DUNCAN, BC, May 21, 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 communities across the country, including those in British Columbia.
Today, Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and Hedy Fry, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Centre, announced details of an approximately $4 million investment through the Projects Stream of the $1-billion Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) for the immediate construction of 32 units of affordable homes for First Nations in British Columbia.
Consisting of a 16-plex, 10-plex, and 6-plex the 32 new homes will be built on land owned by the Cowichan Tribes, the largest First Nation community in British Columbia. Twelve homes will be set aside for young moms and youth aging out of care, with the remaining units used for elders and other members in need of affordable housing. The complexes will have common areas for activities and workshops, aiding community building and providing support to youth, young moms and elders.
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 are abandoned into 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. Investments with our First Nations communities in British Columbia under the Rapid Housing Initiative will go a long way to effectively support those who need it most by quickly providing 32 new affordable housing units to vulnerable individuals and families. This is one of the ways our Government's National Housing Strategy addresses the unique barriers faced by communities such as First Nations across Canada. Together, we will continue to provide affordable housing for those who need it most from coast to coast to coast." – The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
"Improving Indigenous housing outcomes must be a priority for the Government of Canada. This is why creating new stock of affordable and safe housing for Indigenous peoples is a priority under our government's Rapid Housing Initiative. By partnering with communities such as First Nations in British Columbia, we aim to improve overall housing conditions and to alleviate core housing needs. Collectively, we can build a generation of new, permanent housing that we can all be proud of." – Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.
"Today`s announcement is an example of what happens when we work with First Nations to provide homes for those who need them most. I am happy to see our government supporting the housing needs of the Cowichan Tribes. It means we as a province get one-step closer in making sure no First Nation youth, adult or elder is left without a place to call home. I am deeply grateful to Minister Hussen for his commitment in creating faster housing solutions under the Rapid Housing Initiative for First Nations across British Columbia." – Hedy Fry, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Centre
"Cowichan Tribes is grateful for the funding as it allows us to support an underserviced population – elders, youth aging out of care, young moms and singles. The one 16-plex, one 10-plex, and one 6-plex, with a total of 32 units, is an opportunity to maximize units on a small land base. This will be the largest complex built by Cowichan Tribes." – Dana Thorne, Associate Director of Housing, Cowichan Tribes
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.
In Budget 2021, the Government of Canada invested an additional $1.5 billion in new funding for the Rapid Housing Initiative in 2021-2022, to address the urgent housing needs of vulnerable Canadians by providing them with permanent affordable housing.
At least 25 percent of this new funding will go towards women-focused housing projects. All units will be constructed within 12 months of when funding is provided to applicants.
This investment will more than triple the initial target set under the Rapid Housing Initiative as the program will now help create over 9,200 affordable housing units across the country.
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
View original content to download multimedia: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/May2021/21/c3961.html