As of 2022, eligibility for FCHI-2 will also be available to housing providers whose federal operating agreement expired prior to April 1, 2016.
In the coming weeks, CMHC will invite eligible housing providers. If you are unsure about your organization’s eligibility, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Federal Community Housing Initiative (FCHI) is a $618.2 million fund to support federally administered community housing projects reaching the end of their operating agreements from past social and affordable housing programs.
The initiative has two phases:
- FCHI-Phase 1, provided $38 million in federal funding over a two-year period.
- Phase 2 provides a total of $580.2 million in funding for housing providers with expired agreements and those that will expire by March 31, 2028.
The two FCHI-2 funding streams are:
- Rental Assistance: The rental assistance stream provides financial assistance for low-income households. Housing providers may apply for this rental support, which aims to fund the gap between 30% of an assisted household’s gross monthly income and the occupancy charge.
Transitional Funding: The transitional funding stream is
available to housing providers having trouble transitioning to the new
program. The temporary funding will cover eligible operating costs for up to
24 months following the expiration of past federal agreements. This funding
stream has a limited budget and is reserved for the most vulnerable groups,
such as deep subsidy projects or urban Indigenous projects. Transitional
funding is provided alongside the rental assistance stream as a separate,
additional form of assistance.
Once the transitional funding ends, housing providers will continue to receive rental assistance until the end of the FCHI-2 agreement.
RENTAL ASSISTANCE ELIGIBLITY:
To be an eligible FCHI-2 Housing Provider, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be a non-profit housing provider or a housing co-operative whose federal operating agreement with CMHC has ended or will end March 31, 2028.
Be a provider whose operating agreement with CMHC is under one of
the following social housing programs:
- Section 95 (Pre-86) non-profit, co-operative, urban native
- Section 95 (Post-85) non-profit, co-operative, urban native
- Section 95 (Post-85) Index-Linked-Mortgage (ILM) co-operatives
- Section 27, 61 non-profit and co-operatives
- Section 26 non-profit or Entrepreneurs
- Section 95 Rent Supplement (units currently leased from a private property owner and rented to those in need).
An exception exists for ILM co-operatives where, they are eligible for FCHI-2 as soon as the first mortgage has been repaid and federal assistance (for the operating expenses) has ceased to be paid.
Note that housing providers who meet the general rules and have a rent supplement agreement, or who have another subsidy agreement with their province or municipality can submit a request only for units not covered by those other agreements. Once these agreements have expired, the units may be eligible for FCHI-2, subject to need and available funds at that time.
Breach of a previous operating agreement(s) could affect eligibility for FCHI-2. In this case, CMHC will contact the housing providers to discuss their specific case.
In cases where a housing provider is eligible for FCHI-2, but whose agreement ended before March 31, 2020, CMHC may request additional documents to confirm that the housing provider’s status is active and that it complies with its legal obligations (e.g. financial statements, proof of payment of property taxes, etc.)
Throughout the program, CMHC will identify eligible non-profit housing providers and housing co‑operatives and send them an enrolment form at least six months before the end of their agreement in effect with CMHC, when possible.
TRANSITIONAL FUNDING ELIGIBLITY:
Transitional funding is reserved for housing providers experiencing challenges transitioning to the new program model. This funding will be reserved for the most vulnerable groups, such as deep subsidy or urban Indigenous projects. It will be granted for 24 months from the effective date of the FCHI-2 agreement.
Transitional funding is a complement to the rental assistance component. Eligible groups will receive funding from both streams simultaneously. The analysis process for transitional funding is completed in conjunction with CMHC’s review of the housing provider’s enrolment for the rental assistance of FCHI-2. First, the amount of rental assistance is calculated. Note that housing charges are of particular importance to this calculation. They should be established at a level that will support the viability of the project. CMHC will accept rents that are reasonably in line with market rents and that support the economic sustainability of the housing provider.
Following the rental assistance calculation, if it is determined that there are additional financial needs, then an additional amount through the transitional funding could be offered. Once the transitional funding ends, the housing provider will continue to receive rental assistance until the end of the FCHI-2 agreement.
RENTAL ASSISTANCE ENROLMENT :
CMHC will identify and contact potentially eligible housing providers with an enrolment package at least six months prior to the expiry of their federally administered operating agreement, when possible.
Eligible providers will need to confirm their intent to participate in the FCHI-2 by the deadline communicated in the enrolment package. The Intent to Opt-in or Opt-out of Rental Assistance Form and FCHI-2 Enrolment Annex, which are included in the enrolment package, should be completed and sent in to CMHC.
TRANSITIONAL FUNDING ENROLMENT
Transitional funding is reserved for the most priority groups, such as deep subsidy or urban Indigenous projects. Housing providers that apply for the rental assistance stream of FCHI-2 are automatically considered for the transitional funding stream. If CMHC identifies your group or project as being in need of this funding after an initial needs assessment, you will be contacted to provide more information after the assessment of your rental assistance application and before the expiration of your previous federal operating agreement with CMHC.
CMHC determines the amount of funding a housing provider receives following a needs and prioritization assessment based on information provided in the Annex. If you are eligible for transitional funding, you will receive a request to provide any additional information required to complete your enrolment for both streams of the FCHI2 program.
Applicants will receive assessment results in writing by way of letter. Funding approvals are provided via the FCHI-2 agreement.
The decision letter will accompany the FCHI-2 agreement and communicate some of the terms and conditions of the funding offer.
Agreement and Administration
AGREEMENT AND FUNDING DETAILS
Funding to housing providers will be in the form of a contribution, with an agreement between the housing provider and CMHC that sets out the terms and conditions of the funding.
Schedule B of the agreement outlines the funding details of your project under the rental assistance stream. This includes the project address(es), the number of assisted households, and the amount of rental assistance.
Schedule F of the agreement will outline the funding, if any, received through the transitional funding stream.
Schedule B and Schedule F will be amended as the funding amount fluctuates and as phases are added to FCHI-2, if applicable.
For cases where a housing provider has multiples accounts or multi-phased accounts, the FCHI-2 agreement will facilitate the consolidation of all units under one master agreement.
The housing provider will have at least 30 days to confirm whether they wish to sign the agreement and receive the associated funding under FCHI-2.
ADMINISTERING RENTAL ASSISTANCE
Throughout the lifetime of the FCHI-2, the housing provider will administer the following aspects:
- Determining household eligibility for rental assistance (see the FCHI-2 Reference Guide, Section 3.1 Eligible households)
- Verifying household income (see the FCHI-2 Reference Guide, Section 4.1 Determination of monthly income)
- Setting the housing charges
- Allocating the provided rental assistance throughout the year
- Completing the CMHC form including the section on reconciliation of funds provided during the fiscal year
- Communicating the FCHI-2 guidelines to households receiving rental assistance