The City selected housing partners Regina Treaty/Status Indian Services (RTSIS) and Silver Sage Housing Corporation (SSH), two local Indigenous non-profit organizations, to lead Regina’s first RHI project. The City transferred land and capital funds to SSH to develop and manage the building. SSH is working with Big Block Construction to design and construct the development. Once in operation, RTSIS will provide tailored supports to the residents tied to healthy living, medical needs, social inclusion and culture.
The housing partners in collaboration with their communities have chosen to call the RHI project the Home Fire Complex. The name comes from the Home Fire, an Indigenous concept and teaching that encourages growth and stability for individuals and families within one’s sacred space.
SSH and RTSIS worked in collaboration with Big Block Construction and architect David T. Fortin on the design elements of the building. The design team also hosted a Sharing Circle to hear from individuals who will eventually live in these homes, and they worked with local artist Linda Obey-Lavallee to provide input on patterns and symbols that reflect the many local Indigenous cultures.
The City purchased land at 120 Broad Street, located in the North East neighbourhood (Ward 7) for the RHI project. The site was selected for its size, appropriate zoning and proximity to transit, community resources and amenities.
Rendering & Photos
Rendering & Photos
Some important design elements include:
- A priority was that the building look and feel like a home.
- Brick was chosen for the façade to tie in the new build with the existing church on the site.
- A teepee typically has 15 poles, and this was reflected in the 15 columns that support the canopy over the main entrance.
- The sun shades are optimally shaped to limit heat in the summer but allow the sun to shine through in the winter.
The first Community Information Session took place on January 5, 2022.
SSH and RTSIS hosted a Community Meet n Greet and Sharing Circle on June 16, 2022 at the site.
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Funding > Plan > Design> Build > Operate
- July 2021: CMHC announces allocation of RHI funding to City of Regina; City commences search for a site
- August 2021: City submits proposal to CMHC; City invites non-profit organizations and housing providers to submit proposals for the City’s Permanent Supportive Housing operating Grant
- September 2021: City selects RTSIS/SSH to operate the building through the Permanent Supportive Housing Operating Grant
- October 2021: City makes conditional offer on purchase of 120 Broad Street
- November 2021: CMHC approves the City’s RHI proposal
- December 2021: Site selection finalized
- January 2022 (ongoing): Community education and outreach
- February 2022: City Council approves land transfer and provision of capital funds to SSH
- Spring-Summer 2022: Planning and design; Construction timelines adjusted
- September 2022: Sod turning ceremony
- October 2022: Site work begins
- April 2023: Module craning onsite
- August 2023: Site work complete
- September 2023: Building opening celebration and occupancy
Frequently Asked Questions
Find commonly asked questions and answers about the Rapid Housing Initiative.
What type of housing will this be?
The Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) project is considered transitional or supportive housing. This is longer-term housing that is distinct and different from emergency shelters, drop-ins and other forms of temporary accommodations. The building itself will hold 29 apartments as well as space for services, training, and other supports. From the outside, it will be similar to any low-rise apartment building.
Some supportive housing projects limit the time that residents can live in the building. However, the housing operator (RTSIS) intends to welcome residents to stay in the building for as long as they need before being ready to transition to more independent living. It is anticipated that on average residents may stay three to five years.
What is the need for supportive housing in Regina?
The need for supportive housing in our city is great – Regina’s 2021 Homeless Point-In-Time Count found 488 people experiencing homelessness.
Regina’s Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) project addresses the need for longer-term supportive housing, which houses residents who have chosen to exit homelessness and are taking steps towards healing and community integration.
Who is going to operate the building?
The partnership of Silver Sage Holdings Ltd. (SSH) and Regina Treaty/Status Indian Services (RTSIS) was selected through a grant application process. These Indigenous organizations represent a solid partnership with a proven track record of providing safe, secure, affordable housing and support services. They have experience supporting individuals who are transitioning to permanent housing.
