Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) offers financial assistance to assist in the repair, rehabilitation and improvement of existing shelters, and to assist in the acquisition or construction of new shelters and second-stage housing for victims of family violence.
CMHC delivers renovation programs in Prince Edward Island, where the province cost-shares on a 75% federal / 25% provincial basis and in Yukon Territory.
In other jurisdictions, Provinces and Territories may choose to design and deliver renovation programs that are cost-shared with the federal government. Information on Provincially/Territorially designed and delivered housing programs are provided under Provincial and Territorial Affordable Housing Links and Agreements.
Who Can Apply for Shelter Enhancement Program in Canada?
Eligible sponsors are non-profit corporations or charities that house victims of family violence. As funding is limited to capital assistance, sponsor groups must obtain the assurance of operating assistance for emergency shelters. For second-stage housing, occupants are expected to make modest contributions to offset the project’s operating costs.
Eligible Work for Shelter Enhancement Program in Canada
Eligible repairs are those required to help preserve the quality of existing shelters and second-stage housing by addressing needed repairs to the structure and systems (including heating, structural, electrical, plumbing, and fire safety). Repairs and improvements can also be made to increase accessibility for persons with disabilities, provide safe play areas for children, or provide appropriate levels of security for occupants.
Where a new shelter or second-stage housing is being developed, the project should be modest and reflect actual needs of the client. The most cost-effective and appropriate projects will be selected.
Work carried out before the SEP loan is approved is not eligible for funding under this program.
Financial Assistance for Shelter Enhancement Program in Canada
Assistance is in the form of a fully forgivable loan and does not have to be repaid if the owner agrees to the terms and conditions of the program. There are two different types of projects:
New Development: For new construction projects, CMHC may contribute up to 100 per cent of a project’s capital cost. This assistance must be secured by a forgivable 15-year mortgage.
Renovation: The maximum loan amount varies in accordance with the number of existing units/ bed units within the project and its geographic location:
Maximum Loan (per unit/bed unit)
Zone 1: Southern areas of Canada $24,000
Zone 2: Northern areas $28,000
Zone 3: Far northern areas $36,000
Assistance must be secured by a Loan Agreement to be earned over a one-year period. Additional assistance may be available in areas defined as remote.
To find out how to apply for financial assistance or for more information about these programs please call CMHC toll free at
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