The federal government announced on Thursday an additional $1.5B in funding for the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) that will create at least 4,500 new affordable homes across Canada.
The most recent investment brings the RHI program total to $4B. Homes created under the RHI are intended to be built within 12 months of funding being provided, and include both new builds and conversions of existing buildings into permanent affordable housing units.
"Everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home," said Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion Ahmed Hussen. "Through the Rapid Housing Initiative, we are quickly providing new affordable housing units for people who need them most, right across Canada. By working closely with our partners to create more affordable housing that meets the needs of Canadians, our government is continuing to deliver meaningful results for Canadians through our innovative National Housing Strategy programs. This is one of the many ways our National Housing Strategy continues to ensure no one is left behind."
Of the $1.5B, two-thirds of it will go towards the RHI's Projects Stream, providing funding through an applications-based process. A new application portal is expected to open under Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation on December 12 and applicants can range from provinces to municipalities to Indigenous governing bodies to non-profits.
The remaining $500M is earmarked for the RHI's Cities Stream and will provide funding to 41 municipalities across the country from St. John's to Whitehorse.
This marks the third round of RHI funding, with the first two rounds having created more than 10,000 units -- significantly above the initially planned 7,500. Of these, 3,300 were specifically built to support women and 4,200 were built to support Indigenous Peoples.
Toronto Mayor John Tory, whose city has received past funding and is gearing up for more with the latest announcement, said that the money will help Toronto reach its goal of approving 18,000 supportive homes by 2030.
"Today, together with our federal partners we are getting one step closer to ensuring that no one is left behind," Tory said. "This new funding will help the City of Toronto to fulfill our ambitious affordable housing targets set in our 10-year HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan.''
The 41 municipalities receiving funding are:
- Cape Breton
- Capital Regional District
- County of Simcoe
- Greater Sudbury
- Halton Region
- Happy Valley - Goose Bay
- Niagara Region
- Region of Durham
- Region of Waterloo
- Regional Municipality of Peel
- Regional Municipality of York
- St. John's