Canada providing rental housing in Vancouver
VANCOUVER - 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 for regions across the country, including right here in Vancouver.
Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), alongside the Honourable David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing, announced details of an approximately $9 million federal investment through the Project Stream of the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) for the acquisition of the existing two-storey Deluxe Hotel located in East Vancouver.
The building will be renovated and reopened as supportive housing for Indigenous residents, providing a much-needed additional option for Indigenous Peoples experiencing homelessness in the community to access safe and secure housing with culturally appropriate supports services.
These 24 homes will be part of a cost-effective housing build located at 3505 Kingsway, for Indigenous Peoples. The central Kingsway location is in close proximity to a wide variety of retail amenities, is within walking distance to the nearest Skytrain station, and the Translink bus service is readily available on Kingsway.
Lu’ma Native Housing Society, a non-profit housing provider, will own and operate the homes. Renovations to the building will begin immediately and are anticipated to complete by early 2022. Once operational, Lu’ma will have staff on site 24/7 to provide support services to residents including daily meals, Indigenous cultural programming, skills building and connection to volunteer or employment opportunities.
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.
The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation –
“Our Government is helping ensure that every Canadian has a safe and affordable place to call home. Our investments will go a long way to effectively support those who need it most by quickly providing new affordable housing units to vulnerable individuals in Vancouver, while addressing the unique barriers faced by at-risk communities. The Rapid Housing Initiative has been a tremendous success — that’s why through Budget 2021, we will increase our total program funding to $2.5 billion in order to rapidly build much-needed affordable homes across Canada. This is the National Housing Strategy at work.”
Hedy Fry, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Centre –
“We are working hard to ensure that every Canadian has a safe and affordable place to call home. Building rapid housing in major urban centres like Vancouver, and addressing the specific needs and challenges that municipalities face in the housing sector, is a crucial and necessary step our government has taken to end chronic homelessness. This housing is desperately needed in our community and across Vancouver.”
David Eby, Attorney General of British Columbia and Minister Responsible for Housing –
“These new homes will help Indigenous peoples experiencing homelessness in Vancouver begin their recovery journey, surrounded by the cultural supports that can make a life changing difference. We know that the struggle to find an affordable home can be even greater for Indigenous peoples who are overwhelmingly overrepresented among people in B.C. experiencing homelessness. It is unacceptable and why we will continue to work with our partners — at the federal, municipal, and community levels — to create the types of homes that are urgently needed in communities across B.C.”
Kennedy Stewart, Mayor of Vancouver –
“When excellent non-profit operators like Lu’ma Native Housing Society are given the resources to provide supportive, culturally appropriate housing for Indigenous Peoples, we all benefit. I can't thank the Government of Canada and the Province of B.C. enough for their continued partnership to help make sure more of our neighbours have a safe, supportive home to call their own and build a stronger path forward.”
Kent Patenaude, President, Lu’ma Native Housing Society –
“We are appreciative of our partners who have made this procurement a reality and are thrilled to be welcoming 24 Indigenous residents into these supportive housing units. Residents will be provided with a warm meal, support staff and access to a variety of culturally appropriate wrap around services. This is a great location close to transit and other amenities. I would like to thank my fellow board members for their ongoing support and service.”
- 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.
- Budget 2021 proposes an additional $1.5 billion for the RHI in 2021 – 22 to address the urgent housing needs of vulnerable Canadians by providing them with adequate affordable housing, bringing the RHI to $2.5 billion total.
- Under the RHI 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.
- The RHI Major Cities Stream provided $500 million in immediate support to 15 pre-determined municipalities that were identified in consultation with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), based on highest levels of renters in severe housing need and people experiencing homelessness.
- Nationally, at over 4,700 units, the RHI has exceeded its initial target of building 3000 permanent affordable housing units thanks to the support of the provincial, territorial and municipal governments as well as Indigenous governing bodies.
- Overall, new funding in Budget 2021 for the RHI will add a minimum of 4,500 new affordable units to Canada’s housing supply, building on the 4,700 units already funded.
- 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.
- 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.
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation