Calgary to receive $24.6 million from federal government for affordable housing projects

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The City of Calgary is set to receive $24.6 million for affordable housing projects through the federal government’s new housing initiative that was announced Tuesday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced the Rapid Housing Initiative which is meant to support communities in their goals of ending chronic homelessness across the country. The $1 billion initiative is offering $500 million directly to Canada’s largest cities and another $500 million to projects that submit applications through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

“No Canadian should ever be without a place to call home. By making smart and substantial investments in affordable housing and providing funding directly to municipalities, we’re creating jobs, strengthening our communities across the country, and helping the most vulnerable,” Trudeau said in a media release.

The Rapid Housing Initiative is anticipated to fund the development of 3,000 permanent, affordable housing units across Canada. Some units will be built new, some projects will convert non-residential buildings into multi-residential homes and others will rehabilitate abandoned buildings, the federal government explained in the release.

For Calgary, the initiative will fund more than 100 homes, according to Mayor Naheed Nenshi, who added that the city’s need is still almost six times that size.

“We have an opportunity in front of us to end chronic homelessness in Calgary and this will take focused investment in this city beyond just this national program,” said Nenshi in a tweet.

“We look forward to working with the Governments of Alberta and Canada to make this a reality.”

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