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Federal government commits $10.7M to build 44 new affordable homes in London, Ont.

FILE. Andrew Graham / Global News

Amid rising rent prices and a pandemic that has put a financial strain on many, the federal government has some good news for Londoners struggling to find affordable housing.

The City of London is getting $10.7 million from the federal government to create 44 new affordable homes for individuals and families.

The new units at 403 Thompson St. are a part of the expanded Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI).

“This will provide safe and affordable homes to those that need it the most, including those experiencing or who are at risk of experiencing homelessness,” said  Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion and Minister Responsible for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

The new units are also targeted toward black Canadians, Indigenous peoples, and women and their children fleeing domestic violence.

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Read more: $40.1M in federal funding going towards maintaining, renovating affordable housing in London, Ont.

“These investments are not only life-changing, they are life-saving.”

“I think this announcement is about more than bricks and mortar or even units,” said London Mayor Ed Holder. “What it truly represents is hope — hope in the prospect of a better life for all that will eventually call these places home.”

This is the second funding placement from the RHI into affordable housing in London, with $7.5 million being dedicated to 49 affordable housing units this July.

Read more: 49 affordable homes to be built in London, Ont. after $10.8 million funding announced

“We have a genuine need relating to affordable housing, there is a homelessness challenge, but things like the RHI deal with that,” said Peter Fragiskatos, Member of Parliament for London North Centre.

The RHI is a $1-billion program launched in October 2020 to help address the urgent housing needs of vulnerable Canadians, amid the pandemic, through the rapid construction of affordable housing.

Following its initial success, the federal government added an additional $1.5 billion for the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) in the 2021 budget with $500 million in funding under the Cities Stream being allocated.

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Read more: Plans for 61-unit southwest London apartment building moving ahead

“Everyone living in Canada deserves an affordable place to call home, and I am proud to see our government making good on that promise, right here in London,” said Arielle Kayabaga, MP for London West.

The RHI comes from the CMHC, under the National Housing Strategy.

Canada’s National Housing Strategy is a 10-year plan to invest over $72 billion to give more Canadians a place to call home.  Launched in 2017, the NHS plans to build and repair thousands of housing units, and help households with affordability support.

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