New research initiatives will look at solving housing challenges to help Canadians access housing that meets their needs and that they can afford.

Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), announced the selection of twelve research proposals to receive funding support through the new National Housing Strategy (NHS) Research and Planning Fund. These initiatives will help address key information and knowledge gaps in NHS priority areas and contribute to a better understanding of the housing needs of Canada’s most vulnerable populations, including women and children, seniors, Indigenous peoples, homeless people, people with disabilities, young adults and newcomers.

The new fund, administered by CMHC, will provide financial support for research projects through three different streams:

  • Programs of Research (up to $250,000) that focuses on research initiatives that include multiple projects, conducted over a period of time, on a particular topic or issue.
  • Individual Research Project (up to $100,000) for projects that address specific knowledge and information gaps.
  • Planning Activity (up to $50,000) for projects that support the planning of research activities to help ensure sound methodology and impactful results.


"The Government is pleased to be supporting initiatives that will contribute to a better understanding of housing needs and possible solutions for Canadians across the housing spectrum. By collaborating with not-for-profit organizations and registered charities through the new NHS Research and Planning Fund, we will find new ways to help solve Canada’s housing challenges and make it easier for Canadians to access housing that meets their needs and that they can afford. This is an essential step in creating the caring, inclusive and prosperous society we strive to be."
— Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Quick facts:

  • The NHS Research and Planning Fund provides support to not-for-profit housing organizations and registered charities for housing-related research.
  • More than 50 applications were submitted in the first open call for proposals in 2018. The top 12 highest scoring proposals were selected following a rigorous evaluation process.
  • This funding opportunity helps promote interest, involvement and capacity building in housing research outside of government. It supports the development of evidence and highly focused expertise within the affordable housing sector to understand and overcome housing challenges, particularly for vulnerable populations.
  • Call for proposals to conduct housing research in key NHS priority areas will be issued on an annual basis. The next open-call competitive application process will launch in April 2019
  • The NHS includes $241 million over 10 years to support research and data on housing needs and conditions, the housing finance system, market stability and housing sector innovation.
  • Under the Investing in Canada plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.

Associated links:

As Canada's authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. For more information, follow us on  TwitterYouTubeLinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

The NHS is an ambitious 10-year, $55-billion plan that will eliminate or reduce from housing needs 530,000 households across Canada, create 125,000 new housing units, as well as repair and renew more than 300,000 housing units, and reduce chronic homelessness by 50 per cent.

To find out more about the National Housing Strategy, visit

Media contacts:

Valérie Glazer
Office of Minister Duclos
819-654-5546 (work)

