Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for affordable housing.
Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, along with the Darrell Samson, Member of Parliament for Sackville – Preston – Chezzetcook, the Honourable John Lohr, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing; and Mike Savage, Mayor of Halifax Regional Municipality, announced a federal investment of close to $6.5 million to support two projects, located in Chezzetcook and Dartmouth, designed to create new affordable homes for individuals and families in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) through the Cities Stream under the expanded Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI). The province will contribute $500,000 towards both projects.
Halifax Regional Municipality selected these two projects which will bring 20 new affordable housing units to the community. The first project, operated by Akoma on Main Street in Dartmouth, will provide eight residential units, while the second one, Souls Harbour will provide 12 in West Chezzetcook. 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.
This investment, along with another project that was announced yesterday in Dartmouth; the renovation of The Overlook, will bring a total of 85 new affordable housing units to the community.
This funding is in addition to the Government of Canada’s previous investment of $8.7 million through the first phase of the Rapid Housing Initiative to support the creation of up to 57 housing units in Halifax. The Province of Nova Scotia contributed more than $1.8 million at that time.
This new investment will create 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 the peace of mind of a safe and affordable place to call home. Today's funding will go a long way to support those who need it most. These projects, in addition to the one that was announced yesterday in Dartmouth, will quickly provide 85 new affordable homes for Halifax’s most vulnerable population to help keep them safe. This is one of the ways our National Housing Strategy continues to ensure that no one is left behind.”
“Quickly prioritizing infrastructure to address Nova Scotia’s housing crisis remains a top priority for our Government. Today’s announcement is great news for vulnerable people right here in the riding and the collective Halifax region. This funding is part of our commitment to deliver on severe housing needs and will provide immediate support to those who require a safe and stable place to call home”
“Housing isn’t just about finding a roof over someone’s head; sometimes, it’s about finding the supports people need to tackle the other challenges life has put in their way. We are pleased to work with our community partners to provide housing for so many in need.”
“The Rapid Housing Initiative is a testament to what can happen when all orders of government and social agencies join in common purpose to build much-needed affordable homes and address the housing crisis. Together, we can improve the lives of vulnerable people by starting with safe, secure, stable housing.”
“We’re really excited about this project. It will provide affordable homes in the Preston community, where they are much needed, and allow people to live closer to their families and their support network.”
“The RHI funding could not have come at a better time with Halifax currently in the middle of a housing crisis. Imagine, in one year, we will open our doors and turn over the keys to 12 women who are in desperate need of housing along with their children.”
- The RHI is delivered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), under the National Housing Strategy (NHS).
- Canada’s NHS is an ambitious, 10-year plan that will invest over $72 billion to give more Canadians a place to call home. Launched in 2017, the NHS will build and repair thousands of housing units, andhelp households with affordability support.
- The RHI is a $1 billion program 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.
- Due to this success, an additional $1.5 billion for the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) was announced through Budget 2021 with $500 million in funding under the Cities Stream being allocated to the following municipalities: Burnaby, Calgary, Capital Regional District, Durham, Edmonton, Gatineau, Greater Sudbury, Halifax, Hamilton, Iqaluit, Kingston, Laval, London, Longueil, Montreal, Niagara, Ottawa, Peel, Quebec, Regina, Saskatoon, Surrey, St. John’s, Toronto, Vancouver, Waterloo, Whitehorse, Windsor, Winnipeg, and Yellowknife.
Under the Projects Stream: $1 billion has been allocated to eligible applications submitted during the RHI’s initial application period last fall and having not yet received funding.
- Based on feedback from stakeholders in 2021, CMHC introduced new flexibilities to the RHI:
- Program applicants were eligible to receive funding for additional forms of new construction beyond modular, if units can be built within 12 months.
- Non-profits had the opportunity to demonstrate that they have the financial capacity to support the viability of units without government subsidy (self-funded).
- Cities were provided a longer time to submit projects (60 days instead of 30).
- Project delivery timelines were adjusted for projects located in the North and special access communities.
- 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 will continue to prioritize proposals that target units serving Indigenous peoples and other vulnerable groups. It will also continue to provide flexibilities on timelines to Indigenous governing bodies or organizations as needed.
- 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.
- CMHC supports the government’s efforts to improve the well-being of Canadians facing housing and homelessness challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 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:
Nova Scotia Department of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Christina Deveau (she/her)
Department of Community Services
John Wedderburn for Mayor Savage