Housing Subsidies

There are two funding sources to which members can apply for housing funding;

  1. Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC)
    • New Home Construction or Purchase Subsidy ($24,222 maximum)
    • Renovation Subsidy ($12,111 maximum)
    • Mould Renovation Subsidy ($24,222 maximum)
  1. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)
    • Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP, $16,000 maximum)
    • Home Adaptation for Seniors Independence (HASI, $3,500 maximum)

Note: INAC subsidies are subject to funds being available in the INAC regional capital budget. In the last few years INAC has not been budgeting for renovation subsidies because the department has been focusing on other initiatives.

Overview of INAC Subsidies

Eligibility for INAC Subsidies

INAC BC Region housing subsidies are intended to address justifiable needs. INAC housing subsidies are intended for dwellings on land controlled by First Nations and can only be applied to permanent homes that are or will be affixed to permanent foundations that meet or exceed building code regulations.

Note: Subsidy applications must be approved by INAC before construction, purchase or renovation begins.

Subsidies are not intended:

  • For housing that can be financed by other means
  • For housing designs and costs that exceed normal housing standards
  • To be applied to multiple units for the same individual
  • To be used for the purpose of economic gain (otherwise known as “unjust enrichment”)
  • To be used to “house flip” by the owner
  • To be applied retroactively to work done in previous fiscal years that is not approved for the current fiscal year (fiscal years go from April 1 to March 31).

New Home Construction or Purchase Subsidy

This subsidy is provided for the construction or purchase of permanent homes located on reserve. Modular homes must have Canadian Standards Association (CSA) approval and be permanently affixed to a foundation.

Renovation Subsidy

The following criteria must be met for a project to be eligible for renovation subsidies:

  • The home is at least 10 years old
  • The home has not received INAC housing subsidies (new home or renovation) within the last 10 years
  • Renovations must extend the structural and/ or mechanical life expectancy of the home by at least 15 years
  • Work must meet or exceed BC Building Code standards

The following are not eligible for INAC housing subsidy support:

  • Cosmetic repairs (such as interior flooring, molding, fixtures, and painting) and other non-structural items

The following documents are required to complete a renovation subsidy application:

  1. Building Inspection Report and certification of qualifications for the inspector (note: INAC policy is that building inspections and reports are only valid for one year)
  2. Project cost estimates from at least two qualified contractors

Where renovation costs exceed the renovation subsidy amount, the member must arrange for other financing to cover the balance.

Mould Renovation Subsidy

The first step in assessing the extent of mould contamination is to request that Health Canada assess the affected housing unit. Health Canada will arrange for a local Environmental Health Officer (EHO) to visit the home and then provide the Band with an official letter and report.

To request an assessment, contact Ken Gillis, EHO, at 250-286-5871

Once the report is received the Band will require the following documents:

  1. Mould Remediation Contractor Report with cost estimate and contractor qualifications
  2. Building Inspection Report and inspector’s qualifications

Overview of CMHC Subsidies

Application deadlines vary. They usually fall between January and March of each year.
 All CMHC programs are subject to funds being available.

Note: the Band has been notified that no CMHC renovation funds will be available to our nation in the 2017-2018 fiscal year.

Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP)

The Homeowners RRAP offers financial help to low-income homeowners who need to make repairs to their homes. The program is aimed at people who live in sub-standard dwellings and cannot afford the repairs necessary to make their home safer and healthier to live in.

Who is Eligible?

Use the following checklist to find out whether you may be eligible to receive assistance:

  • You own and live in your house
  • Your total household income is below $38,000
  • Your house is at least five years old
  • Your house is sub-standard or deficient and needs major repair in at least one of the following areas:
    • Structural
    • Electrical
    • Plumbing
    • Heating
    • Fire safety
  • Your property has not received RRAP funding within the past 15 years.

What types of repairs are eligible?

In general, repairs required to bring a dwelling up to a minimum level of health and safety can be funded under RRAP. To receive RRAP assistance, homeowners must agree to complete all the mandatory repairs as identified by the RRAP inspector even if the RRAP grant does not cover the full cost. For example, if the repairs identified cost $20,000 to complete, RRAP could fund up to $16,000 and the homeowner would have to cover the remaining $4,000.

It’s important to keep in mind that Homeowner RRAP is for basic repairs, not simply to modernize a unit or improve its appearance.

Any work performed before your RRAP loan is approved is not eligible.

How do I apply?

Make an appointment with the Housing Officer to get an application: jessicacliffe@weiwaikum.ca or phone 250 286-6949.

Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program for Persons with Disabilities (RRAP-D) (On-Reserve)

The RRAP for Persons with Disabilities On-Reserve offers financial assistance to First Nations and First Nation members to undertake accessibility work to modify dwellings occupied or intended for occupancy by low-income persons with disabilities.

Who is Eligible?

First Nations or individual First Nation members who require modifications to their homes may be eligible to apply. The total household income must be at or below the established income threshold for the area ($40,000 for Campbell River) and the property must meet minimum health and safety standards.

What Assistance is Available?

Assistance is in the form of a forgivable loan.

Assistance is provided for 100 per cent of the total cost of the modifications up to the maximum loan amount for the area ($16,000 for Campbell River). Occupants must continue to occupy the home for the term of the loan.

Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) — Secondary/Garden Suite (On-Reserve)

The Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) — Secondary/Garden Suite (On-Reserve) is to assist in the creation of affordable housing for low-income seniors and adults with a disability by providing financial assistance to convert/develop existing residential properties located on-reserve that can reasonably accommodate a secondary self-contained unit.

Eligibility

Eligible clients are First Nations and First Nation members owning residential properties that could create a bona fide affordable self-contained rental accommodation on-reserve. Eligibility is limited to existing family housing residential properties where self-contained secondary or garden suite is being created. The property must meet the requirements of the authority having jurisdiction including zoning and building requirements. A ceiling is also placed on the income of households who will occupy the newly created self-contained unit.

The assistance is in the form of a fully forgivable loan which does not have to be repaid provided the First Nation adheres to the conditions of the program. The maximum loan available is $24,000 per unit

Eligible Costs

Eligible costs include all costs related to the creation of a self-contained secondary or garden suite. Additional assistance is also available under RRAP for Persons with Disabilities On-Reserve to undertake accessibility modifications for low-income persons with disabilities.

The cost of creating and upgrading common areas and elements will be prorated between the existing unit and the newly created unit. Assistance may be available under RRAP to cover the share of the prorated costs related to the existing unit subject to the program criteria being met.

Home Adaptations for Seniors Independence (HASI)

HASI helps low-income seniors (age 65 and over) who have difficulties with daily living activities in the home. It does so by providing financial assistance to homeowners and landlords to carry out minor home adaptations.

Generally, adaptations to the dwelling unit will be permanent additions, replacements or relocations that will make it easier and safer to perform daily activities and will be related to the occupant’s loss of ability.

Examples of the types of adaptations that can be made under this initiative include items such as:

  • Handrails in hallways and stairways
  • Easy-to-reach work and storage areas in the kitchen
  • Lever handles on doors
  • Walk-in showers with grab bars
  • Bathtub grab bars and seats