By Caribbean News Global
TORONTO, Canada – Ahmed Hussen, minister of housing and diversity and inclusion, alongside Arif Virani, member of parliament for Parkdale – High Park and parliamentary secretary to the minister of international trade, export promotion, small business and economic development, John Tory, Mayor of Toronto, Ana Bailão, Deputy Mayor of Toronto, and Councillor for Parkdale-High Park, Gord Perks, announced a total of almost $440 million of federal funding to create over 1,000 new homes through the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI). These housing units will support Canadians who are in uncertain housing situations, experiencing or at risk of homelessness or living in temporary shelters.
Everyone in Canada 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, in communities across the country, including those in Toronto.
“In the first round of the Rapid Housing Initiative, the City of Toronto received over $238 million in federal funding to create over 650 new affordable homes for those most vulnerable,” and through the second round of RHI, the government of Canada has allocated $201.5 million in funding to the city of Toronto to create over 420 new affordable homes for individuals and families in Toronto,” noted the press release from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
New investments under the Rapid Housing Initiative 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.
“Toronto is now on track to exceed its target in 2022 by creating more than 3,300 new and affordable homes for people and families who are facing homelessness. We are working as fast and as hard as we can to provide deeply affordable housing, with adequate wrap-around social and health supports, because that is the key to ending chronic homelessness. The Dunn Avenue site under construction now shows that when governments work together with our healthcare partners and community organizations, we can get housing built that helps people experiencing homelessness in months not years. I’m committed to continuing this progress on housing and working with our partners to get more housing built as soon as possible,” – John Tory, Mayor of Toronto.
- The RHI is a $2.5 billion program to help address urgent housing needs of vulnerable Canadians, especially in the context of COVID-19, through the rapid construction of over 10,000 units of affordable housing.
- 41 percent of all units created under the RHI is being targeted to Indigenous peoples.
- Units are intended to be constructed within 12 months of when funding is provided to program applicants (with some exceptions), with units in the North and in special access communities intended to be constructed within 18 months.
- Close to 33 percent 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 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.
- The government of Canada’s National Housing Strategy is an ambitious, 10-year plan that will invest over $72 billion to give more Canadians a place to call home.
SOURCE: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation