Ottawa To Support Rapid Housing In Halifax

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City of Halifax: Image by Graham Hobster from Pixabay

OTTAWA: Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the Honourable Geoff Regan, Member of Parliament for Halifax West, the Honourable Chuck Porter, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing for Nova Scotia, and Mike Savage, the Mayor of Halifax, announced details recently of the close to $8.7 million Rapid Housing Initiative allocation for Halifax.

As part of its Investment Plan for the Major Cities Stream, the City of Halifax submitted 3 projects which will bring up to 52 new affordable housing units to the community.

The projects will include a focus on people who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness including urban Indigenous people, women and their children, Black Canadians as well as people with physical disabilities.

The Province of Nova Scotia will contribute more than $1.8 million to help ensure these 3 projects are sustainable over the long term.

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 Canadians, especially our most vulnerable.

Delivered by CMHC, under the National Housing Strategy (NHS), RHI provides the necessary 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.

Ahmed Hussen said: “Our Government is taking all the necessary steps to ensure that every Canadian has a safe and affordable place to call home.:Our investments with our municipal partners like Halifax 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. Our Government’s plan under the National Housing Strategy continues to provide housing for Canadians from coast to coast to coast, including right here in Halifax.”

Geoff Regan, Member of Parliament for Halifax West, said: “This funding will help create homes quickly for vulnerable people in our community at a time when having a safe and affordable place to call home is so important. More affordable housing is urgently needed, and our government is proud to help provide it.”

Chuck Porter, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing for Nova Scotia, said:: “We need to act quickly to address the unprecedented housing market that currently exists in our province, and these projects are a significant step in the right direction. We will continue to work with our partners to identify opportunities to protect vulnerable Nova Scotians now, while the Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission continues its work to find longterm solutions.”

Mike Savage, Mayor of Halifax, added: “These projects demonstrate that government and community can work with urgency to address the very real need for permanent, affordable,
supportive housing. Together, we can make sure housing is not simply an important right but a lasting reality.”

• $3.2 million will go to the Mi’kmaq Native Friendship Centre for the construction of 17 modular housing units/rooms, at 5853 College Street, for urban Indigenous people including women and girls.

• Close to $4.2 million will go to Adsum for Women and Children for the construction Pam’s
Honour, a 25 unit modular housing project for women and their children as well as people with physical disabilities.

• Nearly $1.3 million will go to the North End Community Health Association for the rehabilitation of The Blue Building, a 10 to 11 affordable housing unit project that will be geared towards urban indigenous people and Black Canadians at risk of or experiencing homelessness. 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 who need essential supports.

• 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.

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