Since 1994, RTSIS has been working as the exclusive Indigenous-owned and governed, human services delivery agency providing a wide range of program and service interventions to multi-barrier clients in and around Regina. RTSIS works with a network of service delivery partnerships to ensure clients have access to a continuum of social services that can help support them in making successful transitions to independence, wellness and community belonging.
SSH is the largest off-reserve housing provider in Saskatchewan and has been working to advance social housing outcomes in Regina for Indigenous clients since 1983.
Who will live in this housing development?
Residents will have been actively working with the housing operator (RTSIS) for 6-12 months prior to moving into the building to ensure they are able to live in their own apartment safely and successfully with supports provided on-site to build their independence. Residents will have experienced barriers to accessing housing, however it is a misconception that they will be actively in crisis due to severe addiction or mental health issues. Residents will have individualized case management plans with RTSIS that provide support and direction for them to gain greater independence.
A condition of the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) funding is that a minimum of 25% of units be targeted towards women or women and their children. This is a consistent expectation for all RHI projects across Canada.
The funding also targets a minimum of 15% of units be targeted towards Indigenous residents. Regina’s RHI project is likely to exceed this target as Indigenous people are over-represented among those who require access to supportive housing in Regina.
RTSIS intends to meet the targets by managing an inclusive space that is open to men, women and children, including 2SLGBTQ+ residents. Residents will be offered the option to move into this space only after working with RTSIS for 6-12 months, once the organization understands their needs and what they require to be successfully and safely housed. RTSIS is also looking to address the need for family reunification and co-ed units at this site, specifically for families who have had to separate because the situation complications of poverty, job loss or the inability to find suitable accommodations.
What support services will the residents receive?
Residents will have been working with the housing operator (RTSIS) for 6-12 months prior to moving into the building to ensure they are stable and will be able to successfully live in their own unit with supports provided on-site to build their independence. These supports may include:
- Healthy Living – meal preparation, nutrition, personal care
- Social Inclusion – counselling, life skill training, access to programs and services
- Cultural – access to healing spaces, traditional medicines, traditional learning opportunities with Elders and Knowledge keepers
Support services will be tailored to the individual needs of each resident. Many will be provided on-site, and the building will be designed accordingly. Some services will be provided by RTSIS and others will be managed in partnership with the appropriate agency which could include Saskatchewan Health Authority and additional partners.
There will be 24-hour staffing at the building including security/reception. There will also be a dedicated property manager for the building and maintenance staff. The details around staffing and security will be determined by RTSIS and SSH as the project progresses.
Will this housing development affect the safety of my community?
Supportive housing, particularly when it is purpose-built and resourced appropriately, is intended to increase safety for both residents of the housing development and the surrounding community. This project will have staffing and services in place to support residents to improve their lives and integrate within the community, including reuniting with children or other family members, attending school or other training, and obtaining employment.
The City is committed to working with its partners on the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) project, as well as with public and separate school board staff, the operators of the seniors care home and the Regina Police Service, to ensure that new supportive housing at this location maintains community and resident safety. Our goal is that everyone will feel safe, welcome and included in their community.
There are numerous examples of similar housing developments integrated within communities and in proximity to schools throughout Canada. Municipalities have seen that supportive housing is part of the solution to building healthy and safe neighbourhoods, for children and for all of us.
How much did the site cost?
The City purchased the property for $1,200,000 which was funded through the federal government’s Rapid Housing Initiative. The appraised value of the property is $1,553,000.
Who is funding the development?
The City received $7.75 million in capital funding from the federal government’s Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) to deliver a minimum of 29 new permanent supportive housing spaces to address homelessness. The units must be delivered with within 12 months of a signed contribution agreement with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and must be maintained as affordable for a minimum of 20 years. While the City is able to work with a non-profit intermediary, the City remains signatory to all agreements with CMHC for the 20-year term.
The Government of Saskatchewan is providing an additional $783,000 10-year forgivable loan towards the capital development of the RHI project.
The City is contributing $615,000 in capital funding through the Housing Incentive Program (HIP) and providing operating funding of $1 million annually to provide support services to the residents at the building.