A new housing model will address the need for affordable housing for continental African Canadians

The Rwandan Canadian Healing Centre, and its partners set out to create an affordable housing model that centres on traditional African values of community, family, and culture.

The Rwandan Canadian Healing Centre (RCHC) is partnering with Overlap Associates and six African Canadian community organizations to create the African Canadian Affordable Housing - Solutions Lab Project. This project aims to incorporate traditional African values into an affordable housing model to address the lack of suitable and culturally relevant housing for continental African Canadians.

Supported by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), over $230,000 was granted to this project to design a housing model that emulates a traditional African village. This project is designed to help create a housing model that is affordable, culturally relevant, and intergenerational.

“We want to recreate the support and community of a traditional African village for African Canadians living in Canada who haven’t been able to experience it. To bring a taste of home to the community,” said Kizito Musabimana, Founder and Executive Director of RCHC -

“As a newcomer in Canada who has experienced homelessness, I would have greatly benefited from an affordable housing project like this, which focuses on community and connection that offers resources to navigate a new country. I hope this project brings about positive lasting impacts that address affordable housing challenges.”

The partnering organizations hope to create a successful community-centred model that can be replicated to benefit continental African Canadians and Canadians of all backgrounds in the future.

One of the outcomes of the project will be to make a positive impact on the social determinants of health for African Canadians, with a particular focus on improving mental health.

“We are an organization that focuses on mental health, and we realized that improving mental health starts by ensuring our basic needs are met. How can we heal when we are focused on survival? A lack of affordable housing and rising living costs directly worsens Canada's mental health crisis.” Moses Gashirabake, Chairman of the Board at RCHC

The project will undergo five phases that are set to be completed in June 2023. Upon completion, RCHC and its partners will work to promote and implement the housing model. The solution will also be added to the National Housing Strategy to help solve affordable housing challenges across Canada.

The African Canadian Affordable Housing - Solutions Lab Project is a partnership between RCHC and the following African Canadian Agencies:

  • The Ghanaian-Canadian Association of Ontario (GCAO)
  • Network for the Advancement of Black Communities (NABC)
  • CASA Consult Design
  • The New Nakfa - Eritrean Community Network
  • The GTA Rwandan Canadian Collective
  • Kenyan Canadian Association (KCA)

RCHC and its community partners will be hosting a Press Conference on Tuesday, February 21st, 2023, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. at 177 Peter Street, Suite 202, Toronto, ON M5V 0M3.

Further information on this project can be found at: africanadian.org

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