Audrey-Anne Coulombe
Media Relations, CMHC


CMHC Research Planning Fund 2018 Winning Submissions by Funding Stream

Programs of Research Partners CMHC Funding
Project Location
Affordable, Culturally Appropriate, Net-Zero Homes and Clean Energy for First Nation Communities
While off-reserve housing has a robust scientific body of research, reserve housing has largely been ignored. This project employs a new model of community engagement that uses social innovation to embed skills and capacity within nations to build affordable, high-performance, culturally and climatically appropriate homes and clean energy projects. This project addresses a number of technical and socio-economic issues in the NHS priority theme areas by focusing on reserve housing, clean energy and their successful deployment in First Nation communities.
Cleantech Community Gateway
T'Sou-ke First Nation T'Sou-ke Centre for Sustainability
Aboriginal Skilled Workers Association
Canadian Union of Skilled Workers
$100,000 Victoria (BC)
An Age-Inclusive Approach to Housing for Older Vulnerable Adults
This program of research aligns with the NHS priority of meeting the distinct needs of low-income and vulnerable Canadians by working with the City of Toronto and our partners to innovate housing solutions for older adults who have a disability, and who are often low-income, that makes navigating the built and social environment a challenge. This work will inform the development of an integrated service delivery model for housing that brings together the levels of government and systems they are responsible for, so they can be more responsive to meeting the physical, mental and social care needs of this vulnerable group.
Sunnybrook Research Institute
City of Toronto
Regional Geriatric Program of Toronto
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
University of Toronto
North & East GTA Stroke Network
Ontario Association for Amputee Care
The Wellesley Institute SPRINT Senior Care Ontario Long-term Care Association
Toronto Council on Aging Toronto Central LHIN BeACCoN
$250,000 Toronto (ON)
Tower Renewal Implementation Program
The majority of Canada’s affordable purpose-built rental housing is at risk of being lost. Postwar towers – apartment buildings over 5 storeys built before 1985 – make up most of the purpose-built rental stock across the country with almost 800,000 households calling these apartments home. Tower Renewal is a strategy to ensure that this affordable apartment tower stock is maintained as a sustainable housing resource, while creating more resilient, secure and complete communities. This application to the NHS Research and Planning Fund proposes a program of research to accelerate the impact of Tower Renewal. Building on CUG+R’s Tower Renewal Partnership work, two research projects are proposed to kick-start a research program: i) accelerating the retrofit industry; and ii) enabling complete communities.
Centre for Urban Growth and Renewal
Transsolar Klima Engineering
NBLC Corporation
$154,000 Toronto (ON)
Understanding Homelessness and Housing Need for Women and Girls in Canada
The proposed program of research aims to develop a comprehensive analysis and understanding of homelessness and housing need for women and girls in Canada. The research proceeds through three key phases: (1) an extensive review of existing scholarship on women’s and girls’ experiences of homelessness and housing need; (2) an extensive national consultation with women and girls with lived experiences of homelessness or housing need; and (3) Indigenous-led engagement with Indigenous women and girls on their unique experiences of homelessness and housing need. The goal of this work is to develop a national knowledge base on the state of women’s and girls’ homelessness and housing need in Canada, grounded in both scholarly research and a national consultation, in order to guide policy and practice development.
Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness
Canadian Observatory on Homelessness
Temiskaming Native Women's Support
Temiskaming Native Women's Support
A Way Home Kamloops Society
University of British Columbia
$100,000 National


