The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has announced its new Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI), which is intended to address urgent housing needs and stimulate further economic recovery through the rapid creation of new housing units.
Complementing the National Housing Strategy, the $1-billion RHI will cover the construction of modular housing, the acquisition of land, and the conversion of existing buildings to housing supply.
CMHC said that RHI funding will be available to municipal and provincial governments, as well as non-profits and organizations concerned with Indigenous peoples’ welfare.
Touting its “human rights-based approach” to creating new housing, especially during the current pandemic, the CMHC said that the RHI will particularly benefit the vulnerable sectors of society, including women and children fleeing violence, seniors, veterans, people with disabilities, racialized groups including Black Canadians, recent immigrants/refugees, and many others.
“We know that Canadians experiencing homelessness are at heightened risk of contracting COVID-19. That’s why it is so important that we continue to ensure that communities have the resources they need to support those who are experiencing homelessness,” said Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.
Aside from this major investment, the federal government will be granting a $236.7 million tranche through Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy. This will be on top of the $157.5 million announced in April 2020 to help communities nationwide address the immediate impact of the pandemic.
“With the Rapid Housing Initiative, our Government is moving quickly to provide more affordable housing to keep our vulnerable populations safe, to fight the virus over the long-term, and to support Canada’s economic recovery,” said Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and minister responsible for CMHC.