Feds support rapid housing projects in Durham Region

stock photo housing

Ontario Construction News staff writer

The Government of Canada has announced $10.3 million to create an estimated 42 new affordable homes for individuals and families in Oshawa and Whitby.

“Today’s funding through the Rapid Housing Initiative will go a long way to support those who need it most by quickly providing 42 new affordable homes for vulnerable individuals and families in Durham Region,” said Ahmed Hussen, minister of housing and diversity and inclusion.

The DRNPHC Normandy Towns project will create 26 units at 501 Normandy Street in Oshawa and will be operated by Durham Region Non-Profit Housing Corporation. The Otter Creek Co-op is at 835 McQuay Boulevard in Whitby and will provide 18 affordable homes for seniors, those with developmental disabilities, and those with mental health or addiction issues.

New investments under the Rapid Housing Initiative will create thousands of good jobs in the housing and construction sector, grow the middle class, and build back stronger communities, while getting us closer to our goal of eliminating chronic homelessness in Canada.

“Additional funding through the Rapid Housing Initiative will have a huge impact on our most vulnerable citizens who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of being homeless,” said Whitby MP Ryan Turnbull.

“The availability of affordable housing is scarce in our region and that’s why these new homes will make a difference in ending the cycle of homelessness and protecting the most vulnerable.”

The RHI, a $1 billion program launched in October 2020 to help address urgent housing needs of vulnerable Canadians, is delivered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), under the National Housing Strategy (NHS).

It’s a 10-year plan that will invest over $72 billion to give more Canadians a place to call home. Launched in 2017, the NHS will build and repair thousands of housing units, and help households with affordability support.

“With this Rapid House Initiative funding going directly towards local housing projects, the Region is delighted that our partners have reconfirmed the importance of addressing the urgent housing needs of our vulnerable residents. This is another major step towards achieving the Region’s goal of ending chronic homelessness by 2024.”

Last summer CMHC introduced changes to the program:

  • Applicants were eligible to receive funding for additional forms of new construction beyond modular, if units can be built within 12 months.
  • Non-profits had the opportunity to demonstrate that they have the financial capacity to support the viability of units without government subsidy (self-funded).
  • Cities were provided a longer time to submit projects (60 days instead of 30).
  • Project delivery timelines were adjusted for projects located in the North and special access communities.


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