Everyone in Canada deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. However, the pandemic has increased the need for affordable housing. The Government of Canada created a national strategy to build and renovate hundreds of thousands of units and provide affordable housing to people across the country. By continuing to make investments in affordable housing, the government is building stronger communities, creating jobs, and growing our middle class, while fighting homelessness and helping Canadians who are vulnerable.
Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Member of Parliament for Waterloo, Bryan May, Member of Parliament for Cambridge, Valerie Bradford, Member of Parliament for Kitchener South – Hespeler,, Tim Louis, Member of Parliament for Kitchener – Conestoga, Berry Vrbanovic, Mayor of the City of Kitchener, Kathryn McGarry, Mayor of the City of Cambridge and Chair Karen Redman, Regional Chair of the Waterloo Region, today announced a federal investment of $7.1 million create an estimated 74 new, affordable homes in the Waterloo Region.
From the total funding, $4.5 million is invested through the Major Cities Stream under the expanded Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI). The remaining $2.6 million is provided through Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy program.
The housing units are a part of two projects, and will support Canadians who are in uncertain housing situations, experiencing or at risk of homelessness, or living in temporary shelters because of the pandemic.
The first project, managed by KW Urban Native Wigwam Project, will be located at 27 - 31 Cambridge Street in Cambridge. All 30 units will be created for Indigenous People and of those units, 16 will be for Indigenous women and their children.
The second building will be administrated by OneROOF and will be located at 35 Sheldon Avenue N. in Kitchener. The project will create an estimated 44 units including 25 units for homeless people, 15 units for people with mental health or addiction issues and 4 units for Indigenous People.
Substantial construction completion of both projects is expected by the end of 2022.
Today’s funding builds on the recently announced $6.6 million invested through RHI in the Waterloo Region just last month.
“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home, and the pandemic has only highlighted the need for even more affordable housing. With today’s announcement, we’re once again stepping up to help those who need it most. Through the Rapid Housing Initiative, we will quickly provide up to 74 new affordable homes for vulnerable families and individuals in the Waterloo Region. This is just one of the many ways our National Housing Strategy continues to ensure that no one is left behind.”
“The global health crisis has exacerbated the housing and homelessness challenges across the country. The National Housing Strategy, launched in 2017, is the Government of Canada’s plan to partner in building housing rapidly and to address the housing crisis. This is a priority for our government and we are acting to respond to the severe housing needs. The RHI 2.0 funding will provide immediate support towards safe and stable housing for thousands of vulnerable families and individuals in the Waterloo Region.”
“This investment is improving affordable and supportive housing in our Region and is facilitating real change for our priority groups that need it most. These projects are a result of great partnerships, coming together to respond to a grave housing need in Waterloo Region. This is the Rapid Housing Initiative at work.”
“We are working hard to ensure that every Canadian has a safe and affordable place to call home. Building rapid housing in major urban centres like Waterloo Region and addressing the specific needs and challenges that municipalities face in the housing sector, is a crucial and necessary step our government has taken to end chronic homelessness.”
“Our government understands that is it crucial to our recovery to ensure that housing is available, safe and affordable for all. We need more affordable housing and we need it now, which is why we’ve partnered with local municipalities under the Rapid Housing Initiative, who understand their needs the best. Thanks to investments like what we’ve announced today, those who are most at risk, including women and children fleeing domestic violence, and people with mental health or addiction issues, will soon have a new place to call home.”
“Affordable housing continues to be a priority for the Region of Waterloo through our affordable housing plan, Building Better Futures: 2,500 Homes in 5 Years. We welcome these two new projects made possible by funding from the Government of Canada and the Region of Waterloo’s Equity Fund. Through this partnership and collaboration, we will see 74 new affordable homes in our Region, leading to a better quality life for residents.”
“The City of Kitchener is committed to housing as a human right, and to doing our part by working with all orders of government and community partners to deliver on that. We are grateful to Minister Ahmed Hussen and the Government of Canada through CMHC, for today’s funding announcement in support of oneROOF and at-risk youth in our community to build 44 additional housing units through the Rapid Housing Initiative and the Reaching Home program. We know that only by working together can we get closer to our goal of ending homelessness and supporting, regardless of age, the most vulnerable residents amongst us.”
“Every single person deserves a secure and safe home. These units are more than a roof over someone’s head, they offer a place for many to heal, grow and learn. This investment is very much needed in both Cambridge and Waterloo Region and we thank our government partners for contributing to our community’s well-being. We all must work together to end chronic homelessness and these units are one piece of that puzzle.”
- The Rapid Housing Initiative is delivered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), under the National Housing Strategy (NHS).
- The RHI is a $1 billion program that was initially launched in October 2020 to help address urgent housing needs of vulnerable Canadians, especially in the context of COVID-19, through the rapid construction of affordable housing.
- The first phase of the RHI was successful, and $1.5 billion was added to the program in Budget 2021. This investment is divided into two streams:
- The Cities Stream: $500 million in funding to municipalities across Canada.
- The Projects Stream: $1 billion will be allocated to eligible applications submitted during the RHI’s initial application period last fall and having not yet received funding.
- At least 25 per cent of this new funding will go toward women-focused housing projects. The units will be built 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 other vulnerable people under the NHS, including: women and children fleeing domestic violence, seniors, young adults, Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, people experiencing mental health and addiction issues, veterans, LGBTQ2 individuals, racialized and Black Canadians, and recent immigrants or refugees.
- 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.