Toronto, Ont. – WoodGreen Community Services applauds the federal government for committing $10-billion over five years for affordable housing initiatives in this year’s federal budget.
The budget proposes $4 billion over five years, starting in 2022-23, to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to launch a new Housing Accelerator Fund. The intention of this fund is to create 100,000 net new housing units over the next five years. This fund will build increased capacity to deliver affordable housing faster.
We are also pleased to see that the government is extending the Rapid Housing Initiative providing $1.5 billion over two years. This funding is expected to create at least 6,000 new affordable housing units, of which 25 per cent of funding will go towards women-focused housing projects. As a community service agency that places the welfare of vulnerable populations at its core, including women in poverty and experiencing homelessness, WoodGreen is invested in strategies that will house these populations with not just affordable housing but also a full scale of wrap-around services.
WoodGreen appreciates the government’s effort to invest in affordable housing and support initiatives that will improve community and supportive housing development. However, what remains a challenge for most non-profit community housing providers is having to acquire significant and low-cost upfront capital in order to create feasible development business plans and attract government or private partnership for affordable housing opportunities.
Although these investments in the budget are promising, we call on the federal government to work in partnership with all levels of government to create an equity fund for non-profits to access upfront capital to build affordable and supportive housing. A dedicated equity government guaranteed fund will enable the non-profit sector to attract additional social impact and private finance, private developers and the construction industry to scale and fast track the development of deeply affordable housing.
ABOUT WOODGREEN COMMUNITY SERVICES (woodgreen.org): WoodGreen is one of the largest social service agencies in Toronto, serving 37,000 people each year. We offer over 75 programs and services tackling the social determinants that affect the health and well-being of individuals in our community.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Jen Mayville, Marketing & Communications Manager; firstname.lastname@example.org; (437) 226-8091 (cell)