Rapid Housing Initiative

Feds release new details about Rapid Housing Initiative

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The federal government has provided new details about the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI), a program it says will expedite the creation of up to 3,000 new affordable housing units across the country.

Launched earlier this fall, the $1 billion RHI fund will be used to quickly develop new modular multi-unit rentals, convert non-residential buildings into affordable multi-residential homes, and rehabilitate buildings that are abandoned or in disrepair into affordable multi-residential homes. Costs to purchase land and buildings will also be eligible under the new initiative.

“No Canadian should ever be without a place to call home,” Trudeau said in the official statement. “By making smart and substantial investments in affordable housing and providing funding directly to municipalities, we’re creating jobs, strengthening our communities across the country, and helping the most vulnerable.”

The $1 billion in funding will be provided through two streams:

  • Major Cities Stream: $500 million in immediate support for pre-determined municipalities. The municipalities were determined based on metrics including the levels of renters in severe housing need and of people experiencing homelessness;
  • Projects Stream: $500 million for projects based on applications from provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous governing bodies and organizations, and non-profit organizations. Applications will be accepted starting today and until December 31, 2020.

The RHI is part of the government’s plan to create jobs and support economic recovery, while eliminating chronic homelessness in Canada. We will continue to support all Canadians, and especially those most vulnerable, as we work to build a more resilient country that is safer, fairer, and more inclusive for everyone.

“This initiative will help keep safe some of Canada’s most vulnerable people and families,” said Garth Frizzell, President, Federation of Canadian Municipalities. “This is real, measurable progress toward our shared goal of ending chronic homelessness and gives us a model we can scale with the ambition required to deliver on that mission.”

The RHI will be delivered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), under the National Housing Strategy (NHS).

Funding under the Major Cities Stream is allocated as follows:

    • Toronto: $203.3 million
    • Montréal: $56.8 million
    • Vancouver: $51.5 million
    • Ottawa: $31.9 million
    • Region of Peel: $30.4 million
    • Calgary: $24.6 million
    • Edmonton: $17.3 million
    • Surrey: $16.4 million
    • Capital Regional District (British Columbia): $13.1 million
    • Winnipeg: $12.5 million
    • Hamilton: $10.8 million
    • Halifax: $8.7 million
    • Region of Waterloo: $8.2 million
    • London: $7.5 million
    • Québec City: $7.1 million

Under the Projects Stream, applications can be submitted from October 27 until December 31, 2020. CMHC will review applications within 30 days from the close of the application window. Projects must be completed within 12 months of a signed agreement, and unused funds will be re-allocated to other projects.


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