The Trudeau government has announced it is giving millions of taxpayer dollars to help 200 black families in the Greater Toronto Area pay for their first home. 

“This investment builds on previous announcements by the Government of Canada to support Black Canadians in achieving their dream of homeownership,” read an announcement by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) on Friday.

The program will provide $10 million in taxpayer money to the BlackNorth Homeownership Bridge Program along with a “joint contribution of $40 million with Habitat for Humanity to create 200 additional homeownership opportunities for Black Canadians, as part of a recently announced $50 million investment through the National Housing Co-Investment Fund to support Black Canadian renters.”

“Different Canadians face unique challenges, especially when it comes to finding a safe and affordable place to call home,” said federal minister of housing and diversity and inclusion Ahmed Hussen.

“Our government continues to support Black Canadians in accessing equitable housing opportunities. This funding will support Black Canadians across the GTA to become homeowners and break the cycle of core housing need.”

The CMHC press release said that the program would be led by BlackNorth Initiative in partnership with Habitat for Humanity and “will support homeownership for Black Canadians through a shared equity mortgage structure.”

“We need to focus first and foremost on the most vulnerable of our fellow Canadians, including those who face unique challenges,” said BlackNorth Initiative founder Wes Hall. “Investment in the BlackNorth Initiative Homeownership Bridging Program (HBP) highlights the Government of Canada’s commitment to both anti-racism initiatives and finding pathways to homeownership.”

The HBP, said the press release, will “support homeowners in building strength and generational wealth through their home, create ownership opportunities for multiple generations of homeowners and will ensure housing units remain affordable across multiple owners to build inclusive communities.”

Quillette associate editor Jonathan Kay mocked the race–based funding program on Saturday. 

“So how do they decide who gets the money?” said Kay in a tweet on Saturday. “Do they pick, like, the *blackest* applicants?” 

Race-based data collected by Statistics Canada suggests that about 25% of Black Canadians are in core housing need, with 80% of them paying about a third or more of their income towards housing. 

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