How the Community Housing Preservation Fund Helps Co-ops Prepare for the Future

9 August 2023

As housing co-ops age, it’s no surprise that buildings wear down, wear out and need repairs and replacements. 

But knowing what to replace, and when, isn’t always easy.

Your co-op will make better decisions if you use some (or all!) of the host of different reports and assessments available to help you plan effectively.

Building condition assessments, capital reserve planning, age-friendly conversion assessments or an operating viability analysis can give your co-op a better handle on where you’re at now, and what kind of capital spending you will need in the future.

Fortunately, we know of a program that can help your co-op pay for these reports and assessments.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has a program called Preservation Funding. This program exists to help housing co-ops and other community housing providers invest in studies like the ones we’ve just mentioned—all so that they will thrive as good places to live.

The Agency administers the Preservation Funding agreements on behalf of CMHC. We’ve used the data collected through our oversight to examine how Agency clients have used the program as far back as 2018.

Of the over 400 housing co-ops that have applied for Preservation Funding since 2018, here are the most common types of reports and services they’ve paid for through the program.


Preservation Activity or Service


Number of Co-ops


Building Condition Assessment


Energy Audit


Capital Replacement Planning


Age-Friendly Conversion Assessment


Environmental Site Assessment


Operating Viability Analysis


Professional Appraisal


Asset Management Plan


Capital Reserve Planning


Refinance Consultation, Analysis, Assessment




Within the “Other” category are different kinds of reports or activities that meet the specific needs of a particular co-op. This includes things like assessments of elevators, roofs or plumbing, as well as inspections for asbestos and Radon. On average, the amount of funding that each co-op received was just over $20,000.

Applying For Preservation Funding

Last year, CMHC simplified the process of applying to the program and made changes to the eligibility criteria so that co-ops with expired operating agreements can now qualify for this funding, including those in the Rental Assistance Program (FCHI-2). At the same time, CMHC asked the Agency to help with administering the program. So once an application has been approved, co-ops can expect to hear from the Agency for progress reports.

CMHC has a few documents available on its website to help you complete your application:

Tip of the Month

Capital Plans and Contributions

Comparing 2007 and 2020, we saw the median annual contributions per unit almost triple ($1,026 per unit to $3,052).