Frequently Asked Questions
General Housing Supply Challenge Questions
1. Where do I start?
The best place to start is the Stage 1 Applicant Guide. The Guide explains the process, the Terms and Conditions, and how to submit a proposal using the Applicant Form.
Interested participants are encouraged to check the Challenge website: impact.canada.ca to stay on top of important dates and learn about available resources. Interested participants are encouraged to access the support programs as soon as possible:
- Northern Ideas Development Program: Applicants who may have a solution or a problem that their community or organization would like to develop, but require support, resources, and capacity to develop their submission can find out more information on our website: cmhc.ca/northernhousing
- Applicant Support Program: Interested participants are also encouraged to contact Evergreen to access the Housing Supply Challenge Support Program online at: www.hscsupportprogram.ca. Applicants can email Evergreen at HSC-DOLsupport3@evergreen.ca or call at (647) 670-2265 to get in touch with a member of the Evergreen support team.
2. We need more housing. Why aren’t you using the money to build more units?
Building new housing units is very important, but it doesn’t help solve existing systemic barriers that continue to make housing unaffordable for many Canadians. The National Housing Strategy and CMHC’s programs include many initiatives to support new residential construction. The objective of the Housing Supply Challenge is to address structural or systemic barriers to housing supply that hinder the creation of new housing units.
3. I got funding from another CMHC program already - can I apply to the HSC?
Yes, provided your proposal meets the requirements of both programs, you are not using the funds for the exact same activities, and you are in good standing with the other program.
4. Can I still apply to another CMHC program with the same idea if I don’t get funding through the HSC?
Yes, provided your proposal meets the requirements of the program. You can visit The National Housing Strategy website for more information: https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/nhs
5. Can I apply to more Rounds of the Challenge even if I applied to the first and/or second Round?
Yes, you can. Participants can only apply as an Applicant once per Round but they can apply to multiple rounds if they wish to. Note that the same project cannot be funded by more than one Housing Supply Challenge round, but participants can apply to multiple rounds with different projects / activities.
6. Will CMHC own my idea after the challenge is finished?
Participants will retain ownership of their solution, but any information provided in application materials will become CMHC property (description of project, etc.) Depending on the solutions proposed, CMHC may wish to negotiate access to solutions after the Round is complete. This would take place as a separate process.
7. If my team were to receive funding, will CMHC be providing tax slips?
Applicants must be a Canadian legal entity and must seek their own legal/taxation advice for how they will report their income. CMHC has no obligation to issue tax slips.
Northern Access Round-Specific Questions
1. How is access and supply chain connected to housing?
The northern and remote supply chain is critical for communities to access the necessary materials and resources to build, operate and maintain housing. In northern and remote regions, the supply chain contends with the logistics of long distances between supply hubs, with a short season to order and receive materials, and with infrastructure that limits the size and method of delivery of materials. If access and supply chain is improved, the cost to build and maintain housing will decrease and the impact will be more significant than building a limited number of units. Currently, northern and remote regions incur some of the highest costs to build and maintain housing because of supply chain limitations and barriers.
Please see the “Framing the Problem” section of the Applicant Guide for further information on the scope, and details of what we heard through the consultations in designing this Round.
2. When is the deadline to submit?
The deadline for application is June 23rd, 2022 at 2pm EST, all applications, including paper and fax applications must be received by the deadline. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason. Paper applications must be requested not later than April 15th, 2022 either by email at Challenge@cmhc.ca or by phone at 1-800-668-2642. Fax applications must be sent directly to CMHC’s fax number: 1-800-245-9274.
3. I do not have access to a stable internet connection, is there a way I can access resources or support offline?
Yes. Upon request, a package of our online resource documents can be printed and mailed to you, this can include transcriptions of online workshops and guidance documents. Applicants can contact the Housing Supply Challenge team at Challenge@cmhc.ca; or by phone at: 1-800-668-2642 with questions, concerns, or requests. Paper applications must be requested not later than April 15th, 2022.
All applications, including paper and fax applications, must be received no later than June 23rd, 2022 at 2:00pm EST. Applicants are encouraged to contact us at any point if they have issues accessing resources or submitting online.
Applicants will be able to access offline support (by phone) from both support programs and are encouraged to reach out to them with any questions.
4. What is considered northern and remote?
The challenge does not seek to prescribe a definition of northern or remote. The reason why we focus on both northern and remote is to be inclusive of communities that face challenges commonly experienced in northern areas. In the applicant form, Applicants will be asked to specify the geographic area of their project and how it qualifies as northern and remote.
