Canada and Ontario Make Major Housing Announcement in Ottawa

November 22, 2022

Municipal Affairs and Housing

Ottawa, ON – Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, along with the Honourable Michael Parsa, Ontario’s Associate Minister of Housing, Yasir Naqvi, Member of Parliament of Ottawa Centre, and Shawn Menard, Ottawa Councillor for Capital Ward, announced an investment of over $90 million to support the construction of more than 270 units across the City of Ottawa.

This investment is made possible thanks to the National Housing Strategy’s diverse programs: the National Housing Co-Investment Fund (NHCF), Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI), Rental Construction Financing Initiative (RCFI), Ontario Priorities Housing Initiative (OPHI) and Investment in Affordable Housing-Extension (IAH-E). The five projects funded under these NHS programs will provide a mix of unit sizes with varying levels of affordability, including average market rent units and below market rent units.

The announcement took place at 289 Carling, a 6-storey building with 40 self-contained affordable units, 8 of which are accessible. Thanks to a $4 million NHCF investment, the Carling Avenue Supportive Housing project will offer on-site 24-hour support for transitional-aged youth and adults, people who are homeless or those at risk of becoming homeless, as well as women and their children.

Located at 159 Forward Avenue and formerly known as the Forward Family Shelter, this four-storey building will house a mix of tenants with varying levels of accessibility and affordability needs across a range of unit sizes from studios to three-bedrooms. Of the building’s 49 units, 30 will be designated as affordable while the remaining 19 units will have rents that are at or below the average market rent. In addition to being 100% universally accessible, 6 of the units will be barrier-free. The project received over $12 million from the NHCF and over $8 million from OPHI and IAH-E.

Located at 93 Norman, the 9-storey rental apartment building will be offering affordable rents, accessible design and environmentally sustainable construction. Of the 122 units available, 36 will be able to accommodate women and their children. The project benefitted over $48 million from the RCFI.

Located at 494 Lisgar, this 29-unit project will offer supportive housing for women experiencing chronic homelessness with a focus on Indigenous Women. The program will have 24-hour support on-site with gender, trauma, and culturally responsive case management, and community development supports. Managed by the John Howard Society, the project received close to $14 million from the RHI.

Located at 3380 Jockvale, the project will consist of 32 affordable housing units for families in the shelter system. Managed by Ottawa Community Housing, this $5.85 million RHI project will offer two and three-bedroom stacked townhomes, including seven that will be accessible.

Quick Facts

  • The National Housing Co-Investment Fund (NHCF) is a $13.2 billion program under the National Housing Strategy (NHS) that gives priority to projects that help people who need it most, including women and children fleeing family violence, seniors, Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, those with mental health or addiction issues, veterans, and young adults.
  • Budget 2022 proposes to advance $2.9 billion in funding under the NHCF to accelerate the creation of up to 4,300 new units and the repair of up to 17,800 units.
  • The Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) provides capital contributions to facilitate the rapid construction of new housing and/or acquisition of existing buildings for the purpose of rehabilitation or conversion to permanent affordable, supportive, or transitional housing. The objective is to quickly create new permanent affordable housing units that support people who are vulnerable and prioritized under the National Housing Strategy.
  • Through Budget 2022, the Government of Canada is investing an additional $1.5 billion over two years, starting in 2022-23 to extend the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) which is expected to create up to 4,500 new affordable housing units, with at least 25 per cent of funding going towards women-focused housing projects. This initiative was originally announced on September 21, 2020, with a budget of $1 billion. Round 2 was announced June 30, 2021, with a budget of $1.5 billion.
  • The Rental Construction Financing initiative (RCFi) provides low-cost funding encouraging the construction of sustainable rental apartment projects to eligible borrowers during the most risky phases of product development (construction through to stabilized operations). Eligible borrowers include municipalities, not-for-profit developers, and for-profit developers. CMHC mortgage loan insurance is included and provides access to preferred interest rates lowering borrowing costs for the refinancing of multi-unit residential properties and facilitates renewals throughout the life of the mortgage.
  • Through the RCFi, the Government of Canada is encouraging the construction of more than 71,000 new rental housing units.
  • The Government of Canada’s National Housing Strategy (NHS) is an ambitious, 10-year plan that will invest over $72 billion to give more Canadians a place to call home. This includes funding towards the Ontario Priorities Housing Initiative (OPHI).
  • OPHI provides flexible funding to address local housing priorities and improve access to affordable housing options. The initiative helps to increase affordable housing supply and improve the state of repair of community housing stock. This project is receiving $3.6 million in joint federal and provincial funding.
  • OPHI is a program under the CMHC-Ontario Bilateral Agreement. This 10-year agreement provides more than $5.75 billion to protect, renew and expand community housing, support Ontario’s priorities related to housing repair, construction and affordability, and deliver direct affordability support to Ontarians who need housing.
  • The Government of Canada, through CMHC, works with its provincial and territorial partners to reduce the number of Canadians in need by improving access to affordable housing.
  • Through initiatives like new construction, renovation, homeownership assistance, rent supplements, shelter allowances, accessibility modifications, and accommodations for victims of family violence, funding under the IAH was used by provinces and territories to:
    • increase the supply of affordable housing across Canada;
    • improve and preserve the quality of affordable housing;
    • improve housing affordability for vulnerable Canadians; and
    • foster safe, independent living.
  • The Province has provided over $1.2 billion through the Social Services Relief Fund, to help municipal service managers and Indigenous program administrators create longer-term housing solutions and help vulnerable Ontarians, including those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. This is one of the biggest investments made in affordable housing and homelessness supports in the province’s history. The Regional Municipality of York has been allocated over $50 million through this fund.
  • Ontario has allocated nearly $4.4 billion over the past three years as part of its Community Housing Renewal Strategy and response to COVID-19 to help sustain, repair and grow community housing and help end homelessness. This includes the Social Services Relief Fund.
  • Ottawa Community Housing Corporation provides approximately 15,000 homes to about 32,000 tenants, including seniors, parents, children, couples, singles and persons with disabilities, within many communities across the City of Ottawa. OCHC houses a diverse population of varying languages, ethnicities and cultures. OCHC is the largest social, community and affordable housing provider in Ottawa and an industry-leading builder of affordable housing.