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Canada Supports Rapid Housing Project In Guelph

Mayor Cam Guthrie: Our community's goal is to end homelessness

Published 02/09/2022 | By Guelph Now Local News

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Guelph is grateful to the federal government for this funding

Canada Supports Rapid Housing Project In Guelph

GUELPH, ON, - /CNW/ - Everyone in Canada deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. The COVID-19 crisis has made it clear that affordable housing is key to Canada's recovery, in communities across the country, including Guelph.

Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, alongside Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph, Jim McDonell, Parliamentary Assistant of the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Kelly Linton, Warden for the County of Wellington, and Cam Guthrie, Mayor of the city of Guelph, announced a federal investment of close to $6.4 million through the Rapid Housing Initiative and $25,000 through the SEED program to support the construction of an estimated of 32 permanent affordable housing units for individuals in Guelph.

"The Grace Gardens project will make a huge difference by providing permanent, affordable housing to people in our community who need it the most. Our community's goal is to end homelessness. This project is a major step in the right direction. The City is grateful to the federal government for this funding, and to the County, Stepping Stone, and all the community partners who brought this project to this point," said Cam Guthrie, Mayor of the City of Guelph.

This project is also receiving over $460, 000 of funding under the Ontario Priority Housing Initiative.

"This funding is further proof of our government's commitment to affordable housing in our city and across the country. Lack of affordable housing is a problem that has plagued Guelph, but with investments like this coupled with others found in the National Housing Strategy, we are well on our way to finding a solution," said Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph

The building will be the conversion of a motel into studio apartments for those who are experiencing homelessness or have complex health needs. Located at 721 Woolwich Street in Guelph, the project will be operated by Stepping Stone.

"There is an ongoing need for supportive housing across Guelph-Wellington, and we are very fortunate to be working with Stepping Stone to help respond to these needs through the Grace Gardens project. The project has proven that supportive housing initiatives thrive with support from all levels of government, and with leadership and innovation from a variety of community partners. It has been inspiring to see these collaborations come together through the Grace Gardens project, and the County is very grateful for the commitments and dedication of all those involved," said Kelly Linton, Warden of the County of Wellington.

"We are thrilled that Grace Gardens will be funded to build a beautiful permanent supportive housing project for our community. We have worked for many years towards creating solutions to homelessness rather than only supporting the experience of homelessness. This project is one that not only builds affordable housing but also ensures that person centered supports are available 24/7 to build holistic care plans around individuals to move people towards not only stability in their housing but also towards improvement in their health and overall quality of life," said Gail Hoekstra, Executive Director, Stepping Stone

"Our Government wants to ensure that everyone in Canada has a safe and affordable place to call home. The Rapid Housing Initiative will go a long way to supporting those who need it most by quickly providing 32 new affordable housing units for vulnerable community members in Guelph. This is one of the many ways our National Housing Strategy continues to leave no one behind," said the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Delivered by CMHC, under the National Housing Strategy (NHS), RHI provides funding to develop new, permanent affordable housing by covering costs associated with the construction of new rental housing units, as well as the acquisition of land, and the conversion/rehabilitation of existing buildings to affordable housing. Investments made under the RHI are expected to support thousands of construction-related jobs for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

Quick facts:

  • The second round of RHI exceeded its initial target of creating up to 4,500 new affordable units for people living in Canada.
  • The RHI is a $2.5 billion program to help address urgent housing needs of vulnerable Canadians, especially in the context of COVID-19, through the rapid construction of over 10,000 units of affordable housing.
  • The first phase of the RHI was successful, and $1.5 billion was added to the program in Budget 2021. This investment is divided into two streams:
    • The Cities Stream: $500 million in funding to municipalities across Canada.
    • The Projects Stream: $1 billion will be allocated to eligible applications submitted during the RHI's initial application period last fall and having not yet received funding.
  • Close to 33 per cent of the Rapid Housing Initiative funding under round two will go towards women-focused housing projects with units constructed within 12 months of when funding is provided to program applicants.
  • 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, $72 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.

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