Canada and Ontario Invest in Affordable Housing in Sault Ste. Marie

Press Release

September 3, 2020

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ontario – Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. That’s why the governments of Canada and Ontario are providing $2.9 million to help construct 15 units of housing in Sault Ste. Marie. This investment will ensure more Indigenous women and children have access to affordable housing in their community.

Details were provided today by Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie on behalf of The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation along with Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing for Ontario and Ross Romano, Member of Provincial Parliament, Sault Ste. Marie.

The development transforms the former St. Bernadette Catholic School, at 462 McNabb Street, into an affordable housing complex to support Indigenous women and children who are at risk of homelessness. The development is supported by the Urban Indigenous Homeward Bound program run through the Friendship Centre in Sault Ste Marie. Onsite child and family care is provided by Waabinong Head Start and Family Resource Centre. Homeward Bound provides independent affordable housing along with services and supports including child care, life skills, assistance in obtaining a post-secondary education, employment mentoring through an industry council and transition to independence.

Homeward Bound is receiving funding through the federal-provincial Social Infrastructure Fund. It gives communities the flexibility to address their local housing needs by funding new rental construction, home repairs, housing allowances, rent supplements or home ownership. In addition to the school conversion, a single-family home and a triplex located nearby is providing four more units of housing for Indigenous women and their children.


“Our government is committed to providing more Canadians with a home that meets their needs and they can afford. This housing will transform the old St. Bernadette Catholic School and keep it as a vital part of our Sault Ste. Marie community providing the necessary supports to assist Indigenous women and their families in moving forward in their lives.” – Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament, Sault Ste. Marie

“We’re committed to working with our Indigenous program administrators to continue to build homes for Indigenous families living off-reserve. This program and these new homes provide critical supports and services that help people make long-term, positive changes in their lives.” – Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

“Our government is proud to support this innovative project to bring access to affordable housing and additional supports to Indigenous community members in Sault Ste Marie. We look forward to the success of this project as we continue to advance culturally responsive services across the province.” – Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs

“People in Sault Ste. Marie deserve to be able to access the affordable housing they need. This project is an example of strong partnerships coming together to support the most vulnerable and create more homes for people who need it most. By transforming the old St. Bernadette Catholic School into affordable housing units, our government is supporting Indigenous women and their families.” – Ross Romano, Member of Provincial Parliament, Sault. Ste. Marie

Quick Facts

  • The Investment in Affordable Housing program provides funding for affordable housing projects across Ontario. The Ontario Priorities Housing Initiative builds on the success of the Investment in Affordable Housing program and addresses local priorities in the areas of housing supply and affordability.
  • The Government of Canada is currently rolling out its National Housing Strategy (NHS), an ambitious 10-year, $55 billion plan that will create 125,000 new housing units and lift 530,000 families out of housing need, as well as repair and renew more than 300,000 housing units and reduce chronic homelessness by 50 per cent.
  • As part of the Community Housing Renewal Strategy, the Ontario government is investing nearly $1 billion in 2020-21, which will help sustain, repair and grow community housing and help end homelessness in Ontario.
  • Under the Investing in Canada plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
  • Ontario is providing $510 million in funding to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep vulnerable people safe. This includes funding to local service managers and Indigenous program administrators who were given the flexibility to expand the key services they already offer to meet their local needs, including supporting people who are having difficulty paying rent.

Additional Resources

  • As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. For more information, visit our website or follow us on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.
  • Ontario is committed to increasing housing supply across the province, while getting the best value for taxpayers. Cutting red tape will bring housing to market faster – leading to lower housing costs and helping people keep more of their hard-earned dollars. For more information on affordable housing in Ontario, visit or follow us on Twitter
  • To find out more about the National Housing Strategy, visit

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