Rapid Housing Initiative

The Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) is a Federal program that provides funding for the rapid development of new residential units that will provide housing for those in need of deeply affordable housing. Units must be targeted to vulnerable populations who are homeless or at severe risk of experiencing homelessness with a percentage of housing that must be targeted to women/women with children, urban Indigenous populations, and Black Canadians.

Rapid Housing Initiative - Round 3

On November 10, 2022, the federal government launched Round 3 of RHI. An additional investment of $1.5 billion will create up to 4,500 new permanent, affordable housing units across the country. As with the first two rounds, RHI Round 3 will be delivered through two funding streams. 

  • Cities Stream which flows directly to municipalities to ensure funds are directed to areas where there is the highest incidence of renters in severe housing need, and;
  • Projects Stream where proponents apply directly to CMHC and are considered amongst submissions received across Canada.

Key considerations for applicants include:

  • Development must be complete within 18 months;
  • 25% of funding will be targeted to create housing for women and/or women and their children; and
  • 15% of funding will be targeted for urban Indigenous Peoples. 

In addition to these targets, municipalities are encouraged to take a community benefits approach and support projects for Black Canadians.  

The Halifax Regional Municipality has once again been selected to receive direct funding under the Cities Stream. To secure the RHI Cities Stream funding HRM must submit selected development proposals to CMHC by March 15, 2023. As such we are seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) to understand which registered non-profit or charitable housing providers can partner with the Municipality under the Cities Stream.  

Due to the short timeline, expressions of interest must be received no later than January 6, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. (noon).   

Please complete the application form, including the required supplemental information, as part of your expression of interest and email it to affordablehousingprogram@halifax.ca.

Those interested in receiving information about HRM - owned properties suitable for affordable housing that have been declared surplus should contact HRM’s Affordable Housing team at affordablehousingprogram@halifax.ca.

Qualifications for funding (Round 3 - Cities Stream)

Costs must be associated with one of the three categories noted below (including the acquisition of land): 

  1. Construction of new affordable residential units (new developments will be required to exceed energy efficiency standards and local accessibility standards)
  2. The conversion of non-residential to residential
  3. The renovation of uninhabitable buildings to become habitable

Projects funded under the RHI must be constructed within 18 months of the investment plan being agreed to, and operate for a minimum of 20 years.  All units must serve priority populations as identified in the National Housing Strategy and meet the following affordability criteria:

  • All units must serve and be affordable to targeted people and populations who are vulnerable and who are also, or otherwise would be, in severe housing need or people at high risk of homelessness. Housing is considered affordable if the resident household is paying no more than 30% of its before-tax income on housing costs, or the equivalent of the shelter component of any provincial income assistance. Affordability must be maintained for a minimum of 20 years.
  • A household is said to be in core housing need if its housing falls below at least one of the adequacy, affordability or suitability standards and it would have to spend 30 percent or more of its total before-tax income to pay the median rent of alternative local housing that is acceptable (meets all three housing standards).    
  • Homelessness is described as the situation of an individual, family or community without stable, safe, permanent, appropriate housing, or the immediate prospect means and ability of acquiring it. Populations at imminent risk of homelessness are defined as individuals or families whose current housing situation will end in the near future (for example, within two months) and for whom no subsequent residence has been established.

Eligible property types include:

  •  standard rental
  • transitional housing
  • permanent supportive housing
  • single room occupancy
  • seniors’ housing (excludes delivery of healthcare)

All Projects must be:

  • located in Canada
  • available for year-round occupancy
  • long term tenancy (3 months or more)
  • residential for its primary use
  • for rehabilitation funding, the project must be vacant, uninhabitable and lost from the housing stock

Please refer to the CMHC’s RHI Highlight Sheet for additional information.


Questions can be directed to  affordablehousingprogram@halifax.ca or call 902-717-3167.

Rapid Housing Initiative – Round 2

On June 30, 2021, the Federal Government launched Round 2 of the RHI which includes an additional investment of $1.5 billion that is expected to create up to 4,500 new permanent, affordable housing units across the country.  Over the summer of 2021 the municipality evaluated project proposals and recommended projects from the following three organizations to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) for funding: Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia, Akoma Holdings Incorporated, Souls Harbour. View the report.

Rapid Housing Initiative - Round 1

In October 2020, the federal government launched a new Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) that invests $1 billion dollars to create up to 3,000 new permanent, affordable housing units across Canada. In November 2020, the municipality evaluated the Expressions of Interest and selected the following projects: Mi’kmaq Native Friendship Centre, Adsum for Women and Children and the North End Community Health Association for a total of 52 units/rooms. View the report.