COVID-19 has exposed the desperate need for more affordable housing. As part of the National Housing Strategy (NHS), CMHC has developed an extra funding model to speed up the delivery of affordable housing units in the teeth of the pandemic. Called the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI), it provides funding for affordable housing units intended for vulnerable people and populations that the strategy has already identified.
Funding for RHI is split into two streams: the major-cities stream and the projects stream. The first stream—major cities—aims at giving immediate support to identified municipalities in highest need. These cities receive a pre-determined allocation based on how badly they need affordable housing.
The second stream—of interest to the Agency’s co-op clients—is application-based. This process is open to non-profit housing organizations and providers, as well as provinces, territories, municipalities and Indigenous governing bodies and organizations. Submissions are prioritized according to the strength of the application, favouring entries that promise delivery of the units within 12 months.
The Community Housing Transformation Centre is looking to heighten your co-op’s chance of success by offering up to $50,000 per project proposal. Your co-op can spend this grant on developing a professional business and project plan. A professional plan will strengthen your application and help make it a winner.
CMHC is accepting applications from now until December 31, 2020. Applications are reviewed and prioritized as they are submitted, based on program criteria. The application window is narrow, so if you’re interested, you’ll need to act quickly. To apply for the RHI fund, go to CMHC’s Rapid Housing Initiative webpage and be sure to review the Applicant Guide available under the Pre-Application Readiness tab.
Connect with your Agency relationship manager early on to ensure your applications for both kinds of funding are on track.