Feds invest $7.5M to build 32 new affordable homes in Saskatoon

Funding has been earmarked to develop a total of 32 new housing units in Saskatoon to provide more affordable housing options for Indigenous individuals and families in need. File / Global News

The Canadian government is providing $7.5 million to create an estimated 32 new affordable housing units for vulnerable individuals and families in Saskatoon.

With funding under the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) program, the homes aim to support people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, or living in temporary shelters because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It has become clear that one of the biggest gaps in the housing continuum in Saskatoon is supportive housing. People struggling with trauma, addictions and mental health need to have safe and stable housing,” Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark said in a statement on Friday.

“These two (RHI) projects will play a crucial role in helping fill this gap in our community.”

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One new building for Cress Housing Corporation will be located at 115 Columbian Place while the other for Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. (CUMFI) is going up at 1520 19th St. West.

“We plan for a two-storey, 18-unit facility that will serve single males who are disproportionately represented in the homeless population. This supported living facility includes a family/cultural space,” Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC) Tribal Chief Mark Arcand said in a statement.

“STC and our member chiefs are proud to have Cress Housing Corporation serve as a proponent of this project contributing to this important work that improves the quality of life for people.”

Federal officials said all 32 units will be targeted at Indigenous people and of those units, nine will be for mothers and their children.

“With this funding, CUMFI will be able to provide 14 suites for families at risk of homelessness, with nine homes specifically for Indigenous women and children,” CUMFI president Shirley Isbister said in a statement.

“By providing a supportive living environment, CUMFI’s goal is for families to have a roof over their head and food on the table, so they can begin to think about education, employment and feeling that they are part of a caring community.”

The projects are expected to be substantially constructed by fall 2022.

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