5. What languages can I use to apply? (Can I apply in a language other than English or French?)
The official Stage 1 application is only available in English and French and must be submitted in either of those languages.
6. What are some example solutions?
There are several examples of potential solutions available in Appendix D of the Applicant Guide. The examples are not intended to be exhaustive, nor are they explicit suggestions of what we’re looking to fund, but rather they are to demonstrate a range of potential responses to the challenge question.
7. Who is the Applicant (legal entity)?
The Applicant is the legal entity that is responsible for receiving and distributing funding to realize the solution if selected. The Applicant must be a legal entity duly incorporated and validly existing in Canada. Note: the Applicant cannot be an individual. Multi-sector teams and partnerships are encouraged. Any arrangements between the Applicant and its team/team members are strictly the responsibility of the Applicant.
8. What do you mean by northern and remote participation in the requirements?
It is compulsory that all Applicants commit to northern and remote participation in the form of leadership, partnership, and/or collaboration. Any northern and remote region where a solution is proposed to be implemented must include communities, governments, organizations, and/or groups that are representative of the region as partners or collaborators.
Refer to Appendix B of the Applicant Guide for more details and guidance about the northern and remote participation requirements for Stage 1 and Stage 2.
9. Are solutions expected to apply to all northern and remote regions?
The effects of the supply chain on housing supply vary widely across the territories and provincial norths; improving the supply chain can mean different things depending on the region. Applicants are not expected to create a pan-northern or remote solution.
The scale of the solution really depends on the community or region – there may be local, community-driven solutions that reduce dependency on the supply chain OR there may be large- scale, multi-region solutions. While solutions may be used as demonstrations for other communities, this is not a requirement and will not affect the outcome of an application’s evaluation.
Northern Access Round - Support Program FAQ
1. What support is available to applicants?
The northern access round will provide two support programs: The Northern Ideas Development Program and the Applicant Support Program. Depending on whether you’re a northern or remote applicant will help you decide which support program best suits your needs.
2. Can I hire a consultant to assist in the development of my application?
Yes, applicants can hire a consultant to assist with their application. However, we encourage applicants to first consider participating in the Northern Ideas Development Program, which is intended to offset the need and cost of hiring an external consultant. Please see the Applicant Guide for more information.
3. What are the key differences between the two applicant support programs? How do I know which is right for me?
Northern Ideas Development Program Applicant Support Program When to participate Interested applicants can request to participate throughout Stage 1 and are encouraged to request to participate as early as possible. Anyone who requests to participate will be contacted by the Northern Ideas Development Program support team and may receive support to develop their submission for the June 23, 2022 deadline. No deadline – Applicants are encouraged to participate as early as possible to benefit from the program and can access support in the 4 months leading up to the application deadline June 23, 2022. Who can participate? Northern and remote individuals, communities, or organizations especially Indigenous groups, organizations, and governments. All interested Applicants from any location across Canada. Choose this program if one or more of the following apply…
- You have identified a supply chain solution and would like support exploring the solution further.
- You have a supply chain problem and would like support to identify potential solutions to propose.
- You would like support forming your team and finding partnerships.
- You would like support with writing and developing your submission.
- You are significantly constrained by the time, resources, and capacity required to develop a submission and would benefit from dedicated support.
- You would usually hire a consultant to develop a submission.
- You have the required resources and capacity to develop and submit an application.
- You would like to ensure you meet the eligibility requirements.
- You would like support navigating the submission process.
- You would like to attend events, participate in activities, or access resources to develop a high-quality submission.
- You are interested in networking with other Applicants and potentially seeking collaborators.
How to participate Refer to CMHC’s Housing Supply Challenge at cmhc.ca/northernaccess for more details about how to request to participate in the Northern Ideas Development Program. Sign up for events and access online resources on the HSC Support Program portal
4. Will applying through one support program or another influence the chances of my application being shortlisted?
No. The two support program options provide different levels and types of support based on the applicant’s self-assessment of their capacity and experience with applications of this kind. Applicants from both programs will be regarded equally once submissions are received through the Impact Canada portal, by fax or by mail.
5. How can I find a partner / collaborator?
Consider where you would like to implement your solution - the town(s), region(s), territory(ies), etc. Once you have an idea and before you begin your outreach, review Appendix C of the Applicant Guide: Guidance For Impact And Community Engagement. Appendix C provides helpful checklists of questions for you to consider about the impact of your solution, who to involve in the development of your solution and how to respectfully engage with communities and individuals.
Another helpful resource is the recording of the Virtual Networking Sessions hosted by Evergreen. You can learn about wise practices in community engagement and partnerships and look closer at what your team can bring to a partnership, as well as think about what kind of partner or collaborator that would best suit your needs.
Stage 1 Stage 2 Summary Commitment to northern and remote participation in the form of leadership, partnership, or collaboration. Proof of northern and remote participation in the implementation of the solution (further requirements will be outlined in the Stage 2 Applicant Guide). Application requirements
It is not expected that all Applicants have fully formed partnerships and/or collaborators at this stage. If Applicants do have partnerships and/or collaborators, they can be indicated as current participation. .
Applicants will be given the opportunity to provide details about current and/or planned participation.
All Applicants must have fully formed partnerships and/or identified specific collaborators at this stage.
All Applicants will be required to upload proof of commitment in some form and will have to detail the nature of the relationship, including funding distribution.
All Applicants will outline how they will commit to northern and remote participation while implementing their project in Stage 3.
Additional requests for information may be made to partners and/or collaborators to validate the relationship.
Example activities that may take place
Initial outreach and engagement to northern and remote regions
Establishing rapport and forming relationships
Potentially brokering formal partnerships and identifying key collaborators
Potentially co-developing the Stage 1 submission with partners and/or collaborators
Seeking out formal partnerships and identifying key collaborators. Negotiating agreements in collaboration with partners and/or collaborators.
Developing the project and Stage 2 submission with northern and remote partners and/or collaborators.
Actively engaging relevant northern and remote communities, organizations, and groups in the development of the project.
Developing the implementation plan and planning for feasibility of the project post-Round in partnership and/or collaboration.
Commitment to implementation alongside partner(s) and/or collaborator(s); there are clear roles and responsibilities in Stage 3 Implementation and beyond.
If you'd like to learn more about the requirements for northern and remote participation for the Northern Access Round, please refer to Appendix B of the Applicant Guide.
6. Do I need to have a fully formed project to apply?
No. You can have an idea and start building it during the application process. Throughout Stage 1, the Northern Ideas Development Program and the Applicant Support Program are available help you navigate the application process. Shortlisted applicants to Stage 2 will then have the opportunity to develop their solution in more detail with the help of the Support Program team, access to experts, and incubation funding provided by the CMHC.
7. Can the Applicant Support Program tell me if my solution has of chance of being shortlisted?
The Applicant Support Program is not connected to the evaluation process, and as a result cannot confirm whether a project will be selected. However, the Applicant Support Program team is here to help you understand the evaluation criteria as laid out in the Applicant Guide, and to help you align your project to the Challenge as best as possible.
8. Who will be on the evaluation panel?
TCMHC is committed to assembling a diverse pan-Canadian panel to ensure a transparent and equitable evaluation process. CMHC will assemble a panel of evaluators selected based on their specific expertise in various areas, e.g., northern and remote transportation, supply chain, logistics, housing, and infrastructure. The panel will also include expertise in specific geographic areas, including pan-northern expertise, representation from northern and remote leaders, including Indigenous leaders. The final selection of shortlisted Applicants will be based on a combination of score and the solution’s overall contribution toward the Round objectives.
Please note that Evergreen and Innovation 7 are not involved in the evaluation process or selecting Applicants for shortlisting.
9. I have a solution that uses better designed construction materials, which will reduce the cost of building homes in the north and maintaining the homes once built. Can I apply to the Northern Access Round?
Solutions proposed for the Northern Access Round must target the housing supply chain to northern and remote regions of Canada. If the proposed building materials can be sourced or produced locally, thereby reducing reliance on importing materials, then the solution may be eligible. If the materials are not sourced locally, ensure your application demonstrates how providing these new materials would address a supply chain barrier. All proposed solutions must align with the Northern Access Round’s 3 objectives:
- Objective 1: Reduce time, cost, and risk to access required materials for housing in remote communities
- Objective 2: Demonstrate impact on building or maintaining appropriate housing supply
- Objective 3: Provide direct benefit to northern and remote regions
Launch Event Frequently Asked Questions
What is considered northern and remote for this round?
The challenge does not seek to prescribe a definition of northern or remote. The reason we focus on both northern and remote is to be inclusive of communities that face challenges commonly experienced in northern areas. We have developed a context map to provide guidance to participants which is in Appendix E of the Stage 1 Applicant Guide. Please note, the map provided may not be exhaustive of all northern and remote regions in Canada. In the applicant form, Applicants will be asked to specify the geographic area of their project and how it qualifies as northern and remote.
For the purposes of participating in the Northern Ideas Development Program (NIDP), there is a set definition of northern and remote to specifically help participants from very remote and far north regions. For the NIDP, the northern and remote definition includes participants from all governments, organizations, groups, and communities that are above the southern limit of permafrost, and/or that are at least 350 kilometers from the nearest service center or have no year round access to a service center, and/or can demonstrate considerable challenges associated with housing or economic development due to its geographic remoteness.
Will the program facilitate connections between the people who need a solution and those who might provide the solution to establish partnerships and allow for a collaboration on a solution?
The Evergreen support program does offer networking and collaboration events to facilitate collaboration between potential applicants. In this stage, two networking events will be offered where participants with different perspectives and experience can come together, meet each other, and discuss their ideas and solutions. There will also be a collaboration forum open to participant s to facilitate further partnerships or collaboration. More details about these events and the forum will be shared shortly.
From NIDP, there will be representatives working directly with applicants that will identify potential collaborations and if there are other applicants looking at similar types of solutions.
What are the limitations on stacking federal and provincial funding under the program?
For our program there are no stacking limits. If another program through which you have received funding has a stacking restriction, then that would apply. There’s also no requirement for matching funds.
What if $250,000.00 is enough to fund the full development of the solution? Can you just apply for the full amount directly in Stage 1?
If the incubation funding can fund the whole solution proposed, applicants must be sure to indicate that in their submissions. The HSC team will work directly with the ap plicant team to discuss any further details should a scenario such as this one make it through to the shortlist.
Are we able to demonstrate the solution before we submit the "paper application"?
The evaluation panel will not be reviewing applications prior to submission. The Evergreen Support Program can however provide guidance, mentorship as well as resources. You are welcome to set up meeting with Evergreen or NIDP to ensure you fit the eligibility criteria and your idea is relevant to the Round’s objectives.
Why is training and capacity seen as a small part of the supply chain challenge as mentioned in this webinar?
The Round is open to capacity solutions that applicants might have to put forward. However, this program is mandated to address barriers to housing supply. Capacity training is not a main barrier the Round is seeking to address explicitly, however applicants may still apply with related sol utions as the Round welcomes as many ideas as possible.
Is a consortium made of a Canadian lead partner with one or more foreign suppliers is eligible? What if you represent a consortium and have research programs running across the mandate how many project applications can you submit?
Yes, that is eligible. Applicants should note that the lead applicant must be Canadian and the main benefit of the solution must accrue to northern and remote regions in Canada.
A lead applicant can only submit one application to each round. If there are multiple applications from a lead applicant, they will be asked to select which solution they would like to submit. However, applicants can partner or participate on as many other teams as they would like.
Would you be willing to fund the setup of a local housing-related manufacturing plant that could supply housing parts to the area through this funding program?
Yes, this would be an eligible solution. If you have further questions about the relevance or eligibility of your solution, please direct your inquiries to Evergreen for a discussion.
Does this challenge exclude specific housing product solutions that remove supply chain issues for only that specific system (ie: benefiting a single manufacturer and their product solution... and of course the northern communities)?
If the solution reduces dependence on the supply chain in any way, then the relevance and eligibility for the Round may be met. If the solution may be replicated or scaled up, it may demonstrate further applicability. If you have further questions about the relevance or eligibility of your solution, please direct your inquiries to Evergreen for a discussion.
Does the program support Capital investment, such as the construction of a factory in the North? Would it support operational costs to support the start up o f a factory?
Yes, start up costs would be eligible as this solution could have significant impact on supply chain in the north. An application for this idea would need to explain how it would work and what the costs implications would be. The application should also emphasize what the realistic opportunities for sustainability would be once the CMHC funding is used up. The application should demonstrate how it aligns with the round objectives and make the connection to the solution and northern/remote housing supply chain.
Our nation wishes to start a housing society to produce staff housing (as it is the greatest issue for turn over) and generate income for the nation. Will this program support funding for acquisition lawyer fees, remediation fees, or to buy units to place on our lands?
Further elaboration on the housing society may be required, but this idea may be a relevant and eligible solution for the Round. The purchasing of units to put on the land relates directly to building units which is not eligible. The Round is more focused on supply chain solutions and we are looking for long-term solutions. The CMHC Rapid Housing Initiative may be more relevant to this solution in terms of funding to buy units. With regard to what funding can be used for, fees such as the above would be eligible. If you have further questions about the relevance or eligibility of your solution, please direct your inquiries to Evergreen for a discussion.
I am not in the housing industry, but I have a new housing design that we are trying to develop. Our project was designed for locations like this. Who would be the best to contact for assistance getting materials together for the proposal?
Please make use of both support programs for extra assistance and to be connected with resources that will support your application.
Here is the link to apply to the NIDP https://nidp.ca/apply/ or call or text toll-free at 1-800-403-4525. You can also send your questions to help@NIDP.ca Any of these options will prompt an NIDP representative to get in touch with you.
To contact Evergreen, please call (647) 670-2265 or email HSC-DOLsupport3@evergreen.ca
Are we able or encouraged to form new businesses or partnerships for the sake of applying to this program?
Yes, one of the Challenge objectives is to collaborate and establish partnerships to enhance community engagement. Applicants may also incorporate a new entity for the purpose of applying.
Will Stage 3 funding include support for land purchase?
This will depend on what the solution is proposing. Solutions building units will not be eligible for this Round. If you have further questions about the relevance or eligibility of your solution, please direct your inquiries to Evergreen for a discussion.
As the CFO of a modular construction company that is already building a project in a Cree northern community, can we apply together with that band to seek the funding to do a complete housing initiative together?
As long as the link to supply chain is made clear, the solution will align with the Round. The solution must seek a longer term reduction of the supply chain barrier. If you have further questions about the relevance or eligibility of your solution, please direct your inquiries to Evergreen for a discussion.
Is there any interest in geothermal for housing projects if there is a sustainable option for it?
If the solution links geothermal to supply chain, it may be relevant to this round. If you have further questions about the relevance or eligibility of your solution, please direct your inquiries to Evergreen for a discussion.
If we are currently combatting the supply chain & materials storage issues with a business plan in place, is there still potential to obtain funding?
Yes, you may apply to this Round. You may also consider looking into the Demonstrations initiative at CMHC where you may be able to access funding for a project retroactively.
Will the incubation period have specific milestones that shortlisted teams will need to meet in order to move forward to implementation funding? Are those criteria available to the public? The application guide does not seem to list the milestones/criteria required throughout the incubation stage. This is in relation to previous challenges where we felt the criteria/milestones were not reflective of development in Nunavut.
A contribution agreement will be put in place with shortlisted applicants. Typically, there is an upfront payment, and then further requirements for demonstration of progress for the remaining payment. The requirements are not built out yet and are not shareable at this time.
If my company’s solutions apply more to Round 4 (Construction Technologies), but also apply to Supply Chain Limitations, would it make more sense for me to wait for round 4, or apply to both?
If the solution is more applicable to another round, you may have to judge whether you’d like to use your resources and capacity to apply to both. You could also consider if there is a way for your solution to better align to this Round’s objectives if you decide to apply to this Round.
Would a local tree to house (cut, haul, and turn into lumber) operation be acceptable?
Yes, as long as the link to supply chain is clear. The Round seeks big impact solutions, and in this case the solution may apply to the reduction of dependency on supply chain for housing. To ensure you meet the relevance or eligibility of your solution, please direct your inquiries to Evergreen for a discussion.
Does an Indigenous based company (that is designed for accessing extreme terrain), that intends to provide services for finding potable water zones and drilling residential water wells in remote northern areas qualify for this type of program funding?
Yes, but further elaboration may be required to ensure the relevance and eligibility pieces truly align with the solution. To ensure you meet the relevance or eligibility of your solution, please direct your inquiries to Evergreen for a discussion.
Would a proposal for new building designs that incorporate solutions to supply chain challenges in northern and rural regions be considered?
The emphasis of the solution must be on supply chain. If the solution is a building design that is going to help overcome systemic supply chain barriers that would be ideal. If you have further questions about the relevance or eligibility of your solution, please direct your inquiries to Evergreen for a discussion.
How do you review support for projects that are already established and operating? For example research projects that are shovel ready or capacity development project such as training future staff that is already started.
It is not a requirement of the Round for all solutions to be completely new. The application form will ask that the solution demonstrates broader impact and opportunity for scaling and application. You are also encouraged to look at the Demonstrations initiative program at CMHC which is a program for existing projects.
By Indigenous group do you mean a registered society?
The Round is very open to all different compositions of groups however the lead applicant must be a legal entity in Canada.
Are newly incorporated companies acceptable?
Newly registered organizations are acceptable. The HSC Team will work with shortlisted teams to ensure all milestones are being met and demonstration of progress is clear.