OTTAWA – The federal government’s bid to find new ways to finance the construction of affordable housing is yielding its first results.
A new $3.5 million, three-storey, 40-unit building that came about through a small federal fund that financially backstops projects that are innovative in their financing or construction techniques, is to be inaugurated in Vancouver today.
The federally backed project could be scaled for use in other cities to help house homeless populations, provide disaster relief, or quickly house people displaced by construction in fast-growing cities like Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Montreal, says Luke Harrison, CEO of the Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency.
The Vancouver housing authority received $1.5 million from the federal affordable rental housing innovation fund to complete the project that include movable, modular units and accompanying foundations that can be easily set up on undeveloped, city-owned land.
The $200 million innovation fund, overseen by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., is expected to support the construction of up to 4,000 new rental units over five years.
The fund is part of a two-pronged effort announced in last year’s budget to increase the supply of affordable rental housing in the country.