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Canada and Ontario Provide New Affordable Housing for Indigenous Individuals and Families in Niagara Region

News Release

Canada and Ontario Provide New Affordable Housing for Indigenous Individuals and Families in Niagara Region

Thorold, ON —The governments of Canada and Ontario are committing $475,000 to build community housing in Thorold and St. Catharines for Indigenous people. The funding will be delivered through the Ontario Priorities Housing Initiative (OPHI).

Adam Vaughan, Member of Parliament for Spadina-Fort York and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, on behalf of the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), along with the Honourable Steve Clark, Ontario's Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, made the announcement today.

The announcement took place at the proposed site for the Oonuhseh Niagara Native Homes project on Ormond Street in Thorold. The investment, administered through Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services, will be used to build five new homes, including a duplex in Thorold and a triplex in St. Catharines.

Two homes on the lower floor of the Oonuhseh-Oakdale Ave triplex in St. Catharines will be wheelchair accessible. They will have wider entrances, lower countertops and washrooms with accessible features.


"Home is a place of safety and refuge. Our government is dedicated to housing more Canadians which is why we are proud to have invested in these developments in Niagara Region. These new units are more than just safe and affordable places to live, they are key to a better life for the residents who call them home." - Adam Vaughan, Member of Parliament for Spadina-Fort York and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

 "Our government is committed to working with our Indigenous program administrators, like Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services, to help build much needed housing for Indigenous people living off-reserve. These new buildings are one of the ways our government is ensuring Indigenous people can access the affordable housing and supports they need today, and in the years to come." - Steve Clark, Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

"Ensuring that Indigenous people have access to affordable housing that meets their needs is absolutely critical, especially during this challenging time. We look forward to continuing this vital work in collaboration with municipal, federal and Indigenous partners." - Greg Rickford, Ontario Minister of Indigenous Affairs

Quick Facts

  • The Government of Canada is currently rolling out its National Housing Strategy (NHS)—an ambitious 10-year, $40 billion plan that will create 100,000 new housing units and lift 530,000 families out of housing need as well as repair and renew more than 300,000 housing units and reduce chronic homelessness by 50 per cent.
  • The Ontario government has a strong record of working with Indigenous organizations in providing off-reserve affordable and supportive housing. The Ontario Priorities Housing Initiatives (OPHI) was one of the programs launched to support the Community Housing Renewal Strategy announced in April 2019 to leverage federal investments under the federal-provincial bilateral agreement. It provides cost-matched funding to service managers and Indigenous program administrators. In all, $8.4 million was confirmed for Indigenous program administrators in fiscal year 2019-20. Planned allocations for the years following are $4.4 million for fiscal 2020-21 and $6.8 million for fiscal 2021-22.
  • The Ontario government is providing municipal service managers and urban Indigenous program administrators with $350 million through the Social Services Relief Fund. This builds on the support being delivered as part of the COVID-19 Action Plan to Protect Vulnerable Ontarians. The action plan provides enhanced screening and testing in high-risk settings such as shelters and homes, including for those with developmental disabilities, and provides personal protective equipment and training so staff will know what to do in the event of an outbreak.

Additional Resources

  • As Canada's authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. For more information, please visit cmhc.ca or follow us on TwitterInstagram, YouTubeLinkedIn and Facebook.

  • Ontario is committed to increasing housing supply across the province, while getting the best value for taxpayers. Cutting red tape will bring housing to market faster – leading to lower housing costs and helping people keep more of their hard-earned dollars. For more information on affordable housing in Ontario, visit ontario.ca/affordablehousing or follow us on Twitter.

  • To find out more about the National Housing Strategy, visit www.placetocallhome.ca.

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