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Feds commit $11M for 22 Burnaby affordable housing units

Provincial government announced yesterday other affordable housing is being constructed in Burnaby
Another round of affordable housing has been announced for Burnaby.

More affordable housing is on the way for Burnaby, according to a federal minister. 

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) Ahmed Hussen, Burnaby North-Seymour MP Terry Beech and City of Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley gathered near city hall on Wednesday to announced $11 million to create 22 new homes that will be offered at non-market rates. 

The housing will be available for individuals and families in Burnaby through the Cities Stream under the expanded federal rapid Housing Initiative. The site of the new housing has not yet been determined, said a federal communications representative.

"We have seen how COVID-19 has worsened existing housing and homelessness challenges and without urgent action by the Government of Canada, the pandemic could lead to a dramatic increase in homelessness," Beech said in a news release. 

"Creating housing rapidly to address this housing crisis is a priority for our Government. This new funding is part of our commitment to addressing severe housing needs across the country. It will provide immediate support to create safe and stable housing for thousands of vulnerable individuals and families."

In the first round funding of $1 billion, which was announced in October of 2020, the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) was able to surpass its goal of providing 3,000 permanent affordable housing units, actually hitting 4,700 units across the country. 

Another $1.5 billion has been allocated to create another 4,500 homes. 

The federal government says there will now be more than 9,200 affordable houses for the most vulnerable across Canada. 

"Housing is an urgent issue and we welcome this investment to create 22 new homes for people in uncertain housing situations in Burnaby," Hurley added in the release. "This investment complements the work we've done to build hundreds of new affordable homes throughout Burnaby so that everyone can afford a home and feel at home in our community."

Yesterday (July 6), the provincial government announced more housing is under construction for families, seniors and people with disabilities in Burnaby. 

Twenty-five new homes in a three-storey building will include studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom homes.

Approximately half the units will be available at rates geared to tenants’ income, 20% will be rented at shelter rates to seniors and families on income assistance and 30% will be rented at market-average rates, according to city staff.  

Housing will include three studio, 11 one-bedroom, eight two-bedroom and three three-bedroom units. Sixteen of the units will be adaptable for use by a disabled tenant. 

The project is collaborative between the federal and provincial governments, City of Burnaby and the New Vista Society. 

The housing project, located at 7898 18th Ave., is within walking distance to Edmonds Community Centre, Bryne Creek Ravine Park, Edmonds Skytrain Station and other amenities. 

New Vista Society will be the operator of the building, currently expected to open in the fall of 2022. 

- With files from Kelvin Gawley