Enrol now: Federal Community Housing Initiative, Phase 2

  9 October 2019

This is important news for any housing co-op created under a federal funding agreement.

Last week, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) launched the Federal Community Housing Initiative 2 (FCHI-2). This program will provide new rent assistance to low-income members in federally administered co-ops beginning April 2020 and lasting until March 31, 2028.

Many co-ops already benefit from assistance under Phase 1 of the FCHI program.  By now you should have received information from CMHC advising that you have until November 20, 2019 to enrol in Phase 2.  It’s important that you enrol by the deadline, even if you haven’t decided to opt into Phase 2.  You can always opt out later, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to opt in after November 20 if you don’t enrol now.

Phase 1 runs until March 31, 2020.  Co-ops with operating agreements that expire between now and then will still need to sign up for FCHI Phase 1 in order to be eligible for Phase 2.

We do not yet have enough information to know how CMHC’s announcement will affect co-ops:

  • whose federal program operating agreements expired before April 1, 2016
  • that were eligible for Phase 1 but chose not to enrol
  • that were funded under federal co-op programs that began before 1979 or after 1985

CMHC has also not released detailed information on how much assistance will be available and how it will be delivered.

Given the lack of complete information available for the moment, we encourage all housing co-ops with federal program agreements to apply for enrolment in Phase 2 before the November 20 deadline.  This will keep your options open as we seek more clarity on the details of the program.

The co-op housing sector worked very hard for the better part of ten years to secure this additional assistance for low-income members.  We look forward to working with CHF Canada and CMHC to ensure that it benefits the greatest number of co-op members possible.

If you have any questions, we urge you to reach out to get answers from CMHC to ensure that you don’t miss this very important November 20 enrolment deadline.

We will circulate more information as it becomes available.