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Feds to spend $1B on new Rapid Housing Initiative

DCN-JOC News Services
Feds to spend $1B on new Rapid Housing Initiative

OTTAWA — The federal government has announced a new $1-billion initiative designed to rapidly develop affordable housing.  

A Sept. 21 release stated that the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) will also help support Canada’s economic recovery by creating employment in the construction sectors.  

Delivered by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the program will cover the construction of modular housing as well as the acquisition of land and the conversion of existing buildings to affordable housing. The RHI will be administered as part of the National Housing Strategy (NHS) and is expected to create up to 3,000 new affordable housing units across the country. 

In addition to the RHI, the federal government will allocate $236.7 million through its Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy as part of its emergency response to homelessness exacerbated by the COVID-19 outbreak. The funding is in addition to the $157.5 million announced in April 2020 to help communities address the immediate impacts of the pandemic.  

The release stated the government was reacting to priorities identified by such stakeholders as the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the provinces, territories, the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness and the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association. 

RHI funding will be available to municipalities, provinces, territories, Indigenous governing bodies and organizations, and non-profit organizations. The RHI is a targeted response to emerging pressures from COVID-19, the statement explained, and it is expected that all funds will be committed by March 31, 2021.

Recent Comments (2 comments)

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Fred L. Farha Image Fred L. Farha

The coronavirus epidemic changed and is changing Canada and world economies in ways we never thought possible. The uncertainties of the post covid19 world require new bold thinking and masterful innovations. Return to the world of liberal globalization and supply-chains are a thing of the past not likely to survive the dislocation and impact of this pandemic.

My hunting concern is the unaffordable housing and shameful homelessness and poverty in Canada. And, to address the alarming degradation of farming and rural life in Ontario and Canada. The government of Ontario and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) are trying hard to interest present day home builders, developers, contractors and entrepreneurs to take up the challenge to build (truly) affordable housing sufficient to meet the immense demand in Ontario for adequate shelters with little apparent success.

Compelled by these events, I came out of retirement, called on many of my former colleagues, elite white-haired senior international merchant banking and other corporate executives to join our task of conducting global search and evaluation of affordable low-income housing solutions, and to find practical costeffective affordable housing model, to help elevate poverty, end homelessness in Canada and the world. We are interested in practical solutions and deliverables not advocacy.

The main reason for the lack of interests of Canadian home builders, developers, contractors and entrepreneurs to be truly innovative and drivers of affordable solutions to Canada’s self-inflicted housing crisis is the repeated and ongoing mistakes of successive governments (municipal, provincial, territorial and federal) reserving to themselves control over such incentive as $1 billion affordable housing incentive to build 3000 housing units. Limiting participation in the CMHC, Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) to: Municipalities, Provinces/Territories, Indigenous organizations, Non-Profit Housing/Community Agency, Associations, Public Sector Government, as stipulated by CMHC, is shortsighted and a fatal mistake.

Daring new innovative affordable housing solution will only come from Canadian entrepreneurs and other private sector initiatives when not shakable with all three government levels stop their pork barrel bureaucratic practices, who you know practices and costly advocacy nonsense.

My advice to the Honourable Minister Ahmed Hussen is to instruct CMHC, to call on Canada’s kick-ass eentrepreneurs to find rapid cost effective affordable housing solutions and to find ways to end our shameful homelessness problems.

Fred L Farha
Founder, President & CEO
Fundmore Corporation Canada Limited
Ottawa, Canada

Shannon Lee Mannion Image Shannon Lee Mannion

You are so right, Fred. The “regular suspects” are going to take too long to make a significant difference in what we are up against vis-a-vis housing and Covid-19. We need to act today.

Additionally, the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) will provide scant relief to rural communities where there is not the same problem with street people compromised by drugs and booze.

Finally, the announcement was made more than a week ago and yet where is the application posted for applying for the RHI funding? March 31/21 is not the deadline; the deadline is NOW so that lodging is in place over the next six months, not six months from today.


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