The Government of Canada, through CMHC, has launched the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI). A $1 billion program to help address urgent housing needs of vulnerable Canadians, especially in the context of COVID-19, through the rapid construction of affordable housing.
The initiative provides capital contributions (upon signing a funding agreement with CMHC) under two streams to expedite the delivery of affordable housing. The RHI will:
- Support the creation of up to 3,000 new permanent affordable housing units
- Cover the construction of modular housing, as well as the acquisition of land, and the conversion/rehabilitation of existing buildings to affordable housing
- Aim to commit all funds before March 31, 2021, and ensure housing is available within 12 months of agreements
RHI will deliver funding under two streams, each containing $500 million in available funds. Under the first stream, RHI will expedite funds to pre-identified municipalities with the highest level of renters in severe housing need and people experiencing homelessness. For the second stream, an application portal will be open to municipalities, provinces and territories, Indigenous governing bodies and organizations, and non-profit organizations where applications will be prioritized based on the strength of the application.
TWO FUNDING STREAMS
Major Cities Stream: Immediate Support for Identified Municipalities ($500 million)
The identified municipalities listed below will receive a pre-determined allocation based on the severity of the housing need in their respective housing market. Each municipality will be required to submit an investment plan and demonstrate alignment with the RHI criteria as well as how they will achieve results. The RHI expects municipalities to create, within a period of 12 months, a minimum number of units with the allocated funding (relative to local market costs):
Region of Peel
Capital Regional District (BC)
Region of Waterloo
If municipalities have planned projects that exceed their allocations, projects may be considered for funding under the Projects Stream without having to submit an additional application. Municipalities need however to include the details of these projects in their initial investment plan to be considered for that additional funding. Unused funds will be reallocated to other projects.
Projects Stream: Application Based process ($500 million)
Provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous governing bodies and organizations, as well as non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for funding under this stream.
CMHC will accept applications until December 31, 2020. Applications will be reviewed by January 31, 2021. Additional application intake windows may be offered if required. In the unlikely event where CMHC does not receive enough viable applications by the end of the application window, a second application window may be considered.
CMHC will review and prioritize applications based on program criteria. CMHC will aim to distribute all funds before March 31, 2021 where possible. Exceptions may apply, for example for projects in remote locations.
For Non-Government entities: please review the RHI Documentation Requirements (PDF) and Application Worksheet (XLS) with your CMHC specialist to determine the requirements that apply to you.
For Government entities: you must submit a filled out Application Worksheet (XLS) and submit a copy of your Development and Construction Project Management Schedule with milestones.
Documentation will be required at application.
Additionally, you will be required to complete the Integrity Declaration (PDF) form.
Submit your application:
Make sure your project meets the RHI eligibility criteria and is ready for submission. The deadline to apply is December 31, 2020. Please speak to your CMHC specialist before applying.
The Rapid Housing Initiative is open to:
- Municipal, Provincial, and Territorial Governments including their agencies
- Indigenous governing bodies and Organizations
- Non-profit organizations
Eligible applicants must have:
- Property Management Experience
- Construction Management Experience
* Experience may be acquired through a third party.
Property Type and Size Requirements:
- Standard rental, transitional, permanent supportive housing, single room occupancy and seniors housing (that requires light to no care)
- Must have a minimum of five units or beds*
- Minimum contribution request of $1M
- Primary use is residential
- Permanent housing (long-term tenancy, 3 months or more)
* with possible exceptions made for Northern, Indigenous or remote projects.
Mandatory minimum requirements
Eligible applicants must meet mandatory minimum requirements for Expediency, Financial Viability, Affordability, Energy Efficiency, Accessibility and Targeted Populations.
For additional information, please consult the RHI Product Highlight Sheet (PDF) where full details on mandatory minimum requirements and eligibility criteria are detailed.
CMHC will provide up to 100% in capital contribution funding to cover eligible residential construction costs. (CMHC will not fund non-residential costs).
Eligible recipients will receive funding for one of three eligible project types:
New Construction (only Modular)*:
1. Support the construction of a modular multi-unit rental project, which may include the acquisition of the land.
Modular is defined as housing units that are partially or fully built in off-site (e.g. a factory, warehouse, or similar facility) by a qualified manufacturer and delivered to the site in whole or in parts and installed on an appropriately zoned and serviced lot. This may range between single, scattered units up to larger multi-unit housing projects.
* Flexibilities may be available, on a case-by-case basis and at CMHC’s sole discretion, to accommodate limitations and challenges that might be encountered for projects being delivered on-reserve, in northern or remote communities. Proponents are encouraged to discuss the best options for their community with their CMHC Specialist.
2. Support the acquisition of land and buildings for the purpose of conversion of a non-residential building to an affordable rental project.
3. Support the acquisition of land and existing buildings in state of disrepair or abandoned for the purpose or rehabilitation where units were previously lost from the housing stock.
* Acquisition of land and buildings includes construction, conversion and rehabilitation costs.
Major Cities Stream:
The full contribution will be advanced once both CMHC and the municipality sign the contribution agreement.
For government entities, the RHI will advance the full contribution once both CMHC and the government sign the contribution agreement.
For non-government entities, a Quantity Surveyor or alternate qualified consultant approved by CMHC will release funds through construction draws with supporting documentation.
1. Major Cities Stream: Immediate Support for Identified Municipalities
Each municipality will submit an investment plan demonstrating alignment with the criteria as well as how it will achieve results within the RHI timelines. Municipalities will be encouraged to take a community benefit approach and include projects targeting women and urban Indigenous populations.
2. Projects Stream: Application-Based Process
CMHC will review the applications and will prioritize applications based on the RHI criteria. CMHC reserves the right to prioritize strong applications that best meet the RHI criteria outlined below prior to the closing of the intake window.
In addition to meeting mandatory minimum requirements (PDF), the RHI will prioritize applications that achieve higher outcomes in the following priority areas:
- Duration of confirmed subsidy
- Cost Sharing/Support from another level of government
- Land Status
- Duration of Affordability
- Energy Efficiency
- People or populations who are vulnerable