Launching the online Rental Assistance Calculator

Date
26 July 2022

We’re pleased to announce the official launch of our online Rental Assistance Calculator.  

This tool was developed to help co-ops in the Rental Assistance Program (FCHI-2) calculate assisted charges, track their total use of assistance, and submit their year-end reconciliation.  

While developing it was a long process, we hope the Calculator will help make administering the program much easier for co-ops and property management companies. 

Here are a few of the features that will help save you time:  

  • The Calculator allows you to print summary sheets for each unit, which you can use to notify assisted members about their new housing charges. 

  • You will need to enter basic information into the Calculator once, rather than every time something changes. The system remembers when you’ve set up the Calculator with unit addresses and any services included in the housing charge. After that, you’ll only need to enter the changes. 

  • The system provides a monthly report that your bookkeeper can reconcile against your co-op’s books. 

  • After six months, if you find you are spending more on subsidies than you receive, you can let the Agency know. Instead of drawing on operating funds for subsidies while you wait for a year-end assessment, your co-op can have the Agency ask CMHC for a mid-year increase in your monthly payment. Because we have your information online, you won’t have to justify your request by completing the Excel worksheet. 

  • Year-end filing will be simple because your information for each month is already in the system. 

Accessing the Calculator 

Your main co-op administrator will receive a separate email detailing how to log on and access the tool on 3 August 2022. 

Moving forward, all co-ops will be required to submit their reconciliations and file online using the calculator.   

The Agency has been working to add data from prior year reconciliations into the system so that it will be available within the calculator. However, not all co-ops have been completed yet due to outstanding information.  

If your co-op has outstanding prior year reconciliations, we have a team of data entry assistants ready to help get your data into the calculator. Data entry assistance will be available until the end of August, but to take advantage of it, we need to receive your documents by August 19. After that, you will be responsible for adding your prior year reconciliations into the calculator.   

Please note that to complete your reconciliation for the current year in the calculator, all previous years must be completed first. If you have questions about completing your prior year reconciliations, please reach out to your Rental Assistance Officer for help.   

Upcoming webinars on the Calculator 

We’ve scheduled several webinars via Zoom to provide a demonstration of the Calculator to guide you through using it, as well as to answer any of your questions.  

  • Wednesday, 3 August 2022, 1:00 p.m. EST / 10:00 a.m. PST 

  • Tuesday, 9 August 2022, 7:00 p.m. EST / 4:00 p.m. PST 

  • Wednesday, 10 August 2022, 4:00 p.m. EST / 1:00 p.m. PST 

  • Wednesday, 17 August 2022, 1:00 p.m. EST / 10:00 a.m. PST 

  • French language session - Thursday, 18 August 2022, 1:00 p.m. EST / 10:00 a.m. PST 

  • Wednesday, 24 August 2022, 4:00 p.m. EST / 1:00 p.m. PST 

  • Wednesday, 5 October 2022, 4:00 p.m. EST / 1:00 p.m. PST 

To register, please email us at info@agency.coop with the name of your co-op and which session you would like to attend. These sessions will also be recorded, so if you can’t participate in one, please let us know if you would like to receive the recording.  

A reminder about Action Plans 

We also want to remind you about the fast-approaching deadline for submitting your Action Plan, which is required under your Rental Assistance Agreement.  

If your co-op’s rental assistance agreement started between 1 September 2020 and 1 August 2021, your action plan is due no later than 1 August 2022. Otherwise, your action plan is due 12 months from the date your rental assistance agreement started.  

Unfortunately, during these webinars, we will not have time to cover Action Plans or other program elements. If you would like a refresher, please review CMHC’s Reference Guide or reach out to your Rental Assistance Officer to get a hold of recordings of previous webinars that focused on the Action Plan.  

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).