Feds pledge $7.6M to build affordable housing in Saskatoon

The Canadian government said it is providing $7.6 million under its Rapid Housing Initiative to create an estimated 36 affordable homes in Saskatoon. Slavo Kutas / Global News

The federal government has promised millions of dollars to build affordable housing in Saskatoon.

Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark said the funding will help address the increased risk of homelessness in the city.

“Everyone deserves a roof over their head and a safe place to call home,” Clark said in a statement Tuesday.

“Here in Saskatoon, the city will be giving priority to Indigenous-led projects as we recognize the importance of providing housing and supports that is grounded in the culture and identity of the people needing help and healing.”

The feds are providing $7.6 million under their Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) to create an estimated 36 homes in Saskatoon.

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Officials said the COVID-19 pandemic has increased homelessness and highlights the need for affordable housing.

They said the housing units will support people who are in uncertain housing situations, experiencing or at risk of homelessness or living in temporary shelters because of the pandemic.

“Today’s funding through the Rapid Housing Initiative will go a long way to support those who need it most by quickly providing nearly 36 new affordable homes for vulnerable individuals and families in Saskatoon to keep them safe,” Ahmed Hussen, minister of families, children and social development, said in a release.

“This is one of the ways our National Housing Strategy continues to ensure no one is left behind.”

The Canadian government previously announced $17 million in funding to create 84 affordable homes on First Nations in Saskatchewan.

The $1 billion RHI was launched by the federal government in October 2020 to address what it called urgent housing needs in the country through the rapid construction of affordable housing.

An additional $1.5 billion for the initiative was earmarked in the 2021 federal budget.

Federal officials said the RHI will create over 9,200 affordable homes across the country.

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