NEW - Federal: Rapid Housing Initiative could provide opportunities for propane
A recent announcement by the federal government which will see $1 billion directed towards new buildings and retrofits could provide important opportunities for Canada’s propane industry.
On September 21, Ahmed Hussen, minister of families, children and social development as well as the minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), announced a $1 billion Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) which the federal government hopes will address the urgent need for housing for many Canadians, while creating thousands of jobs in the housing and contracting sectors.
On October 2, CPA President Nathalie St-Pierre wrote to Minister Hussen regarding the federal government’s intention to create thousands of jobs retrofitting homes and buildings while cutting energy costs for Canadian families and businesses and the importance of affordable and clean propane.
In her letter, St-Pierre noted that, “in almost all of Atlantic Canada and in many parts of the rest of rural Canada including Indigenous and remote communities, heating oil, diesel and other carbon intense fuels are often used for heating. That’s why our members feel that the RHI initiative fits perfectly with the advantages of low-emission propane.”
The $1 billion in funding will be provided through two streams:
- Major Cities Stream: $500 million in immediate support for pre-determined municipalities. The municipalities were determined based on metrics including the levels of renters in severe housing need and of people experiencing homelessness.
- Projects Stream: $500 million for projects based on applications from provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous governing bodies and organizations, and non-profit organizations. Applications will be accepted from October 27 to December 31, 2020.
- The RHI will be delivered by the CMHC, under the National Housing Strategy (NHS).
- The NHS is an ambitious 10-year plan that will invest more than $55 billion to create 125,000 new housing units, reduce housing need for 530,000 households, and repair and renew more than 300,000 housing units.
- Funding under the Major Cities Stream is allocated as follows:
- Toronto: $203.3 million
- Montréal: $56.8 million
- Vancouver: $51.5 million
- Ottawa: $31.9 million
- Region of Peel: $30.4 million
- Calgary: $24.6 million
- Edmonton: $17.3 million
- Surrey: $16.4 million
- Capital Regional District (British Columbia): $13.1 million
- Winnipeg: $12.5 million
- Hamilton: $10.8 million
- Halifax: $8.7 million
- Region of Waterloo: $8.2 million
- London: $7.5 million
- Québec City: $7.1 million
Under the Projects Stream, applications can be submitted from October 27 until December 31, 2020. CMHC will review applications within 30 days from the close of the application window. Projects must be completed within 12 months of a signed agreement, and unused funds will be re-allocated to other projects.
The CPA will be in contact with the Minister’s Office and CMHC to learn more details about this new program and to discuss how low-emission propane plays in important role in providing clean and affordable energy to public housing in Canada.