Ontario Construction News staff writer
The federal government recently announced nearly $8.2 million in funding to support a rapid housing initiative that will add 42 affordable modular housing units in the Region of Waterloo, including:
- 36 units of supportive housing at 1470 Block Line Road in Kitchener for women experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
- six one-bedroom units located at 127-161 Bechtel Street in Cambridge for applicants on the community housing waitlist.
“Our Government is taking all the necessary steps to ensure that every Canadian has a safe and affordable place to call home,” said Ahmed Hussen, minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
“Investments with our municipal partners like the Region of Waterloo will go a long way to effectively support those who need it most by quickly providing new affordable housing units to vulnerable individuals and families. Our Government’s plan under the National Housing Strategy continues to provide housing for Canadians from coast to coast to coast, including here in Waterloo Region.”
Delivered by the CMHC under the National Housing Strategy (NHS), the funding 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; and rehabilitation of buildings in disrepair and/or abandoned to affordable multi-residential.
“COVID-19 has impacted all Canadians and disproportionately certain segments, including people without a place to call home,” said Waterloo MP Bardish Chagger. “Today’s Rapid Housing Initiative investment supports the Region of Waterloo to quickly build additional safe and supportive housing units to address our affordable housing shortage.”
The Region of Waterloo, as the lead service system manager, will work with area municipalities, housing providers and the development community to create new affordable housing. Approved projects closely align with the Region’s 10-year Housing and Homelessness plan and will increase support to help low-and moderate-income households find and maintain housing.
Kitchener contributed the Block Line property – valued at $2.57 million – toward this partnership with the YWCA as our first investment to support Kitchener Council’s recently approved Housing For All strategy.
“Safe and affordable housing is a human right and the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted housing inequities for the most vulnerable in our community,” said Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “The Rapid Housing Initiative is a truly collaborative effort to build much-needed affordable housing.”
As service system manager, the Region of Waterloo proposes to use the RHI funding allocation for 36 supportive housing units in Kitchener, and 6 affordable housing units in Cambridge. The projects will include a focus on women experiencing or at risk of homelessness and people living with low income. seniors.