Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Kitchener Centre for his question and his concern for homeless people in his community. I share that concern.
We believe that all Canadians deserve to have a roof over their heads and to live in dignity, but there is a lot of work to do to get there. Some 35,000 people across the country experience homelessness on any given night. That is why we developed the first national housing strategy in Canada using a human rights-based approach. This comprehensive 10-year strategy, supported by an over $72-billion investment plan, gives priority to the most vulnerable members of our society.
Over the past two years, these people have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. During that time, we increased the number of projects for them under the national housing strategy. Thanks to budget 2022, we will soon be able to launch measures that will help them even more. For example, the rapid housing initiative is a very successful program that has helped thousands of Canadians who were living in precarious housing during the pandemic.
Two and a half billion dollars has already been allocated to the program, which will quickly create over 10,000 new affordable homes for Canadians who need it most. In this budget, we are proposing an additional $1.5 billion over two years to extend this initiative, based, in particular, on comments that were made last year. This new funding is expected to help create at least 6,000 new affordable housing units, of which at least 25% will be allocated to housing projects for women.
As my colleague from Kitchener Centre might already know, three housing projects in his riding were made possible through the rapid housing initiative. Together, they will create more than 70 permanent, affordable housing units for the people who need it most. One of those projects is oneROOF. It will soon be able to give people experiencing homelessness, people with mental health or addiction issues, and indigenous peoples a place to call home.
Our government also remains committed to ending chronic homelessness through Reaching Home, Canada's homelessness strategy. We have committed over $3 billion to address homelessness, including doubling annual funding for four years in response to the pandemic. With budget 2022, we will provide $562 million over two years to continue providing doubled annual funding for this program. We will also support research on eliminating chronic homelessness and a new veteran homelessness program.
Our government is making significant and sustained investments in housing. We are working hard to make housing more affordable for Canadians. As my colleague surely knows, and he would agree with me, our federal leadership and the significant investments we have made in housing across the country through the national housing strategy are some of the most significant we have seen from this government and in Canada in over 30 years now.