The federal government has announced a major funding boost for Guelph’s Grace Gardens affordable housing project.

On Wednesday, federal housing minister Ahmed Hussen announced a $6.4 million injection to help convert the former Parkview Motel into 32 affordable studio apartments.

“We all agree that affordable housing should not be a luxury,” said Hussen. “It’s a necessity.”

The project will support those experiencing homelessness, including Indigenous people, and people dealing with complicated housing needs, Hussen said.

“I lived in social housing and I know the importance of having a roof over my head,” he continued. “Without that housing, I wouldn’t have been able to get my undergrad.”

Grace Gardens has been in the works for several years and involves Stepping Stone, a Guelph organization that helps local individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

Stepping Stone’s executive director says they couldn’t have done it alone.

“It takes everyone,” said Gail Hoekstra.”It takes everyone with a little bit of influence, but more importantly heart. And if you have the heart you can make huge things happen but it can’t just be one person, it has to be all the levels here.”

Hoekstra says the funding puts the organization in a good position to finish construction — with a goal of being done this summer.