In separate announcements on Wednesday, the federal and provincial governments committed millions of dollars in funding to three affordable housing projects in Hamilton and one in Ottawa. Marking a big day for affordable housing in Ontario, the investments will contribute 635 affordable units to the respective markets.
Market Rentals for Women and Children
The City of Hamilton will benefit from 497 new affordable units thanks to a $181.1M investment from the federal government, municipal partners, and local stakeholders. In particular, the feds are providing more than $133M through the National Housing Strategy's diverse suite of programs, including the National Housing Co-Investment Fund, the Rapid Housing Initiative, and the Rental Construction Financing Initiative.
The funds will be spread across three different housing projects, which will largely focus on housing women and their children.
This includes a mixed-income apartment building at 8 Roxanne, containing 103 affordable units, 12 of which will be accessible. As well, a 42-unit project to be made available to women and children to be located at 1620 Main Street.
But more than half of the units announced on Wednesday will be part of a forthcoming master-planned community “modelled on adaptability, inclusivity, and diversity” and slated for 16 and 22 Roxanne. Upon completion, the development will contain 352 purpose-built units for women and their children, 76 of which will be accessible.
“These new homes are more than bricks and mortar, they're the foundation for creating strong, vibrant communities where families in Hamilton can thrive,” Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, Ahmed Hussen, said in a news release yesterday.
Hamilton’s Mayor, Andrea Horwath, said that the projects will help to revitalize the city’s east end community and called the investment “a testament to what can be accomplished when orders of government work alongside key private and community partners to respond to the specific needs of a neighbourhood.”
An “Important Step” in Homelessness Prevention
A $24.1M infusion from the Government of Ontario will help to facilitate the creation of 138 housing units at 715 Mikinak Road in Ottawa’s Wateridge Village. The units will be a part of a project known as Mikinak -- a joint initiative between the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Community Housing Corporation -- and will provide supportive housing for seniors, families, Indigenous persons, and persons with developmental disabilities. Once completed, the project will contain a total of 271 units across three buildings with more than 20% of those units being accessible.
Another objective of the project is to provide housing for people on the city’s social housing waitlist, including those utilizing the city’s emergency shelter system and offsite facilities such as hotels and motels.
As the housing crisis rages on and homelessness continues to escalate to a crisis point, the investment is indicative of Ontario’s "commitment to tackling homelessness,” Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, said in a release.
“Our government’s support for the Mikinak project builds on the historic investments we have made in homelessness prevention and reinforces our constructive partnership with the City of Ottawa. This announcement also reflects the unique challenges and pressures facing Ottawa when it comes to tackling homelessness, as a service provider for people coming to the city from across Eastern and Northern Ontario.”
Mark Sutcliffe, Mayor of Ottawa, said that Wednesday’s announcement comes at a “critical time.”
“It demonstrates that the City and the Province of Ontario can work together towards our common goal of ending chronic homelessness by building more affordable housing and supportive housing. This announcement is an important step in our ongoing discussion about fair and appropriate funding for housing and homelessness prevention.”