Regina, Ottawa as a partner for “very affordable” quick housing units
The federal government has announced that it is giving the City of Regina $6.6 million from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to use in another rapid housing initiative project.
According to Ahmed Hussen, the federal minister for housing, diversity and inclusion, the money will be used for at least 25 “quickly built and extremely affordable” homes for people emerging from homelessness and reintegrating into the community, including families.
“We will ensure that people who need housing most — the most vulnerable members of our community — are given the housing they need so they can build the lives they deserve,” Hussen said in Monday’s virtual news conference .
“Deeply affordable housing helps ensure that the needs of the marginalized citizens of our community as a whole are met,” added Regina Mayor Sandra Masters.
Masters said the exact location for those units — and which organization will operate them — has yet to be determined, noting that the city is currently reviewing proposals. The RHI application plans are due by March 15, with the project to be completed by November 2024.
According to RHI guidelines, cities are encouraged to work with Indigenous organizations and at least 25 percent of funds must target women and/or women and their children.
Melissa Coomber-Bendtsen, CEO of the YWCA Regina, said that providing more affordable housing units specifically for women is a win for the community.
“We know that women and people of different genders have the greatest housing needs in Canada, so it’s really fantastic that funding programs require a gender response,” she said.
Coomber-Bendtsen added she hopes that wherever these homes are built, they will be close to service and support centers – including schools, childcare and grocery stores.
Regina is one of 41 cities across Canada receiving federal funding for the third round of the initiative.
In July 2021, the City of Regina was awarded an additional $7.75 million in RHI funding for 29 affordable housing units. These units – located at 120 Broad St. – will be operated by Regina Treaty/Status Indian Services and are expected to be ready for occupancy by September.