadians in Toronto, while addressing the unique barriers faced by at-risk communities. The Rapid Housing Initiative has been a tremendous success – that's why through Budget 2021, we will increase our total program funding to $2.5 billion in order to rapidly build much-needed affordable homes across Canada. This is the National Housing Strategy at work." – The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
"We are working hard to ensure that every Canadian has a safe and affordable place to call home. Building rapid housing in major urban centres like Toronto, and addressing the specific needs and challenges that municipalities face in the housing sector, is a crucial and necessary step our government has taken to end chronic homelessness. This housing is desperately needed in our community and across Toronto."– Marci Ien, Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre
"By creating new affordable supportive homes such as these, we are making an investment that will result in healthier communities by moving people permanently out of homelessness and into safe, secure housing with all the supports needed to support their well-being. We can't do it alone, which is why it's so important to have all orders of government onboard for these investments. Together, we can make a real difference in the lives of so many people in this city." – John Tory, Mayor of Toronto
"As we work to meet the challenges of homelessness in our City, we must continue our collaboration with our willing partners on implementing innovative solutions for those most in need. With commitments from our federal and provincial partners and the strong support of Council and community partners to meet these challenges, we are well on our way to reaching our goal of creating 1,200 new affordable supportive homes within the next year." – Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão (Davenport), Chair of the Planning and Housing Committee
"The Toronto Centre community is one that embraces diversity and welcomes all who call it home. As we continue to create more affordable and supportive housing opportunities such as these, we are building stronger communities and a more inclusive city where everyone can feel like they belong." – Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam (Toronto Centre)
The RHI is a $1 billion program to help address urgent housing needs of vulnerable Canadians, especially in the context of COVID-19, through the rapid construction of affordable housing.
Budget 2021 provides an additional $1.5 billion for the RHI in 2021-22 to address the urgent housing needs of vulnerable Canadians by providing them with adequate affordable housing, bringing the RHI to $2.5 billion total.
Under the RHI Projects Stream, $500 million was available through an application-based process, which closed on December 31, 2020. Funding was available to Provinces, Territories, and Municipalities, Indigenous governing bodies and organizations, and non-profit organizations.
The RHI Major Cities Stream provided $500 million in immediate support to 15 pre-determined municipalities that were identified in consultation with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), based on highest levels of renters in severe housing need and people experiencing homelessness.
Nationally, at over 4,700 units, the RHI has exceeded its initial target of building 3000 permanent affordable housing units thanks to the support of the provincial, territorial and municipal governments as well as Indigenous governing bodies.
Overall, new funding in Budget 2021 for the RHI will add a minimum of 4,500 new affordable units to Canada's housing supply, building on the 4,700 units already funded.
The RHI has received significant interest from Indigenous groups, which resulted in nearly 40% of all units created under the program to be targeted to Indigenous peoples.
The RHI takes a human rights-based approach to housing, serving people experiencing or at risk of homelessness and others who are among the most vulnerable, including: women and children fleeing domestic violence, seniors, young adults, Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, people dealing with mental health and addiction issues, veterans, LGBTQ2+, racialized groups, Black Canadians, and recent immigrants or refugees.
Canada's National Housing Strategy (NHS) is a 10-year, $70+ billion plan that will give more Canadians a place to call home—this includes more than $13 billion committed through the 2020 Fall Economic Statement.
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.
SOURCE Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
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