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Families, Children and Social Development Minister Ahmed Hussen listens to a question during a news conference in Ottawa, on April 21, 2020.Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

The federal Liberals plan to spend $1-billion over the next six months so cities and other housing providers can keep people from becoming homeless.

The rapid-housing funds can be used to buy properties being sold because of the COVID-19 pandemic, or to build new modular units.

The Liberals expect the program will create 3,000 new affordable housing units across Canada.

They want all the funds to be committed by the end of March 2021.

The funding will be available to municipalities, provinces, territories, Indigenous governing bodies and agencies and non-profit organizations.

Social Development Minister Ahmed Hussen says Ottawa will provide an additional $237-million to the federal homelessness strategy for pandemic-related expenses.

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