The goal of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's (CMHC) Affordable Rental Innovation Fund is to encourage new funding models and innovative building techniques in the rental housing sector. We’re looking for unique ideas that will revolutionize the sector moving forward. In the process, the $200M Fund is expected to help create up to 4,000 new affordable units over 5 years and will reduce reliance on long-term government subsidies.


Applications to the Fund must be for affordable rental housing and must meet the minimum criteria:

  • New affordable rental housing units
    • New units must be created to qualify for the Fund (renovation or retrofit projects may not be eligible if new units are not created)
  • Innovative models of design or financing models
    • Applicants must demonstrate the use of innovative solutions for affordable rental housing. This may include the use of customized financing models or unique designs use to overcome rental barriers and lower the costs and risks associated with housing projects.
  • Unit affordability maintained for at least 10 years
    • Applicants must demonstrate how their project will remain affordable rental for at least 10 years.
  • Resource efficiencies in the design
    • Applicants must demonstrate how their projects will achieve a minimum 10% decrease in energy intensity and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions relative to similar projects constructed to building code requirements of their respective jurisdictions.
  • Accessibility features must be included
    • At least 10% of the units of a project must meet accessibility requirements. Accessible features may include: ramps, lifts, modified kitchens, bathrooms, and home automation.
  • Plans for viability and sustainability without long-term government subsidies
    • Units must demonstrate that they can be viable without the need for ongoing government subsidies after the 10-year mark.
  • Other facts that may be included in scoring
    • Projects with replicable designs, easy access to transit or a focus on urban Indigenous occupants.

Projects with added value, for example where designed with higher impact through replicable designs, easy access to transit or where it serves vulnerable constituents, will be reviewed more favourably.

For more information on this initiative, click here