People who are fleeing domestic violence, including those living on-reserve, need ready access to safe emergency shelter. Many also need second-stage or transitional housing as they prepare for independent living after leaving an abusive situation.

We work closely with First Nations across Canada to ensure these essential services are available in their communities. Through our Shelter Enhancement Program (SEP) On-Reserve, we help pay for much-needed repairs to existing shelters. We also provide financial support to those looking to build new shelters or second-stage housing projects.

Who is eligible for financial support?

This program is open to all First Nations or First Nation housing organizations that operate housing for people fleeing domestic violence.

What type of work is covered by this program?

Financial support is available to create a new shelter or second-stage housing. Funding can also be provided for repairs to existing shelters or second-stage housing, including:

  • repairs to bring the property up to a minimum level of health and safety
  • modifications to make the property accessible to persons with disabilities
  • safe play areas for children and an appropriate level of security for all occupants
  • an appropriate level of security for all occupants.

This program covers only the capital costs of new construction or renovation. Operating support for shelters and second-stage housing must be secured through Indigenous Services Canada or another acceptable source. For second-stage housing, occupants are expected to make modest contributions to offset the operating costs.

Important: Have you done any of this work before getting your application approved in writing? If so, that work won’t be eligible for funding under this program.

How much financial support is available?

For new construction, we will provide up to 100% of the project’s capital costs. The forgivable loan must be secured by a Ministerial Loan Guarantee for a period of 15 years.

For renovations, we will provide up to $60,000 for each unit or bed-unit being updated. If your shelter is located on-reserve in northern or remote areas, the maximum amount may be increased by 25%.

In both cases, support is provided in the form of a forgivable loan. This means it doesn't have to be repaid as long as you meet all the terms and conditions.

Any costs above the maximum loan amount are the responsibility of the First Nation or shelter sponsor.

What if I need funding for a different kind of project?

CMHC has other programs for other types of on-reserve housing projects. For example, we have programs that helps turn non-residential properties into affordable rental housing, or create secondary and garden suites for seniors or adults with disabilities.

For more information about this program, please contact your First Nation Housing Specialist.

Date Published:: March 31, 2018