Feds pony up $8.2 million for rapid affordable housing projects in Kitchener, Cambridge

Ahmed Hussen, minister of families, children and social development. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle

The federal government committed to spending $8.2 million to construct 42 affordable homes in Waterloo Region as part of its rapid housing initiative.

“We know that every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home,” Ahmed Hussen, minister of families, children and social development, said Monday.

Read more: 4 rapid housing projects get funding in Hamilton through federal program

“But far too many Canadians are forced to make the choice between paying the rent and paying for groceries.”

The plan will be to quickly build 36 homes at 1470 Block Line Rd. in Kitchener.

“The YW of Kitchener Waterloo will build 36 modular units for women who are homeless or at risk of being homeless,” Waterloo regional chair Karen Redman said.

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“This project is urgently needed. Right now, dozens of women, including victims of domestic violence and human trafficking, are waiting for a permanent home.”

The City of Kitchener offered up the property for the houses being built on Block Line Road. Mayor Berry Vrbanovic said it was valued at $2.7 million.

“We will work hard to make sure that by this time next year, women will be moving into their new homes,” he said.

Read more: Province pledges another $20M to Waterloo Region, municipalities in COVID-19 funding

Another six one-bedroom units will be constructed at 127-161 Bechtel St. in Cambridge for applicants on the community housing wait-list.

“At the same time, this work will, of course, stimulate the local economy, creating well-paying jobs when they are needed the most,” Hussen said.

The federal government has allocated $1 billion through its Rapid Housing Initiative in hopes of seeing 3,000 new, permanent affordable housing units constructed across the country.

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