Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home.
As Canadians have done their part to contain the spread of COVID-19, home has become a sanctuary — a place of safety and refuge in challenging times.
Due to COVID-19 and other factors, the YWCA Niagara Region A Home for Good Supported Apartments had their application through the National Housing Co-Investment Fund (NHCF) reassessed and will receive a forgivable loan of $3.02 million, an increase from the originally assessed $2.23 million which had been announced in June 2019.
Today in St. Catharines, Chris Bittle, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines, on behalf of the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), announced the increased financial commitment on-site at 176 Oakdale Avenue.
With COVID-19 and the related increase in gender-based violence and increased risk of homelessness for many women, the project is deemed even more essential as a way to safely house 24 women and their children.
The new facility, a family shelter (four units) combined with permanent housing apartments (20 units), will support women with significant barriers to being housed or who are chronically homeless.
“It is wonderful to be able to provide even more funding from the Government of Canada to assist the YWCA Niagara in achieving our mutual goal of ensuring everybody in Niagara and across this country has a safe and affordable place to call home. A Home for Good Supported Apartments is a vital addition to our community and I am proud to welcome this development into St. Catharines.”
“We are so pleased with today’s announcement. We continue to see vulnerable women and their families who are in need of access to safe, supported housing. This funding will go a long way to reaching our goal of addressing affordable housing in Niagara. Now, we can say with so much gratitude that we’re closer to ensuring a safe, supported place for women and their families to thrive.”
- Construction is expected to be completed in March 2021
- All units at A Home for Good Supported Apartments will have affordable rents (apart from emergency units)
- Other partners in the project include the Government of Ontario, Niagara Region, City of St. Catharines, as well as a number of private donors
- Staff will support residents’ overall health and wellness and ability to maintain their housing by assisting in accessing community resources. The YWCA Women’s Resource Centre will also provide residents access to its skill development programs.
- A Home for Good Supported Apartments is being constructed with universal design and four units will be fully accessible.
- The development will also include a community room with a kitchen that will allow for gatherings and celebrations
- The Government of Canada is currently rolling out its National Housing Strategy (NHS), an ambitious 10-year, $55 billion plan that will create 125,000 new housing units and lift 530,000 families out of housing need, as well as repair and renew more than 300,000 housing units and reduce chronic homelessness by 50 percent.
- With a budget of $13.2 billion, NHCF gives priority to projects that help those in greatest need, including women and children fleeing family violence, seniors, Indigenous Peoples, people with disabilities, those dealing with mental health and addictions, veterans and young adults.
- Through the NHCF, the Government of Canada will work with partners to build up to 60,000 new affordable homes and repair up to 240,000 existing affordable and community homes over the next 10 years.
- In 2018 – 2019, 376 women, 79 men and 131 children stayed in YWCA Niagara’s Emergency Shelter programs. In that same year, 226 women, 101 children and 9 men accessed YWCA Niagara’s Transitional Housing program in their journey to independence
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. For more information, follow us on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.
To find out more about the National Housing Strategy, visit www.placetocallhome.ca.
The YWCA Niagara Region was established in 1927, in an effort to respond to identified needs in the community. The YW has a longstanding history of providing safe, supportive housing, and programs directed to the development of homeless and impoverished women and their families.
Information on this release:
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation