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Government of Canada announces support for Rapid Housing Initiative in Vancouver

Vancouver, British Columbia — Every Canadian 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 as major cities across the country including Vancouver are dealing with the devastating impacts of rising levels of homelessness and housing need.

Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the Honourable Hedy Fry, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Centre, and Kennedy Stewart, the Mayor of Vancouver, announced details of the $51.5 million Rapid Housing Initiative allocation for Vancouver, which will create up to 135 new affordable homes.

As part of its Investment Plan for the Major Cities Stream, the City of Vancouver has purchased the building at 2075 Kingsway which will provide approximately 65 new units for people experiencing homelessness once the building is ready for accommodation in Fall 2021. Further investments in housing by the City of Vancouver through the Rapid Housing Initiative are planned with more information to follow at a later date. These investments will provide warm, safe homes and connect residents with services and programs to support their wellbeing. Additionally, they will provide housing for women and Indigenous people.

With the $1 billion RHI, the Government of Canada will support the construction of up to 3,000 permanent, new affordable housing units across Canada to help address urgent housing needs for people and populations who are vulnerable.

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; and, rehabilitation of buildings in disrepair and/or abandoned to affordable multi-residential. Acquisition of land and buildings would be covered under eligible costs.


“Our Government wants to ensure that every Canadian has a safe and affordable place to call home. Investments with our municipal partners like Vancouver under the Rapid Housing Initiative’s Major Cities Stream will go a long way to effectively support those who need it most by quickly providing new affordable homes to vulnerable individuals and families to keep them safe. This is one of the ways our Government’s National Housing Strategy continues to provide housing for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.” – The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation


“Vancouver is in desperate need of affordable housing. The Covid19 pandemic has shown us that we need to respond quickly to support our vulnerable community members. I’m proud to see multiple levels of government coming together in support of this important initiative.” – The Honourable Hedy Fry, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Centre


“Providing new public housing in Mount Pleasant is only possible thanks to an unpreceded direct investment from The Federal Government to the City of Vancouver. I am deeply grateful to Minster Hussen for his commitment to working directly with Vancouver, allowing us to rapidly support neighbours in need. This is how collective action by all levels of government can respond to COVID-19 and break the cycle of homelessness.” – Kennedy Stewart, Mayor of Vancouver



  • Under the Major Cities Stream of funding, $500 million is allocated to pre-identified municipalities with the highest levels of renters in severe housing need and people experiencing homelessness. Municipalities can flow funds through a third-party (including a provincial or territorial government).
  • Under the Projects Stream $500 million was available through an application-based process, which closed on December 31, 2020. Funding was available to Provinces, Territories, and Municipalities, Indigenous governing bodies and organizations, and non-profit organizations.
  • 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 $12 billion committed through the 2020 Fall Economic Statement.
  • The 2020 Fall Economic Statement proposes to increase the lending capacity of the existing National Housing Strategy’s Rental Construction Financing Initiative by an additional $12 billion over seven years. This new funding will enable CMHC to support the construction of an additional 28,500 purpose-built rental housing units across Canada.
  • With a budget of $13.2 billion, the National Housing Co-Investment Fund (NHCF) gives priority to projects that help those in greatest need, including women and children fleeing family violence, seniors, Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, those dealing with mental health and addictions, Veterans and young adults.Through the NHCF, the Government of Canada will work with partners to build up to 60,000 new affordable homes and repair up to 240,000 existing affordable and community homes over the next 10 years.


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