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, including in the Durham Region.
Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, alongside, Ryan Turnbull, Member of Parliament for Whitby, Parm Gill, Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism, on behalf of Steve Clark, Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Lorne Coe, Member of Provincial Parliament for Whitby and Chief Government Whip and John Henry, Chair and CEO of the Region of Durham , announced over $4 million in federal funding to create an estimated 36 new affordable homes for individuals and families in Durham Region through the Projects Stream under the expanded 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 because of the pandemic.
Today’s announcement is also being funded through Ontario’s Social Services Relief Fund, which has provided $1 billion of support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic – one of the biggest investments the province has made in affordable housing and homelessness supports in Ontario’s history, to help municipal service managers and Indigenous program partners create longer-term housing solutions and help vulnerable Ontarians, including those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
These funds will go to two new projects, including the Muslim Welfare Residences located at 732 – 740 Dundas Street in Whitby, to be operated by Muslim Welfare Centre of Toronto, which will provide 26 new transitional and supportive housing for homeless women or at risk of becoming homeless, and the Oshawa Microhomes located at the corner of Drew Street and Olive Avenue in Oshawa, and will be operated by the Regional Municipality of Durham. The second project will provide 10 affordable homes for the homeless or those at risk of homelessness and those with mental health or addiction issues. This project offers transitional housing and support, including financial assistance, employment services, mental health and addictions supports, and life skills teaching.
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.
“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Today's funding through the Rapid Housing Initiative will go a long way to support those who need it most by quickly providing 36 new affordable homes for individuals and families in need in Durham Region, to keep them safe. This is one of the ways our National Housing Strategy continues to ensure no one is left behind.”
“Everyone deserves a roof over their head and a safe place to call home. Today’s announcement of additional funding through the Rapid Housing Initiative will have a huge impact on our most vulnerable citizens who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of being homeless. The availability of affordable housing is scarce in our region. These new homes will make a difference in ending the cycle of homelessness and protecting the most vulnerable. I would like to thank the federal government for their ongoing support and commitment to creating affordable housing in Whitby and across Durham Region.”
“Our Social Services Relief Fund is providing urgent housing and homelessness relief in communities across the province, as one of the biggest investments we’ve made in affordable housing and homelessness supports in Ontario’s history. I’m proud that our government is helping these two innovative projects open their doors, and I’m pleased to see the federal government follow our lead by investing in these projects, as we work to keep our most vulnerable safe and housed.”
“Affordable, accessible and suitable housing is essential for healthy communities, and strong and vibrant Region of Durham neighbourhoods. It underpins the quality of life for people in Durham, at every stage of their lives. I look forward to continued collaboration with local Durham communities, and the Federal Government as together we ensure that Durham Region continues to be a safe, healthy, caring, inclusive community that will be sustainable for future generations.”
“On behalf of the Region of Durham, I am thrilled to see another significant investment from the federal government and CMHC. Durham Region is a caring community where we strive to ensure no one gets left behind or fall through the cracks. With more Rapid House Initiative funding — going directly towards two new local projects resulting in 36 new units — the Region is delighted that our partners continue to confirm the importance of addressing the urgent housing needs of our vulnerable residents. This is another major step towards achieving the Region’s goal of ending chronic homelessness by 2024.”
- The second round of RHI exceeded its initial target of creating up to 4,500 new affordable units for people living in Canada.
- The total number of units created under the second round of RHI is expected to be over 5,400.
- Projects under the Cities Stream will create more than 1,900 new affordable units and projects under the Projects Stream will create over 3,500 new affordable units.
- Close to 2,500 units specifically targeting women and/or women and their children (46% of all units)
- Over 2,400 of these new homes are specifically for Indigenous peoples (44% of all units)
- 254 projects were selected from eligible applications for funding under the Projects Stream, and 64 under the Cities Stream bringing the total number of RHI 2 projects under both streams to 318.
- This is thanks to project proponents, and the support of provincial, territorial and municipal governments as well as Indigenous governing bodies.
- 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.
- All applicants with projects being considered in round 2 were notified of the status of their application by December 31, 2021.
- The RHI is a $2.5 billion program to help address urgent housing needs of people and populations who are vulnerable, especially in the context of COVID-19, through the rapid construction of affordable housing.
- The RHI has received significant interest from Indigenous groups, which resulted in over 40% of all units created under the program to be targeted to Indigenous peoples.
- Close to 33 per cent of the Rapid Housing Initiative funding under both rounds will go towards women-focused housing projects with units constructed 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 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, $72+ 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.
- Rapid Housing Initiative
- National Housing Strategy
- New Rapid Housing Initiative to create up to 3,000 new homes for Canadians
- Rapid Housing Initiative will exceed targets by creating more than 4,700 new homes for Canadians
- Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience
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.
For information on this release:
Office of the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation