Rapid Housing Initiative

Calgary has been allocated $24.6 million of the $1 billion Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) that was announced by the Government of Canada on Sept. 21, 2020. This immediate funding to create a minimum of 116 units of new permanent affordable housing is available to eligible housing providers who meet the criteria provided by Canada Mortgage and Housing Company (CMHC).

The RHI criteria focus on the following key parameters:

  • Vulnerable populations - including a focus on people experiencing homelessness, also prioritizing 30 per cent of projects targeting women and 15 per cent of projects for urban Indigenous peoples.
  • Timing - projects must can be completed within one year (all RHI funds to be dispersed by March 31, 2021, and projects must be inhabitable within one year of receipt of funds).
  • Affordability – rent level should be no greater than 30 per cent of gross income and must be maintained at this level for a minimum of 20 years.
  • Accessibility and energy efficiency targets.

RHI funding cannot be used for operating costs, maintenance of affordable housing that is already owned and operational, shelters, or condominiums/affordable home ownership.

The City will be working closely with non-profit affordable housing providers – who are ready and able to deliver much-needed homes – to submit an Investment Plan to CMHC by late November and ensure Calgary maximizes every dollar available.

Information for non-profit housing providers

We need to learn about your eligible projects by 9:00 a.m. on Nov. 13, 2020 to include them in the Calgary Major Cities’ Stream Investment Plan. The survey below is our formal call for information about “shovel-ready projects” which meet the affordability, target population and delivery timing requirements. Please review the detailed criteria for the Major Cities Stream (not the Projects Stream) before completing the survey.

A separate survey must be completed for each project. You can stop and save your answers at any point during the survey and complete it later.

Funding streams

RHI includes two funding streams: a Major Cities Stream and a Projects Stream. 

Through the Major Cities’ Stream, Calgary stands to receive $24.6 million in grant-based funding for new units serving vulnerable populations, including those exiting homelessness. If Calgary housing providers can demonstrate capacity for additional projects meeting the RHI criteria in Calgary’s RHI Investment Plan, projects beyond Calgary’s initial $24.6 million allocation could be funded, either through additional dollars in the Major Cities’ Stream, or through the Projects Stream. CMHC will apply its prioritization criteria to select funded projects.  Once projects are identified, staff will follow-up with individual housing providers to identify additional project details for possible inclusion in Calgary’s Investment Plan.


Please review the detailed criteria for the Major Cities Stream (not the Projects Stream) before completing the survey. In addition to the criteria listed above, housing providers included on Calgary’s RHI Investment Plan must:

  • meet organizational due diligence requirements (e.g. have documentation to evidence being in good governance and financial standing);
  • incur costs on or after Oct. 27, 2020; and
  •  have another funding source for operational expenses, as RHI funds cannot be used for operating costs.

Types of projects eligible for Rapid Housing Initiative

  1. Construction of a modular multi-unit rental project, including the acquisition of the land.
  2. Acquisition and conversion of a non-residential building to an affordable rental project.
  3. Acquisition of an existing building in state of disrepair or abandoned for the purpose of rehabilitation where units were previously lost from the housing stock.

Contact information

If you are an eligible housing provider with questions about how your projects qualify for funding through the Major Cities Stream, please contact RHI@calgary.ca with the details of your project