Nov
10
2022

Governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island inaugurates 33 new affordable units in PEI

(l-r) Hon. Matthew MacKay, Min. of Social Development and Housing; MP for Charlottetown, Sean Casey; Shelley Muzika, Executive Director, Canadian Mental Health Association of PEI; Jamie Arsenault, Board Member, Canadian Mental Health Association of PEI

Today, Sean Casey, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown on behalf of the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, along with Matthew MacKay, Minister of Social Development and Housing for PEI celebrated the opening of two affordable housing projects on Prince Edward Island. 

Officially completed on November 10th, 2022, the first project located at 203 Fitzroy Street in Charlottetown, the modular four-storey building, a project by the Canadian Mental Health Association of PEI, contains 28 affordable studios and one-bedroom apartments for individuals dealing with mental health and/or addiction issues. This project received close to $7.9 million in funding from the Government of Canada through the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI), a capital grant of $2 million and annual operating grants in the total amount of $2.8 million over a 20-year period from the Government of Prince Edward Island. Fifteen of the units are specifically meant for women. 

The Canadian Mental Health Association, Prince Edward Island Division, is a not-for-profit organization providing safe housing for individuals seeking mental health support since 1984. Currently, they own and operate 133 residential units and programming spaces across PEI. There are an additional 48 units that CMHA PEI provides services and programming supports to.

In addition, MP Casey, on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence MacAuley, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Member of Parliament for Cardigan, also took the opportunity to announce the successful completion of a 5-unit affordable housing complex located on the lands of the Abegweit First Nation. This second project, which received $1.35 million through the RHI, will serve the Mi’Kmaq Community and prioritize women and their children.  This project received provincial energy efficiency funding of $25,000 from Environment, Energy and Climate Action.

Quotes:

“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. That is why our government created the Rapid Housing Initiative, to help make this into a reality by quickly providing affordable homes for individuals in need across Canada, including in Charlottetown. Through these new homes, we are helping to ease some of the difficulties future residents face by giving them access to the resources they need to succeed. This is our government’s National Housing Strategy at work.” – The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing, Diversity and Inclusion 

“Ensuring everyone has access to a safe place to call home is vitally important. The Government of Canada is investing in affordable housing and helping provide access to safe and affordable homes for Indigenous communities across the Island. This investment is key to improving the health and well-being of Indigenous communities on PEI. “ – The Honourable Lawrence MacAuley, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Member of Parliament for Cardigan

“Through the Rapid Housing Initiative, our government is investing in affordable housing here in Charlottetown and across Canada to help create jobs and improve quality of life for those who need it most. Thanks to today’s announcement, we are providing a chance to members of our community who are struggling with mental health and addictions issues to bring a positive change to their lives and to the community. Having access to safe, supportive and affordable homes is key to their recovery. This is the National Housing Strategy in action.”  – Sean Casey, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown

“A place to call home is much more than four walls and a roof. It is a place where people come to celebrate, where they can feel safe, rest and a place that provides comfort and stability. Now, 33 more Islanders in need can have access to a place to call home. These projects truly emphasize the importance of teamwork and cooperation. Through government, community and business partnerships these projects became a reality in less than two years.”

– the Honourable Matthew MacKay, Minister of Social Development and Housing

“Being part of PEI’s first ever modular affordable housing project has been a privilege and we are so pleased that as of today the 203 Fitzroy Street is finally completed and open to individuals receiving assistance through the organization’s mental health programs. We are thankful for the support of our funders and all the people who have been involved in this incredible project. CMHA continues to be committed to safe and affordable housing on PEI for those who struggle with mental health and addictions issues.” –  Shelley Muzika, Executive Director of CMHA PEI

"The lack of affordable and healthy housing is a major issue in Abegweit First Nation. For this reason, I am extremely proud that Abegweit's own construction team built five new, healthy and energy efficient homes in our community through the Rapid Housing Initiative. Now, several young families, who struggled to find and afford shelter off reserve, can move back home. Having these families back in the community will improve the socioeconomic wellbeing of our community and give hope to our young and growing membership that solutions are on the way." – Chief Junior Gould, Abegweit First Nation

Quick facts:

  • The RHI is a $2.5 billion program to help address urgent housing needs of vulnerable Canadians, especially in the context of COVID-19, through the rapid construction of over 10,000 units of affordable housing.
  • To ensure that more affordable housing can be built quickly, Budget 2022 proposes to provide $1.5 billion over two years, starting in 2022-23, to extend the Rapid Housing Initiative. 
  • The RHI has received significant interest from Indigenous groups, which has resulted in 41% of all units created under the program being targeted to Indigenous peoples.
  • Close to 33% of this new funding will go toward women-focused housing projects.
  • This new funding is expected to create at least 4,500 new affordable housing units, with at least 25 per cent of funding going towards women-focused housing projects.
  • Units are intended to be constructed within 12 months of when funding is provided to program applicants (with some exceptions), with units in the North and in special access communities intended to be constructed within 18 months. 
  • The RHI takes a human rights-based approach to housing, serving people experiencing or at risk of homelessness and other vulnerable people under the NHS, including women and children fleeing domestic violence, seniors, young adults, Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, people experiencing mental health and addiction issues, veterans, LGBTQ2 individuals, racialized and Black Canadians, and recent immigrants or refugees.
  • The Government of Canada’s National Housing Strategy is an ambitious, 10-year plan that will invest over $72 billion to give more Canadians a place to call home.

Media contacts:
Rebecca Gass
Senior Communications Officer
Social Development and Housing
rjgass@gov.pe.ca

Arevig Afarian
Office of the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion
Arevig.Afarian@infc.gc.ca

Media Relations
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
media@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

General Inquiries

Department of Social Development and Housing
2nd Floor, Jones Building
11 Kent Street
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-620-3777
Toll-free: 1-866-594-3777
Fax: 902-368-4740

DeptSDH@gov.pe.ca