Canada Invests $357M in Affordable Housing

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. will build and fund more than 700 new rental housing units for middle-class families in Toronto.
Toronto skyline. Image via Wikimedia Commons

The Canadian Parliament and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) have announced a $357 million investment in the construction of three rental communities that will offer affordable and market-rate housing in Toronto.

The Canadian federal government will fund 761 housing units through CMHC’s Rental Construction Financing initiative (RCFi). Of the units, 229 will be designated affordable and 532 will be market-rate. Located on Block 8 of the West Don Lands in downtown Toronto, the project will offer affordable housing for middle-class families near public transit, schools and services. According to CMHC, downtown Toronto’s rental market vacancy rate is 1.1 percent.

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Floorplans among the affordable units will include 45 three- and four-bedroom apartments that will be spread among the three buildings. Thirty percent of the units will be either fully accessible or adaptable. The three-building project is being designed to achieve a 17.6 percent reduction in annual energy use and 19.1 percent in annual greenhouse gas emissions in line with the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings.

Paving the way for affordability

The project comes at a time when the Government of Canada is rolling out its National Housing Strategy, a 10-year, $55 billion plan that aims to create 100,000 new housing units that will help 530,000 families in need of housing. The strategy will also seek to repair and renew more than 300,000 housing units and reduce chronic homelessness by 50 percent.

The RCFi is part of the National Housing Strategy and supports the construction of affordable rental housing projects. In addition, low-cost loans are available to developers seeking to build affordable housing. According to CMHC, rental housing is an important option for about 30 percent of Canadians.