By Trevor Busch
Local non-profit MyCityCare has moved forward with an application for a $7.5 million Rapid Housing Initiative grant that could see development of 25 further units at the Town of Taber’s The Meadows project.
The Rapid Housing Initiative provides funding to expedite the delivery of affordable housing units to people and populations that are vulnerable and targeted under the National Housing Strategy (NHS). The initiative will support the construction of more than 4,700 units across Canada.
The initiative provides $1.5 billion for the Rapid Housing Initiative in 2021-2022 to address the urgent housing needs of Canadians who are vulnerable by providing them with adequate affordable housing in short order, within 18 months, and affordability for a minimum of 20 years.
“We’re proud members of this community. I am, my family is, Taber Parallel Church is, and we believe this housing project is needed,” said Rene Angermeier with Parallel Church as part of a delegation at town council’s March 27 meeting. “We see it all the time, and we want to be there to work alongside the Town, provincial government and other agencies to make sure people who don’t have housing, get housing. That’s why we’re here.”
Eligible recipients will receive funding for one of three types of housing, consisting of new construction, modulars, and conversion/rehabilitation.
Eligibility for the grant is for standard rental, transitional, permanent supportive housing, single room occupancy and seniors housing (excludes delivery of healthcare), and must have a minimum of five units. There is a minimum contribution request of $1 million, with primary use as residential and permanent housing (long-term tenancy, three months or more).
Applicants will be required to achieve building occupancy within 18 months of the date of the contribution agreement, and all units must serve the affordable segment (household is paying less than 30 per cent of gross income on housing costs or the shelter component of any provincial or territorial income assistance as an equivalent) for targeted people and populations who are vulnerable and who are, or otherwise would be, in severe housing need, or people experiencing or at imminent risk of homelessness.
The Town had already created and endorsed a letter of support for the grant initiative through MyCityCare on March 14. The Town would contribute $175,000 to the project through a tax incentive bylaw.
According to the report presented to council, Bergen & Associates strongly supports the Rapid Housing Initiative, and requested support from council contributing to the effort to further develop The Meadows and apply for the Rapid Housing Grant. The rents affordability numbers are based on 60 per cent below market rate based on 25 predetermined lots in The Meadows development.
If successful, the rapid housing initiative grant could provide 25 low income manufactured housing units in The Meadows development.
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