Feds announce $26.7M for more than 100 affordable housing units in Hamilton
Money for 3 projects to support women, children, Black and Indigenous people
The federal government has pledged $26.7 million in funding for an estimated 109 affordable housing units in Hamilton.
Ahmed Hussen, Canada's minister of housing and diversity, announced the money Tuesday, alongside housing local housing providers and area politicians.
"Affordable housing should not be a luxury," he said. "It's how parents can plan for their future. It's the difference between making ends meet and getting ahead."
The investment will go toward three separate projects:
- 35 Arkledun Ave.: Good Shepherd will turn a former school building into 73 affordable units for women and children as well as transgender and non-binary people.
- 253 King William: CityHousing Hamilton will create 24 units for women and children as well as people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, and Black Canadians.
- 412 Barton St. E.: St. Matthew's House is working to create 12 units for Black Canadians and Indigenous people.
"There's a huge lack of affordable housing not only for Indigenous people, but for everyone," said Audrey Davis, executive director for the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre. "We know it's a crisis."
Davis said she's glad the government identified the need for funding for Indigenous-specific housing, but said more needs to be done.
"It is important that there continues to be those conversations and work with Indigenous agencies and communities to make sure their unique needs are met."
Brother Richard MacPhee, CEO for Good Shepherd, said purchasing the building on Arkledun Avenue will allow the organization to offer more short-term and long-term housing options.
"This project is a crucial response to the urgent need for housing in our community, and in particular, for single women, transgender and non-binary individuals," he said in a media release accompanying the announcement.
The executive director of St. Matthew's House said the government money will help the charity support vulnerable seniors in Hamilton by addressing housing, food and income security.
"The funding ... allows for these pillars to be put in place – not only for the 12 racialized seniors who will making their home there, but through the program supports offered by the seniors community hub that is part of this vision," Renée Wetselaar said in the release.
All three projects have already begun to some degree, said Edward John, director of housing for the city.
"Each individual project is at varying stages but very close to actually pulling those permits being able to actually begin construction," he said.
I am grateful for the <a href="https://twitter.com/Canada?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Canada</a> support & investment of $23.3m to help build an estimated 109 new homes in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HamOnt?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HamOnt</a> across three projects: 35 Arkledun Ave operated by <a href="https://twitter.com/GoodShepherdHam?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@GoodShepherdHam</a>, 253 King William St by CityHousing Hamilton and 412 Barton St E <a href="https://twitter.com/SMH_Hamilton?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SMH_Hamilton</a> <br> 1/3 <a href="https://t.co/6kRgwpRdVF">pic.twitter.com/6kRgwpRdVF</a>—@HamiltonsMayor
Mayor Fred Eisenberger was on hand for the announcement and described the funding a "blessing."
The mayor said in the past 18 months, Hamilton has received $34.45 million from Canada's rapid housing envelope, which will go toward building 155 affordable units.
"For those that think that's just not enough, it is a pretty tall order to be able to provide that within a rapid period of time," he said.
Under Canada's Rapid Housing Initiative, the projects must be completed by the end of the year.
Niagara sees $10.5M
Hussen made a similar announcement for Niagara last week.
The government said it will provide $10.5 million to create 42 new affordable units at 60 York St. in Welland.
The site would be used to house women and children fleeing domestic violence, homeless people, those with physical disabilities, Indigenous people and Black Canadians, according to the government.
- A previous version of this story said Canada had announced $23.3 million in funding. The federal government has since clarified that the correct dollar figure is $26.7 million.Jan 25, 2022 12:26 PM ET