Remarks on the new Rapid Housing Initiative to create up to 3,000 new homes for Canadians
Over the past few days, we’ve seen record cases of COVID-19 across the country and it’s a cause for concern, and must be taken seriously.
Behind each new number is a friend, a parent, a neighbour, or a senior.
People’s lives are at stake and we all need to do our part.
So, follow your local public health guidelines, wear a mask and keep a safe 2-metre distance from one another, and download the COVID Alert app.
It’s easy, it’s free, and with over 4.8 million downloads, it’ll help you do your part to protect your friends and loved ones.
Together, we will get through this.
Over the past few days, we have seen record numbers of COVID-19 cases across the country.
The situation is worrisome and must be taken seriously.
Each new case is not just a number, or a statistic, it is a friend, a family member, a neighbour or a senior.
When people's lives are at stake, it is important that we all do our part.
Continue to follow local public health guidelines, wear a mask, respect the safe distance of 2 metres and download the free COVID Alert app.
Since the pandemic started, many folks have found themselves working from home. And in cases where they’ve needed to self-isolate, most Canadians have been able to do so because they have a roof over their heads.
But imagine if you didn’t have a home, especially during a Canadian winter.
Sadly, that’s the reality for far too many Canadians and our government is taking action to change that.
Since 2015, we’ve created a national strategy to make housing a priority with thousands of units constructed, and provided affordable housing for over 1 million people.
We took this issue seriously since forming government, and now that the pandemic has made housing needs more acute, we’re stepping up again.
Last month, Minister Hussen announced an investment of $1 billion for the new Rapid Housing Initiative.
The goal of the program is to give the most vulnerable a safe place to live, by quickly creating up to 3,000 new affordable housing units.
Today, I can share more details about how this funding will be used.
The Rapid Housing Initiative will be equally split between the Major Cities Stream and the Projects Stream.
Right now, our largest cities face a growing need for safe and affordable housing.
We’re investing $500 million for immediate support to build long-term housing for municipalities that have the highest demand.
We’ve also opened up applications for the second half of funding through the Projects Stream.
Today’s announcement is part of our commitment to eliminate chronic homelessness in Canada—as we announced in the Throne Speech—while also creating good jobs in the housing and construction sectors.
Today, I am announcing that our $1 billion plan to support vulnerable Canadians through the Rapid Housing Initiative will be divided into two components: the Major Cities Stream and the Projects Stream.
Right now, our largest cities are facing a growing demand for safe and affordable housing.
That's why we are investing $500 million to provide immediate assistance for long-term housing construction in municipalities where demand is greatest.
The second half of the amount will go to the Projects Stream, which will accept applications from municipalities, provinces and territories, as well as non-profit organizations and Indigenous governing bodies.
Today's announcement is part of our commitment to eliminate chronic homelessness in Canada—as announced in the Speech from the Throne—while also creating good jobs in the housing and construction sectors.
Canada is now in the second wave of this pandemic.
That comes with new challenges for small business owners, and as I told the Canadian Chamber of Commerce yesterday, we’re stepping up to help as we have since day one.
Earlier this month, we announced that we would strengthen the programs that have been a lifeline for small businesses.
By introducing an extended wage subsidy—which covers up to 65% of eligible wages—business owners like Steve and Camy of Steve’s Poke Bar in B.C. will be able to keep their employees on the payroll.
For support on rent, the new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy will go directly to businesses (not to landlords).
And those who have to close temporarily because of a local public health order will be eligible for an additional 25% support.
That brings the total of 90% of rent covered for the hardest hit businesses.
And to help cover other costs, we’ve expanded the eligibility for the Canada Emergency Business Account, while increasing the total amount to $60,000.
As of yesterday, businesses operating from personal bank accounts can now access loans under the Canada Emergency Business Account by opening a business account at a participating financial institution.
As for other measures, such as the wage subsidy and the rent subsidy, a bill will be introduced shortly.
I hope that all members of the House of Commons will join us in passing this crucial support measure for Canadian businesses.
I’d like to end this morning by taking a moment to recognize all of the women and men across the country who keep Canadians fed.
Our government is here to support them, just like we have been since the start of the pandemic.
Today, Minister Bibeau will outline how people in B.C. can apply for the Emergency on-farm Support Fund.
People in other provinces will also be able to apply soon.
The $35 million Emergency on-farm Support Fund is being deployed province by province to help farm operators and ensure the health and safety of farm workers across the country.
Minister Bibeau will speak about that later today.
We will continue to do our part to support the people who work hard so that we can feed our families.