Announcing over 10,000 new affordable homes for Canadians
I’m very pleased to be here today with Minister Hussen to talk about safe and affordable housing.
Every Canadian deserves a roof over their head. Since 2015, as a federal government we reengaged, and we made historic investments in housing, and over the past two years, we've seen the pandemic increase the need for affordable housing, particularly amongst Canada's most vulnerable. That's why working closely with municipalities and provinces and territories, we launched the Rapid Housing Initiative and invested $2.5 billion.
We're now on track to create more than 10,000 new affordable units, exceeding initial targets. These new homes will support those who need it most and it's a significant step towards the goal of eliminating chronic homelessness.
The Rapid Housing Initiative was created to help people experiencing homelessness or at risk of experiencing homelessness. More than a third of the 10,000 new housing units will be allocated for the most vulnerable women and children. For example, we know that during this pandemic there has been a very troubling rise in domestic violence, that’s why…part of the reason why we are focusing on that. And more than 40% of the housing units will support members of Indigenous communities.
The good thing about the Rapid Housing Initiative is that it takes months, not years, to create housing units that will respond to people’s immediate needs. For example, last summer I visited the Hope Living project in Kanata, as you can see in the photo behind me, which was converting the first floor into housing units for elders and Indigenous community members. There are more projects across the country where municipalities have purchased hotels or residences…commercial buildings to convert them into rapid, urgent housing.
This is a program that works, that will continue to work.
Because one of the most transformative things the government can do is invest in housing, because with a roof over their head, people can build a better life.
In closing, I’d like to tell you that we’re continuing to monitor the situation in Ukraine very closely. We’re in discussions with their government and our allies about how we can support Ukrainians. That’s why we can announce today: Canada will be providing a loan of up to $120 million to the government of Ukraine.
Canada will be providing a loan of up to $120 million to the government of Ukraine. Russia is aiming to destabilize Ukraine, including economically. This loan will help support Ukraine's economic resilience. Minister Joly discussed it during her visit, and we’re also exploring other options to provide financial and other supports. I want to thank Minister Sajjan for his hard work to secure this financial assistance for Ukraine and, again, Canada calls on Russia to deescalate and engage in meaningful dialogue.
As we go into the weekend, I want to give a few words on last week's terrible hostage situation at Congregation Beth Israel in Texas. For Jewish families across the country, Shabbat begins this evening and I know it'll be on their minds as they gather with their loved ones and their congregations. I want to be very clear, violence against Jewish communities is antisemitism and is always unacceptable. We will continue to stand against antisemitism and all forms of hate and extremism, and I send all my thoughts to families who are celebrating Shabbat tonight and reflecting on those terrible events of one week ago.
Thank you, and I’ll turn it over now to Minister Hussen. Ahmed.