The federal and Quebec governments are collaborating to provide funding for affordable housing in the City of Montreal, under the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) between the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and the City of Montreal. The affordable housing will be built in Côte des Neiges-NDG, the Plateau, Ville St-Pierre (Lachine), Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve and the Sud-Ouest.
The announcement was made by Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Ahmed Hussen, Quebec Lieutenant Pablo Rodriguez, Quebec Municipal Affairs Minister Andrée Laforest, Transport and Montreal Region Minister Chantal Rouleau and Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante.
Under the agreement, “$56.8 million in federal funding is being provided to the City of Montreal to support the rapid completion of 12 projects on its territory, representing 263 housing units.”
The Quebec government’s part will be to fund the “rent supplement for certain projects included in this announcement for 20 years. With this assistance, eligible renters will spend only 25 percent of their income on housing.”
A statement from the federal and provincial representatives says the pandemic “has shown us that the availability of affordable housing is essential not only to the health and well-being of vulnerable households, but also to the economic recovery of cities across Quebec and Canada, including Montreal. Many cities are facing the devastating impacts of increasing homelessness and housing needs....The support may cover the costs of land acquisition, housing construction, or conversion or rehabilitation of existing buildings.
“Every Quebecer deserves a safe and affordable place to call home,” Hussen stated. “This investment by our government and our collaboration with our partners, such as the City of Montreal and the Government of Quebec, will go a long way toward helping vulnerable individuals and families who need it most by quickly providing 263 new units of affordable housing.”
Laforest said that for more than two years, “our government has been making every effort, particularly in the Montreal region, to increase the number of affordable housing units. The commitment we are making today represents an estimated amount of more than $23.5 million in the Major Cities Stream.”
Plante said the investments “will allow for a large-scale, rapid response to the urgent needs of people experiencing homelessness or high housing insecurity, many of whom are not covered by the usual housing programs. More than ever, it is crucial that every citizen have a roof over their head. Our administration has made this a priority, and today’s announcement highlights yet another tool we have put in place to improve housing.”
Those with special housing needs as part of the funding include “women and children who are victims of domestic or family violence, seniors, indigenous populations, people with mental health or addiction issues, those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, persons with disabilities, and others.”