National Housing Co-Investment Fund Criteria

8 February 2019

In July 2018, we reported on CMHC’s National Housing Co-Investment Fund as an opportunity for Agency clients. Interest in this loan and grant program is growing; to date CMHC has received in excess of 200 applications since April. In response to feedback from stakeholders, some flexibilities have been announced regarding energy efficiency requirements and urgent repairs.

Energy Efficiency – Housing Repair and Renewal Stream

CMHC initially required co-ops to decrease energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25 per cent relative to the 2015 National Energy Code for Buildings or the 2015 National Building Code for housing providers seeking to retrofit their properties. Now, applicants have another option available to them in addition to the above. Applicants can choose to meet a target of 15 per cent reduction in GHG emissions relative to the 2017 National Energy Code for Buildings. Energy modeling software helps to measure the impact of on energy consumption for retrofits being considered.

CMHC is now also accepting an alternative to meeting the minimum Energy Efficiency requirements:

Applicants whose projects will be designed, built, tested, inspected and certified to Passive House standards can use Passive House Planning Package to show they meet the minimum energy requirements.

Urgent Repairs

If your housing co-op is in need of major repairs that will help prevent deterioration of buildings and vacancy losses because units are not in marketable condition or worse or if repairs are needed for health and safety reasons, the Co-Investment Fund may now be able to help.

CMHC will consider flexibilities on the minimum energy efficiency requirements and minimum accessibility requirements for buildings undergoing urgent repairs. For repairs involving the replacement of equipment and systems that consume or affect energy consumption (e.g., motors, space or water-heating systems, insulated roof or wall systems, windows and doors etc.), a target reduction of 25 per cent or better in the associated annual energy consumption of these systems will be permitted, where practically and technically possible. CMHC will also consider some flexibility on their minimum requirement for accessibility for buildings undergoing urgent repairs.

Lastly, urgent repair projects are eligible for funding to support upgrades that increase accessibility in units and common areas.

Examples of urgent repairs could include but are not limited to:

  • balcony railings and slabs
  • exterior windows and doors
  • unstable cladding/siding systems
  • fire safety systems
  • building envelopes to address water leakage, moisture, or mould / bacteria problems
  • structural systems including concrete, steel and wood
  • leaking or failed potable water and sewage systems
  • faulty heating and ventilating systems
  • faulty electrical systems
  • correcting flood and storm-damage
  • gas, water or electricity supplies
  • elevator and lift repairs

Please contact your local CMHC Affordable Housing Specialist, and as always, your co-op's relationship manager is here to support you.

Plans in Action

The average co-op with an approved capital replacement plan tucks away more than $2,700 per unit in reserves each year--almost double the 2007 amount of $1,165. Future generations of co-op members thank you.