Rapid Housing Initiative
The Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) is a federal funding program administered by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). It provides funding to facilitate the rapid construction of new permanent affordable housing units for people and populations who are vulnerable and prioritized under the National Housing Strategy.
Rapid Housing Initiative - Round 2
In 2021, the City of Saskatoon received $7.5 million in capital funding through the Cities Stream of the Federal Government’s expanded Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) in order to deliver a minimum of 32 new affordable homes for individuals and families in Saskatoon. These housing units are intended for people in uncertain housing situations, those experiencing or at risk of homelessness, or living in temporary shelters. Also, a portion of the new housing units, twenty-five percent, have been designated to house woman and children.
Through a letter of intent process, the City selected two proposals to fulfill the RHI commitment and provide the 32 units of new affordable housing. Cress Housing Corporation and Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. (CUMFI) are the housing providers selected, and both have a proven track record of providing and operating supportive housing.
The project sites are the remaining vacant developable parcels (A and C) in Pleasant Hill Village within Pleasant Hill neighbourhood. The sites, 1520 19th Street West and 115 Columbian Place, were owned by the City of Saskatoon and had been listed as property for sale as part of the Pleasant Hill Village Revitalization project. The parcels offered many advantages for the proposed new housing as they were already appropriately sized, serviced, and zoned for supportive housing, and make it possible for the construction projects to meet the pressures of the federal government’s 1-year occupancy timelines.
115 Columbian Place (Parcel A) - Cress Housing Corporation
Cress’s project includes 18 bachelor suites, a family/cultural room, a boardroom, meeting/office rooms, laundry services, and space for on-site security. Cress is working with 3twenty Modular to complete the project and have the rental units ready for occupancy in March 2023.
1520 19th Street West (Parcel C) - Central Urban Métis Federation Inc.
CUMFI’s project includes two-six bedroom units, ten-four bedroom units, and two-three bedroom units, which totals 14 units consisting of 58 bedrooms. CUMFI worked with Big Block Construction to complete the project and all units were occupied by late 2022.
- July 2021: CMHC announces allocation of RHI funding to City of Saskatoon
- August 2021: City submits proposal to CMHC for the RHI
- September 2021: Awaiting CMHC approval. Consultations with proponents regarding planning and design.
- November/December 2021: Information meeting with Pleasant Hill Community Association
- December 3, 2021: Public announcement of funding and two RHI projects
- December 2021: City approves sale of parcels A & C in Pleasant Hill Village for RHI projects
- January 2022: City approves 5-year incremental tax abatement for the projects
- Spring 2022: Permit approvals received
- June 2022: Site preparations and construction begins
- Summer 2022: Continued technical support and construction monitoring
- December 2022: Building occupancy (CUMFI)
- May 2023: Building occupancy (Cress)
Rapid Housing Initiative - Round 3
On November 10, 2022, the Government of Canada through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) announced Round 3 of RHI funding. Funding of $500M has been allocated to 41 pre-determined municipalities under the Cities Stream. The City of Saskatoon is pleased to announce, it will receive immediate funding through the Cities Stream to create new permanent affordable housing and/or purchase existing buildings that will be rehabilitated or converted into permanent affordable housing.
On February 21, 2023, it was announced that the City of Saskatoon will receive $6.7 million in capital funding in order to deliver a minimum of 33 new affordable homes for individuals and families in Saskatoon.
On September 7, 2023 it was announced that $6.7 million in capital funding from the Rapid Housing Initiative - Round 3 Cities Stream was awarded to the YWCA Saskatoon. Additionally, the Province of Saskatchewan contributed $1.9 million of capital funding. The City of Saskatoon contributed $678,755 of capital funding through the Innovative Housing Incentive program.
510 25th St East
In Spring of 2022, the YWCA applied to the City to amend the existing Zoning Agreement for 510 25th Street East. This application included the addition of ‘dwelling units’ to the proposed land use as well as increasing the allowable Gross Floor Area. The purpose of the application was to allow for the construction of an addition to the existing YWCA and Community Service Village.
The project plans an expansion of their crisis shelter and residence with an addition to the existing YWCA facilities. It will provide at least 33 new affordable units for women and their children who are fleeing domestic violence who are at risk of being homeless or already without a home.
Visit Hope Lives Here to learn more about the project and the YWCA’s Capital Campaign
Rendering and Floorplan
- November 2022: CMHC provides notification of RHI funding to City of Saskatoon through the Cities Stream
- December 2022: City of Saskatoon sends out request for Expressions of Interest (EOI)
- January 2023: Negotiations and project development with selected applicants
- March 2023: City submits proposal to CMHC online portal
- May 2023: CMHC to approve and draft agreements for Cities Stream projects
- September 2023: Public announcement of RHI project
- Fall 2023: Site preparations and construction begins
- November 2024: Expected project completion and occupancy