If one thing's for certain, having a safe place to call home is more important than ever — especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
To ensure every Canadian has a safe and affordable place to reside, the federal government has pledged $1 billion dollars to put toward a new Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) to help address the urgent housing needs of vulnerable Canadians by quickly creating new affordable housing.
What's more, the initiative will also help support Canada's economic recovery by creating employment in the housing and construction sectors.
Delivered by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), this $1 billion initiative will cover the construction of modular housing, as well as the acquisition of land, and the conversion of existing buildings to affordable housing.
The RHI is the newest initiative of the National Housing Strategy (NHS) and it's expected to enable the rapid creation of up to 3,000 new affordable housing units across the country.
"Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. 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 the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for CMHC.
But in addition to this investment in housing, the Government of Canada will also provide $236.7 million through Reaching Home: Canada's Homelessness Strategy to help extend and expand the emergency response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
This funding is in addition to the $157.5 million announced earlier this year to help communities address the immediate impacts of the pandemic.
This new investment will enable communities to extend the emergency measures that have been successful in reducing the risk of potential outbreaks among people experiencing homelessness, as well as provide them the flexibility to deliver affordable housing solutions.
"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.
"I believe this renewed investment in Reaching Home and new funds for supportive housing will go a long way to effectively support those who need it most."