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Housing Incentive Program

The City of Calgary’s Housing Incentive Program (HIP) encourages the building of affordable housing units and helps stimulate the economy. It is primarily funded under the One Calgary budget and provides two kinds of financial assistance.​

  1. A grant of up to $50,000 towards pre-development activities for an affordable housing project;
  2. A rebate on eligible City development fees for an affordable housing project.

If you have questions or want more information, please email housingincentiveprogram@calgary.ca.

Apply for HIP

You will need to sign legal agreements and provide supporting documents, such as invoices and rent rates charged.

Apply for HIP

Qualifications

This program is only available to non-profit organizations for affordable housing projects in Calgary. Both affordable rental and affordable homeownership projects are eligible.

Affordable rental criteria

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  • The average rent for the building must be no more than 90 per cent of the average market rent listed in the most recent Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) rental market report for Calgary or;
  • The project is a “long-term care” or “designated supportive living” facility under applicable legislation and accommodation charges are offered at no more than the maximum as set by the Government of Alberta for these types of facilities;
  • Affordable rental units must be operated as affordable for at least 20 years;
  • Pro-rated rebates are available for projects with only a portion of the units or beds that qualify as affordable.

To qualify for pre-development grants, the applicant must apply for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) SEED funding

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Affordable homeownership criteria

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  • The organization must have a mandate to provide affordable home ownership;
  • The project must qualify for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CHMC’s) mortgage flexibilities for affordable housing programs or meet the needs of a household that would not qualify for typical financing.

To qualify for pre-development grants, the applicant must apply for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) SEED funding

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Learn more about the Housing Incentive Program

How did the program get started?

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The Housing Incentive Program (HIP) was approved by Calgary City Council on February 22, 2016. It was originally funded by the Community Economic Resiliency Fund. On May 29, 2017, Council approved the extension of the program and we continue to accept applications. The Housing Incentive Program supports one of the main objectives in our Corporate Affordable Housing Strategy to "Get the Calgary Community Building".​

What type of funding is available?

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The Housing Incentive Program provides two streams of funding: Pre-Development Grants and City Fee Rebates to not-for-profit affordable housing providers. Applicants can apply for both funding streams.​

Can the private sector apply for this funding?

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No. At this time Housing Incentive Program funding is only available for not-for-profit Affordable Housing providers.​

How many projects have received funding?

As of Q1 2020, the program approved applications for 37 different affordable housing projects across 16 organizations. This includes 18 pre-development grant applications and 37 city fee rebate applications, supporting an estimated total of 2,020 units of affordable housing.​

Why is this a valuable program?

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The Housing Incentive Program offers the following benefits:

  • Accommodates a wide range of housing projects with a flexible approach.
  • Supports a wide range of affordable housing projects like housing for women fleeing domestic violence, seniors housing, assisted living, affordable homeownership and more.
  • Provides early stage support for affordable housing pre-development (feasibility) work, when it is generally harder for organizations to obtain funds.
  • Provides a significant dollar contribution (typically ranging from $200,000-400,000), which makes a difference to non-profit affordable housing providers.
  • Meets a requirement to obtain grants and funding from other levels of government, and some private financial institutions.
  • Improves the application experience for non-profit providers by connecting the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) Seed Funding, The City’s land disposition practices and The City’s planning approvals.

How has this funding impacted the success of a project?

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The Housing Incentive Program provided early funding for the construction of Columbus Court – a 104 unit complex in Bridgeland. The City Fee Rebate allowed the Bishop O’Byrne Housing Association (BOBHA) to secure financial support from other levels of government. This reduced development costs and allowed BOBHA to make their housing more affordable for vulnerable families, adults and seniors.​

Why is this program an important use of tax dollars?

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The Housing Incentive Program helps non-profit housing providers get projects shovel ready sooner. Increasing the supply of affordable housing in Calgary gets us closer to the national average (6%).​

Is there long-term demand for this program?

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The need for affordable housing in Calgary is substantial. Each level of government has long-term strategies to increase the affordable housing supply.

In Q2 2018, The City conducted an online survey of non-profit affordable housing providers to understand their future land needs and development plans. These are the key findings:

  • 86% of providers reported a desire to increase their supply of units by 2028 through development and re-development
  • 72 desired future projects were identified across 25 providers from now until 2028
  • Providers want to create a total of 5,251 units by 2028 (note that units were only estimated for 62/72 future projects)
  • Providers believe they can execute at least 75% of future projects
  • Providers estimated a total cost of $1.04B for 60 future projects (no estimate for 12 projects)
  • Of the $1.04B total project costs, $172M are confirmed / secured funding
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