Rapid Housing Initiative
In October 2020, the Federal Government launched a new Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) that invests $1 billion dollars to create up to 3,000 new permanent, affordable housing units across Canada. In November 2020 The municipality has evaluated the Expressions of Interest and has selected the following projects: Mi’kmaq Native Friendship Centre, Adsum for Women and Children and the North End Community Health Association for a total of 52 units/rooms. See the report here.
Rapid Housing Initiative – Round 2
On June 30, 2021 the Federal Government launched Round 2 of RHI which includes an additional investment of $1.5 billion will create up to 4,500 new permanent, affordable housing units across the country. The funding will help municipalities address urgent housing needs for those who are vulnerable. To learn more, see here.
The municipality was again selected to receive immediate funding through the cities stream. The municipality has been identified for funding of $12,979,021 to create a minimum of 43 units of new permanent affordable housing. To secure this funding the municipality will submit selected development proposals to CMHC by August 31, 2021.
RHI Round 2 will be delivered through two funding streams:
- Cities Stream: which will flow directly to municipalities to ensure funds are directed to areas where there is the highest incidence of renters in severe housing need and;
- Projects Stream: which will only consider projects that were submitted as part of the first round of the RHI. New project submissions can only be considered under the Cities Stream.
Key considerations for applicants include:
- At least 25 per cent of this new funding will be directed towards women-focused housing projects.
- RHI will also prioritize proposals that target units serving indigenous peoples or Black Nova Scotians.
Qualifications for funding
Costs must be associated with one of the three categories noted below (including the acquisition of land as well) to develop permanent housing under the Rapid Housing Initiative – Round 2:
- construction of new affordable residential units (please note buildings are not required to be modular but must be ready for occupancy within 12 months);
- the conversion of non-residential to residential; and
- the renovation of uninhabitable buildings to become habitable.
Projects funded under the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) must be constructed within 12 months of the investment plan being agreed to, operate for a minimum of 20 years, and meet the following affordability criteria:
- All units must serve and be affordable (household is paying less than 30 per cent of gross income on housing costs) to targeted people and populations who are vulnerable and who are also, or otherwise would be, in severe housing need or people at high risk of homelessness. Affordability must be maintained for a minimum of 20 years.
- A household is said to be in core housing need if its housing falls below at least one of the adequacy, affordability or suitability standards and it would have to spend 30 per cent or more of its total before tax income to pay the median rent of alternative local housing that is acceptable (meets all three housing standards).
- Homelessness is described as the situation of an individual, family or community without stable, safe, permanent, appropriate housing, or the immediate prospect, means and ability of acquiring it. Populations at imminent risk of homelessness are defined as individuals or families whose current housing situation will end in the near future (for example, within two months) and for whom no subsequent residence has been established.
Current Status: Request for Expressions of Interest
We are currently seeking expressions of interest to understand which registered non-profit or charitable housing providers can partner with the Municipality under the Cities Stream. Due to the extremely short timeline, expressions of interest must be received no later than July 30 (noon). Please see the application form here for more information regarding required information.
Please note, this funding cannot be used for operational costs.
Questions can be directed to Jillian MacLellan at 902-717-3167 or firstname.lastname@example.org.