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 communities across the country 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), and Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development (Housing), announced that the $1 billion Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI), launched in October 2020, has exceeded its initial target of creating up to 3,000 new affordable homes for vulnerable Canadians. The RHI will now support the construction of more than 4,700 permanent affordable units for Canadian families, including 1,806 units for Indigenous peoples, from coast to coast to coast.
Through its Projects Stream, the RHI will provide $500 million in funding for 179 priority projects. These projects will help quickly build 2,951 safe and affordable new homes for vulnerable populations. Under the Major Cities Stream, $500 million was immediately provided to municipalities with the most severe housing needs and the highest rates of homelessness. Investments made under the RHI are expected to support thousands of construction-related jobs for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
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.
“Our Government wants to ensure that every Canadian has a safe and affordable place to call home. The Rapid Housing Initiative will go a long way to supporting those who need it most by quickly providing 4,777 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.”
“The Rapid Housing Initiative, is perhaps the boldest move in a generation to end chronic homelessness. It not only finds permanent shelter for people in need, but it is a crucial public health measure to keep individuals and communities safe during the pandemic, while also saving cities and communities across Canada money as we work together to provide safe, secure and affordable housing in precarious environments. There is more to do, and there is more to come. This is the National Housing Strategy at work.”
- The RHI has exceeded its initial target by 1,777 units thanks to the support of the provincial, territorial and municipal governments as well as Indigenous governing bodies.
- 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 $12 billion committed through the 2020 Fall Economic Statement.
- 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