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Update on Federal Community Housing Initiative, Phase 2

Published August 15, 2019

This update comes from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

If you have any questions about FCHI Phase 2, please contact Courtney Lockhart, CHF Canada’s Program Manager, Policy and Government Relations at clockhart@chfcanada.coop or 613-230-2201 ext. 231.

Government of Canada, CMHC

We have been working closely with key housing associations over the summer to finalize details for Phase 2 of the Federal Community Housing Initiative (FCHI). This new rental assistance program for community housing providers reaching the end of their operating agreements will be available as of April 1, 2020.

It is important to note that as a new program, FCHI is not a continuation of other programs or previous agreements. Our intent is to provide flexibility that can better meet the needs of providers and help develop a healthy community housing sector.

The funding envelope is available until March 2028 as plans beyond 2028 are still to be undertaken.

Who is eligible?

Providers of federally administered non-profit and co-op housing are eligible for this program if at least one of these categories applies:

• Projects with agreements ending between April 1, 2016 and March 31st, 2028
• Projects that signed onto FCHI Phase 1

Provincially administered social housing projects are not eligible.

For example, if your operating agreement ends in 2023, your project will be eligible for FCHI Phase 2 funding in that year.

Key Dates:

July – September 2019
• Program development continues

Late September 2019
• We will begin communicating directly to providers and begin the intake process

November 2019
• We will do calculations on financial statements; CMHC assessment continues, and confirmation of opt-ins

April 2020
• Funding begins

Summary of the Funding

The funding will include two streams: Rental Assistance and Transitional Funding.

The Rental Assistance will help low-income households maintain housing stability in federally administered community housing. The available funding period will be from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2028. We hope to share more details of how the assistance will be calculated and distributed, as well more information on the Rental Assistance stream, as they become available.

The Transitional Funding will be a temporary support, with a maximum funding period of 24 months. Transitional Funding is being designed to help vulnerable projects, for example, projects in difficulty, or those with deep subsidy.

The ability to stack funding from other sources (like the Co-Investment Fund) may be available.

How is the rental assistance calculated?

Details of the rental assistance program have yet to be finalized however we plan to share more details as they become available.

What are the next steps?

We will begin communicating directly with eligible housing providers in September to begin the intake process. This process will be a simple opt-in/opt-out decision where the provider will outline their intentions.

The data required for intake is already available so there will be no major steps or forms to complete. After signing the agreement, providers must work with us to complete an action plan within one year.

What about projects with operating agreements that expired before April 1, 2016?

We are open to having this program available to projects with operating agreements that expired before April 1, 2016, however program details are not yet finalised. More information will be communicated in upcoming weeks.

What about projects that did not sign onto the Federal Community Housing Initiative Phase 1, but want to opt-in?

This is another category of housing providers that still requires work and more details will be provided in upcoming weeks.

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