Individual Research Project Partners CMHC Funding Project Location
Assisting Renters: Housing Supplements in Manitoba and Canada
This project examines the impact of Rent Assist, a rent supplement program, on low-cost housing in Manitoba from the perspectives of tenants, private landlords and non-profit housing providers. The Rent Assist program in Manitoba is available to all who qualify within the income threshold, including Indigenous people, young adults, seniors, people with disabilities, newcomers and refugees. Tenants with rent supplements provide more sustainability for housing providers and play a key role in the demand side of the housing equation. New federal resources for housing supply will rely on rent supplements on the demand side to bring down rents to affordable levels for tenants. Our research will generate knowledge that can support the emerging Canada Housing Benefit, as well as housing for those in greatest need, community housing sustainability, sustainable housing and communities, and a balanced supply of housing.
Manitoba Non-Profit Housing Association
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-Manitoba
$57,040 Winnipeg (MB)
Barriers and Policy Implications for Micro-Housing Developments
The project will identify existing potential development planning and policy barriers that may prevent or hinder the implementation of micro homes as an affordable housing solution for vulnerable populations.
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
Services and Housing in the Province (SHIP)
$29,620 Toronto (ON)
Force collective de levier
The objective of this research project is to identify the key features of the collaboration among various stakeholders in the development of an innovative non-subsidized, affordable housing model, based on the use of community bonds to leverage funding, in a booming urban environment. This model would allow organizations on the ground to meet, more sustainably, the housing needs of disadvantaged people who face systemic discrimination in the rental market and who are more vulnerable to displacement. The project therefore seeks to find solutions to preserve the diversity of neighbourhoods and ensure sustainable housing and communities by providing support agencies with new tools that will help them access homeownership and ensure the sustainability of the community housing supply.
Brique par brique
Afrique au Féminin
McGill University
Caisse d’économie solidaire
Borough of Parc-Extension
$100,000 Montréal (QC)
Identifying the Foundations: Cultural Perspectives and Solutions for Indigenous Housing in Calgary
Indigenous populations are the priority population targeted by this project. This will include women, children and families who are over-represented in the homeless sector in Calgary and those who are most often residing in unstable and affordable housing. Indigenous homelessness and housing continue to be a priority for most urban and rural communities. This is reflected not only in the numbers identified throughout the homeless sector, but also those that are unable to attain housing in their First Nation communities. Therefore, having a stronger strategy on addressing housing issues for Indigenous peoples is not only an issue presented for Calgary's urban Indigenous population but across Canada. This project will inform the strategy by identifying knowledge gaps and developing recommendations on responsive and appropriate Indigenous housing solutions to help better serve Indigenous populations.
Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary
Aboriginal Standing Committee on Housing and Homelessness
City of Calgary and Calgary Housing Company
University of Calgary
$47,025 Calgary (AB)
Improving Community Well-Being Through Housing
The Cree Nation of Eastmain (CNE) is a First Nation community in Eeyou Istchee, the Cree region in Northern Quebec; it has a population of 866. Like many First Nation communities across Canada, we provide housing to our members. Nevertheless, we are facing a shortage of 50 housing units, a significant number for our community. To address this issue, the CNE is implementing an ambitious housing and community development plan to reduce the housing backlog by 50% over a period of five years. With this proposal, we will answer the following questions: 1) What are the links between housing and individual, family and community well-being in Eastmain? 2) How can we develop and implement culturally appropriate and rigorous research methodologies for our community to assess the impacts of our NZE housing program on well-being?
Cree Nation of Eastmain
McGill University
$100,000 Eastmain (QC)
This is Not Home
The proposed project will document and mobilize practice-based, actionable evidence on housing and supports for those in greatest need, specifically, multiply-marginalized women, trans, non-binary, and two-spirited people. The NHS dedicates 25% of its resources to respond to the housing and service needs of women and girls, yet the needs of multiply-marginalized women and trans people accessing low-barrier drop-ins are poorly understood and not well served by most models of housing and support. This project will address the data gap on women and gender-diverse persons who are homeless (NHS p.26), particularly those whose homelessness is hidden, episodic, and complicated by trauma, violence, use of drugs or alcohol, complex mental health issues, sex trade work, criminalization, impacts of colonization, discrimination on the basis of race and disability, precarious citizenship status, and involvement with child welfare and immigration systems.
Sistering – A Woman's Place
Springtide Resources
My Sister's Place – CMHA Middlesex
Willow's Place – Mission Services
Safe Place – Victoria
Faulkner Centre
West-Central Women's Resource Centre
Downtown Eastside Women's Centre
$100,000 Toronto (ON) London (ON) Hamilton (ON) Whitehorse (YK) Winnipeg (MB) Vancouver (BC)


Planning Activity Partners CMHC Funding Project Location
Addressing the Housing Needs of Refugee Families Through Transitional Housing and WrapAround Supports
The proposed project will highlight an innovative housing model that provides low-income refugee families with affordable, transitional places to live coupled with wraparound supports (with a focus on families in Winnipeg's inner city).
Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba
Community Engaged Research on Immigration Network/University of Winnipeg
Immigration Research West
Institute of Urban Studies (University of Winnipeg)
$49,994 Winnipeg (MB)
Improving Housing Conditions, Improving Health: Community Engagement and Planning Proposal
The Health Justice Program has created a unique space where health, legal, and community partners in Toronto have connected. This partnership has exposed housing conditions as the number 1 pressing issue for the communities we serve (a significant proportion of the patient population lives with mental health, addiction, lived experience of or at risk of homelessness, advanced age, disability, and/or are indigenous or newcomers to Canada). We believe we are uniquely situated to carry out a community engagement process to broaden what we know and specifically find out from the populations we serve, and their allies and stakeholders, how their housing conditions impact health. We seek to gain a better understanding of the current gaps in Canadian literature in order to craft a research study to track the health impact of strategic legal interventions.
Health Justice Program
Neighbourhood Legal Services
Upstream Lab
$50,000 Toronto (ON)

Date Published: April 18, 2019