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 as major cities across the country including Ottawa are dealing with the devastating impacts of rising levels of homelessness and housing need.
Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre, along with Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa, announced details of the $31.9 million Rapid Housing Initiative allocation for the City of Ottawa.
As part of its Investment Plan for the Major Cities Stream, the City of Ottawa submitted four projects with three non-profit partners. The proposal includes approximately:
- 77 units of supportive housing for single men and women experiencing homelessness, with a focus on Inuit, First Nations and Metis individuals, including 29 units specifically for women.
- 32 affordable housing units for families in the emergency shelter system, with a focus on supporting newcomer and Black families.
To date, the City also submitted an additional three projects for consideration under the Project Stream. If approved, these would be in partnership with an additional three non-profit agencies and include a total of 62 units of affordable or transitional housing, with a continued focus on Indigenous residents and women, as well as families.
With the $1 billion RHI, the Government of Canada will support the construction of up to 3,000 permanent, new affordable housing units across Canada to help address urgent housing needs for people and populations who are vulnerable.
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; and, rehabilitation of buildings in disrepair and/or abandoned to affordable multi-residential. Acquisition of land and buildings would be covered under eligible costs.
“Our Government wants to ensure that every Canadian has a safe and affordable place to call home. Investments with our municipal partners like the City of Ottawa under the Rapid Housing Initiative’s Major Cities Stream will go a long way to effectively support those who need it most by quickly providing new affordable housing units to vulnerable individuals and families to keep them safe. This is one of the ways our Government’s National Housing Strategy continues to provide housing for Canadians from coast to coast to coast. ”
“This Pandemic has shown us just how precarious the situation is for people who are without safe, affordable housing. Through the Rapid Housing Initiative Ottawa will receive $31.9 million to help quickly build more supportive housing and affordable housing. This will help keep our vulnerable populations safe in a time when they need it most and help address Ottawa’s affordable housing shortage. Through this investment we are supporting our most vulnerable, creating good jobs and building inclusive communities.”
“With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for more affordable housing in our community has been magnified. The City of Ottawa thanks the Government of Canada for their support of our most vulnerable population through the Rapid Housing Initiative. This will help us work towards our goal of ensuring that everyone has a place to call home.”
- Today’s announcement was held in Ottawa, on the traditional territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation.
- City of Ottawa proposes to use the RHI funding allocation for 77 supportive housing units for single men and women, and 32 affordable housing units for families experiencing homelessness. The projects will include a focus on Indigenous residents, women, newcomer and Black families.
- Under the Major Cities Stream of funding, $500 million is allocated to pre-identified municipalities with the highest levels of renters in severe housing need and people experiencing homelessness. Municipalities can flow funds through a third-party (including a provincial or territorial government).
- Under the Projects Stream of funding, $500 million in application-based projects from provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous governing bodies and organizations, and non-profit organizations. Applications will be accepted until December 31, 2020.
- 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.
- The National Housing Strategy is an ambitious 10-year, $55+ billion plan that is giving more Canadians across the country a place to call home, creating 125,000 new housing units and reducing housing need for 530,000 households, as well as repair and renew more than 300,000 housing units.
- The 2020 Fall Economic Statement proposes to increase the lending capacity of the existing National Housing Strategy’s Rental Construction Financing Initiative by an additional $12 billion over seven years. This new funding will enable CMHC to support the construction of an additional 28,500 purpose-built rental housing units across Canada.
- Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
- Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
- Rapid Housing Initiative
- National Housing Strategy
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.
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Media Relations
City of Ottawa