15:01 PM

Government of Canada announces support for Rapid Housing Initiative in Surrey

SURREY -  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 Surrey are dealing with significant challenges around 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), Rachna Singh, Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives and MLA for Surrey–Green Timbers, Randeep Sarai, Member of Parliament for Surrey Centre, and Doug McCallum, Mayor of Surrey, announced details of the $16.4 million Rapid Housing Initiative allocation for Surrey, which will create up to 44 new affordable homes.

As part of its Investment Plan for the Major Cities Stream, the City of Surrey is working in partnership with Atira Women’s Resource Society to develop a new modular housing apartment at 9145 King George Boulevard, which will provide approximately 44 new affordable units. Owned and operated by Atira Women’s Resource Society, this supportive housing complex will serve women experiencing and at risk of homelessness, including Indigenous women, trans and two-spirit women, and women who are struggling with substance abuse, mental health and spiritual wellness.

The B.C. government will support the new housing with annual operating funding over 20 years. This funding will build off the provincial investments made in Surrey over the last three years, which are supporting the construction of nearly 270 new homes with 24/7 support for people experiencing homelessness.

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.


The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) - "Our Government wants to ensure that every Canadian has a safe and affordable place to call home. Investments with our municipal partners like Surrey 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."

Rachna Singh, Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives and MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers - "We know that people in Surrey are struggling to find stable housing. These new much-needed homes will make a significant difference for the women that will live there. We will continue to work with all levels of government and our community partners to make sure more people have a safe and secure home."

Doug McCallum, Mayor of Surrey - "Today’s announcement will go a long way in providing support and housing for vulnerable women in our community. This project will deliver on critical and urgent needs that will help some of our most vulnerable residents get back on their feet. Homelessness is an evolving challenge and real solutions can be found when all levels of government work together. I want to thank our Federal and Provincial partners for their support on this important project and I look forward on working on even more collaborative projects to address homelessness in our City."

Quick Facts:

  • 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.
  • The federal and provincial governments recently announced the Canada - British Columbia Housing Benefit (CA-BC HB), a 10-year, $517 million investment that will support more than 25,000 households across B.C. This builds on the Canada – British Columbia Bilateral Agreement, a 10-year agreement announced in June 2018 which represents a joint investment of more than $990 million that will provide long-term, predictable funding to protect, renew and expand social and community housing, and support British Columbia’s priorities related to housing repair, construction, and affordability.
  • The 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.

Learn More:


Mikaela Harrison
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

Leonard Catling
Media Relations
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

BC Housing
Media Relations