Liberals eye more cash for rapid-housing program as demand outstrips available funds

·1 min read

OTTAWA — Social Development Minister Ahmed Hussen says he's looking for more money to help housing providers quickly build or buy existing structures for affordable housing units.

Hussen isn't saying how much he wants, but it comes after the government was overwhelmed with demand for its $1-billion rapid-housing initiative.

The Liberals estimated the money could create up to 3,000 units by this spring by helping cities and housing providers buy and quickly convert rental buildings, motels and hotels into affordable housing, or purchase easy-to-build units.

Hussen says dollars have been stretched in the program and the government is now on track to create 4,700 units, with about two-fifths of them for Indigenous people.

But he says there are still hundreds of applications that the government couldn't, but wants to, fund.

Overall, Hussen says the government is funding 179 projects out of 679 applications that had a total funding request of over $4 billion.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 19, 2021.

The Canadian Press