$19M announced for affordable, accessible housing in Windsor, Essex, Caldwell First Nation

The federal government has announced nearly $20 million in funding for dozens of new affordable homes in Windsor, Essex, and Caldwell First Nation.

Funding will see 61 new units built

Ahmed Hussen, the federal ministry of housing as well as diversity and inclusion, spoke Thursday at an announcement of $19.2 million for new affordable housing units in Windsor, Essex and Caldwell First Nation. (Jacob Barker/CBC)

The federal government has announced $19.2 million for dozens of new affordable homes in Windsor, Essex and Caldwell First Nation.

The funding, which was announced Thursday and is coming through the government's Rapid Housing Initiative, will see 61 new affordable housing units constructed in the coming months.

"I know many residents in my ward, and frankly across the city, are concerned about affordable and accessible housing," said Windsor Ward 2 Coun. Fabio Costante. "It's a very big issue in our city."

"To me, it was a no-brainer to support this type of a project."

The funding will be spread across a few housing projects, a media release from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation states:

  • Eight units at 310 Sherk Street in Leamington, which will be managed by the Bridge Youth Resource Centre and be available to young adults, women, Indigenous people, and Black Canadians;
  • 15 units at 462 Crawford Street in Windsor, which will be managed by the Windsor Essex Community Housing Corporation (WECHC) and available to young adults, people with physical disabilities, Indigenous people, and Black Canadians;
  • Approximately 12 units at 3351 Bloomfield Road in Windsor, which will also be managed by WECHC and be available for Indigenous people, women and children, Black Canadians, people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, people with physical disabilities, and members of radicalized groups, and
  • 26 new housing units for members of Caldwell First Nation.

The Caldwell First Nation housing units are expected to be completed by summer, while the others are scheduled for completion by the end of 2022.

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Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said affordable housing is needed as real estate prices around the world rise.

"In Windsor, it used to be great to make $60,000 a year, but I can tell you that I have concerns about my own kids' future with respect to their ability to get a down payment to buy a home," he said. "And that's something that we have not ever had to worry about in the city of Windsor."

"But for the last five or six years, we have seen a shift in the price of real estate," Dilkens said. "That is really a global shift."

One of the new affordable housing projects announced Thursday will be located on Bloomfield Road in Windsor. (Jacob Barker/CBC)

In a statement, Caldwell First Nation Chief Mary Duckworth said she was "grateful" for the new housing units being constructed in her community.

"Caldwell First Nation is the process of creating an urban First Nation within the boundaries of the Municipality of Leamington," she stated. "Our citizens now have the opportunity to reside in safe and energy efficient sustainable homes."

"Meeting our community needs by providing affordable sustainable housing to meet the needs of growing families is important to leadership, this initiative is much appreciated."

Housing 'vital' to peoples' well-being

Federal Minister of Housing, Diversity and Inclusion Ahmed Hussen said housing is "vital" to the well-being of Canadians.

"These homes will mean that a person in need will have better access to the housing that meets their needs," he said Thursday. "They will have access to transitional housing. They will have access to wraparound supports. They will have access to financial assistance."

"They will have access to employment services and the skills necessary to start a new life," Hussen said. "And it means that ... young children growing in these homes will have new dreams. They will have a closer opportunity to be a teacher, a doctor, a mechanic or anything that they dream to be."

"And for those families, they will get that extra bit of support to land and stay on their feet."