The Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation (CMHC) will provide funding of $31.7 million, delivered through its On-Reserve Shelter Enhancement Program (SEP), to build 10 shelters in First Nations across the country. They are offering forgivable loans for up to 100 per cent of total eligible costs for the construction of new shelters. Apply by January 2021 for this funding.

Program Details



This program is open to all First Nations governments and organizations on reserve.


Project requirements:

Proposed projects will have to meet the following requirements:
• Intended use for Indigenous women and children escaping family violence
• Support from the appropriate authority and/or Indigenous government
• Operational support for the shelter through Indigenous Services Canada (ISC)
• Eligibility to obtain appropriate loan security to cover the value of the forgivable loan received
• Minimum requirements for energy efficiency and accessibility
• Application form and financial worksheet completed


Financial support:

The Shelter Enhancement Program (SEP) provides a forgivable loan for up to 100% of eligible capital costs for the construction of new shelters or for the acquisition and rehabilitation of buildings (for conversion into shelters).

Capital costs funding is delivered by CMHC, while funding for ongoing operating costs must be secured through Indigenous Services Canada (ISC).

ISC will provide ongoing annual funding of $8 million, delivered through its Family Violence Prevention Program, for the operational costs of shelters on-reserve.


Application process

1. Expression of Interest Opens: Begin accepting applications – July 15, 2020
2. The application package must contain a completed application form (including all required documentation listed in the application form’s Checklist and the completed Financial Worksheet)
3. Deadline to submit applications – January 15, 2021
4. Assessment of applications by review and selection committee – February 2021
5. Identification of successful applicants – March 2021

Due to circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, CMHC, ISC and CIRNA understand the added pressures on Indigenous communities to safeguard their members, which may cause hardships and delays for eligible proponents to submit their applications. The set timeline may be reviewed throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure a fair and equitable process for all eligible proponents.


Approval process:
Applications will be reviewed with input from representatives of national indigenous organizations and representatives of the federal partners organizations (CMHC and ISC))

For more information on this initiative or for help preparing your application please talk to your Indigenous and Northern Housing specialist.


Expression of Interest Submission
Submit your completed application package to [email protected]

For more info visit the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation website.