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Canada Supports Rapid Housing Projects for First Nations in British Columbia

·5 min read

VICTORIA, BC, May 14, 2021 /CNW/ - 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 for communities across the country, including those in British Columbia.

Logo Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) (CNW Group/Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation)
Logo Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) (CNW Group/Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation)

Today, Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and Ken Hardie, Member of Parliament for Fleetwood—Port Kells, announced details of an approximately $4.95 million investment through the Projects Stream of the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) for the immediate construction of 14 units of affordable homes for First Nations in British Columbia.

14 new homes will be built in the following two Indigenous communities: Kitsumkalum and Sik-E-Dakh (Glen Vowell Indian Band).

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. Investments made under the RHI are expected to support thousands of construction-related jobs for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

Quotes:

"Our Government is taking steps, right now, to ensure that every Canadian has a safe and affordable place to call home. Investments with our First Nations communities in British Columbia under the Rapid Housing Initiative will go a long way to effectively support those who need it most by quickly providing 14 new affordable housing units to vulnerable individuals and families. This is one of the ways our Government's National Housing Strategy addresses the unique barriers faced by communities such as First Nations across Canada. Together, we will continue to provide affordable housing for those who need it most from coast to coast to coast." The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

"Improving Indigenous housing outcomes must be a priority for the Government of Canada. This is why creating new stock of affordable and safe housing for Indigenous peoples is a priority under our government's Rapid Housing Initiative. By partnering with communities such as First Nations in British Columbia, we aim to improve overall housing conditions and to alleviate core housing needs. Collectively, we can build a generation of new, permanent housing that we can all be proud of."Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.

"The National Housing Strategy is working to ensure more affordable housing for Indigenous peoples. This funding is part of our commitment to addressing severe housing needs across the country. It will provide immediate support to create safe and stable housing for First Nations across British Columbia while assisting those most vulnerable."Ken Hardie, Member of Parliament for Fleetwood—Port Kells

"Here in Sik-E-Dakh, the current global pandemic has highlighted the needs of members who want to return home, primarily for mental health and food security, but can't due to the current lack of livable space. Those who have been able to move so far have exacerbated pre-existing overcrowding, and created a higher risk due to the inability to safely distance and or isolate as instructed by provincial and federal health officers. The Rapid Housing Initiative has been a godsend by allowing the Sik-E-Dakh Nation the opportunity to provide some of our more vulnerable members a space to call home on their traditional territories. Ha'miyaa."Velma Sutherland, Band Administrator, Sik-E-Dakh (Glen Vowell Band)

Quick facts:

  • Under the RHI Projects Stream, $500 million was available through an application-based process, which closed on December 31, 2020. Funding was available to Provinces, Territories, and Municipalities, Indigenous governing bodies and organizations, and non-profit organizations.

  • In Budget 2021, the Government of Canada invested an additional $1.5 billion in new funding for the Rapid Housing Initiative in 2021-2022, to address the urgent housing needs of vulnerable Canadians by providing them with permanent affordable housing.

  • At least 25 percent of this new funding will go towards women-focused housing projects. All units will be constructed within 12 months of when funding is provided to applicants.

  • This investment will more than triple the initial target set under the Rapid Housing Initiative as the program will now help create over 9,200 affordable housing units across the country.

  • 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 $13 billion committed through the 2020 Fall Economic Statement.

Associated links:

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.

SOURCE Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

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