Canada supports rapid housing in Nova Scotia
April 16, 2021
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 communities across the country, including those in Nova Scotia, are dealing with the devastating impacts of rising levels of 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), Mike Kelloway, Member of Parliament for Cape Breton – Canso, and Annie Daisley, Chief of the We’koqma’q First Nation, announced details of over $3.16 million in funding through the Projects Stream of the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) for the immediate construction of 24 units of affordable housing for two First Nations communities in Nova Scotia.
$1.02 million will go towards rapidly building 12 new homes in the Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation and over $2.14 million will ensure the creation of the same number of new homes in the We’koqma’q First Nation.
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.
“Our Government is taking steps, right now, to 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 and families, while addressing the unique barriers faced by communities such as First Nations in Nova Scotia. This is the National Housing Strategy at work.”
— The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
“I’m pleased to see Waycohbah and Paqtnkek receive funding for housing projects that will have long-term benefits for their communities. Addressing the severe housing needs in Cape Breton and North Eastern Nova Scotia has been top-of-mind for me. The National Housing Strategy is a great tool that works towards ensuring more affordable housing for Indigenous peoples. This funding will provide immediate support to create safe and stable housing for First Nations in Nova Scotia while assisting those most vulnerable.”
— Mike Kelloway, Member of Paliament for Cape Breton – Canso
“On the behalf of Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation, we are grateful and excited to receive the funding for 12 new module homes. I know housing is not just a problem here in Paqtnkek but across First Nation communities in Canada, this is a great step moving forward. This will be great for single people or single parents because they often get over looked on getting homes which normally go to the bigger families who are in need. So with this rapid housing Strategy it will be a great start on putting a dent in our housing problem. I would like to thank the Government of Canada and CMHC.”
— Chief Tima Francis, Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation
“I would like to thank CMHC and everybody involved for helping address the serious First Nation housing crisis that’s happening not only in my community, but all over Canada. Although we realize it’s not a permanent fix, we realize this housing initiative will impact so many families with a magnitude that we don’t even fully realize yet. On behalf of the community of We’koqma’q, I want to say wela’lioq — thank you.”
— Chief Annie Daisley, We’koqma’q First Nation
- 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.
- Nationally, at 4,700 units, the RHI has exceeded its initial target of 3000 permanent affordable housing units thanks to the support of the provincial, territorial and municipal governments as well as Indigenous governing bodies.
- 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 $70+ billion plan that will give more Canadians a place to call home — this includes more than $13 billion committed through the 2020 Fall Economic Statement.
As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. CMHC’s aim is that by 2030, everyone in Canada has a home they can afford, and that meets their needs. For more information, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation