Rapid Housing in Toronto Gets a Boost
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Rapid Housing in Toronto Gets a Boost

Rapid Housing in Toronto Gets a Boost

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 municipalities across the country including the City of Toronto are dealing with the devastating impacts of rising levels of homelessness and housing need.

On January 15, 2020, Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), alongside Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary for Housing, John Tory, the Mayor of Toronto, and Ana Bailão, Deputy Mayor of Toronto and the Chair of the City's Planning and Housing Committee, announced details of the C$203.3 million Rapid Housing Initiative allocation for Toronto.

Ahmed Hussen said; "Our Government is taking all the necessary steps to ensure that every Canadian has a safe and affordable place to call home. Our investments with our municipal partners like the City of Toronto will go a long way to effectively support those who need it most by quickly providing new affordable housing units to vulnerable individuals and families. Our Government's plan under the National Housing Strategy continues to provide housing for Canadians from coast to coast to coast, including here in Toronto."  

And, according to Adam Vaugh; "There is no issue more pronounced in Toronto than homelessness. The pandemic has only deepened the challenges facing too many people in our city and in fact across the country. Today's announcement shows that we can end the housing crisis when Governments, frontline workers, and people experiencing homelessness work together to find solutions." 


As part of its Investment Plan for the Major Cities Stream, Toronto will be undertaking seven projects to create approximately 540 new affordable homes. These new homes will be prioritized for people experiencing homelessness and the City has committed to allocate 20% of the homes to Indigenous communities and an additional 20% to women and girls. Other units will support seniors, youth, and racialized communities.

Mayor John Tory thanked the Government of Canada for their commitment to helping the City of Toronto by providing people with a safe, affordable place to live and for supporting in building more affordable housing as quickly as possible. As a municipal government, Tory assured the public of doing everything to address homelessness and ensure that, with the help of the federal and provincial governments, they are building urgently needed affordable housing options. By working together with other levels of government, Toronto can continue to meet its goals and build housing for some of the most vulnerable residents of the city.

Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão said; "The pandemic has highlighted that access to a safe, secure, and affordable home is essential to a person's health and well-being, and the overall well-being of our society. The need for more affordable housing in our community has never been greater. The City of Toronto would like to thank the Government of Canada for their support. This funding will make a tangible difference and will support us in accelerating HousingTO, our 10-year housing action plan." 

To urgently address the issue of chronic homelessness and make the most of the funding provided by the Government of Canada, all governments need to work together to create new supportive housing including operating investments along-side these new capital investments.

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 Canadians, especially our most vulnerable.

Delivered by CMHC, under the National Housing Strategy (NHS), RHI provides the necessary capital contributions to develop new, permanently 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.

Quick facts:

  • The RHI Major Cities Stream provides C$500 million in immediate support to pre-determined municipalities that were identified based on the highest levels of renters in severe housing need and people experiencing homelessness.

  • Under the Projects Stream, C$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, C$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.

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