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Canada supports rapid housing in Wôlinak

Press Release

June 10, 2021

Everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. The COVID-19 crisis has made it clear that affordable housing is key to the recovery of communities in Québec.

Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry and Member of Parliament for Saint-Maurice – Champlain, announced details of a $900 000 investment through the Projects Stream of the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) for the immediate construction of six units of affordable modular housing for the Abenaki of Wôlinak First Nation in Québec.

Delivered by CMHC, under the National Housing Strategy (NHS), RHI 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 homes; and, rehabilitation of buildings in disrepair and/or abandoned to affordable multi-residential homes. Investments made under the RHI are expected to support thousands of construction-related jobs for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

Quotes:

“Our Government is taking steps, right now, to ensure that everyone in Québec has a safe and affordable place to call home. Investments with our First Nations communities in Québec under the Rapid Housing Initiative will go a long way to effectively support those who need it most by quickly providing six new affordable housing units to vulnerable individuals and families. This is one of the ways our Government’s National Housing Strategy addresses the unique barriers faced by First Nations communities.”

— The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

“The National Housing Strategy is working to ensure more affordable housing for Indigenous peoples. At such a critical time, this development will provide community members with safe, stable and affordable housing. The Rapid Housing Initiative shows us we have a massive opportunity in front of us to deliver housing, at a rapid pace, and it helps us to ensure we address the needs of vulnerable people and those experiencing homelessness in Québec.”

— The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry and Member of Parliament for Saint-Maurice – Champlain

“We are very pleased that the members of our community will benefit from such a significant investment enabling the construction of new permanent affordable housing. The living spaces that will be created by the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) will benefit young families who wish to settle in the community of Wôlinak. The economic impacts caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have slowed down the accessibility of owning a home in the community; this initiative is therefore timely for our members.”

— Chief Michel R. Bernard, Abenaki of Wôlinak Council

Quick facts:

  • The RHI is a $1 billion program to help address urgent housing needs of vulnerable Canadians, especially in the context of COVID-19, through the rapid construction of affordable housing.
  • Nationally, at 4,700 units, the RHI has exceeded its initial target of 3000 permanent affordable housing units thanks to the support of the provincial, territorial and municipal governments as well as Indigenous governing bodies.
  • The RHI has received significant interest from Indigenous groups, which resulted in nearly 40% of all units created under the program to be targeted to Indigenous peoples.
  • Budget 2021 provides an additional $1.5b illion for the Rapid Housing Initiative in 2021 22 to address the urgent housing needs of vulnerable Canadians by providing them with adequate affordable housing.
  • At least 25 per cent of the Rapid Housing Initiative funding will go towards women-focused housing projects with units constructed within 12 months of when funding is provided to program applicants.
  • Overall, this new funding will add a minimum of 4,500 new affordable units to Canada’s housing supply, building on the 4,700 units already funded in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement through its $1 billion investment.
  • The RHI takes a human rights-based approach to housing, serving people experiencing or at risk of homelessness and others who are among the most vulnerable, including: women and children fleeing domestic violence, seniors, young adults, Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, people dealing with mental health and addiction issues, veterans, LGBTQ2+, racialized groups, Black Canadians, and recent immigrants or refugees.
  • Canada’s National Housing Strategy (NHS) is a 10-year, $70+ billion plan that will give more Canadians a place to call home — this includes more than $13 billion committed through the 2020 Fall Economic Statement.

Associated links:

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. CMHC’s aim is that by 2030, everyone in Canada has a home they can afford, and that meets their needs. For more information, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Information on this release:

Mikaela Harrison
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
[email protected]

Audrey-Anne Coulombe
Media Relations
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
[email protected]

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