Frequently Asked Questions

1. Getting Started FAQ

  • 1.1. Where do I start?

    The best place to start is the Stage 1 Applicant Guide. The Guide is designed to explain the process, the terms and conditions, and how to submit a proposal using the Applicant Form.

  • 1.2. When is the deadline to submit?

    The deadline for application is no later than August 25th 2021 at 2pm EST. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.

  • 1.3. How much funding is available?

    The Getting Started Round has two stages. In Stage 1, applicants submit a concept proposal for their solution. Up to 30 Stage 1 applicants will be recommended for shortlisting and proceed to Stage 2. Shortlisted applicants moving to Stage 2 will receive up to $75,000 of incubation funding to further develop their proof of concept.

    The evaluation panel will select a suite of Stage 2 proposals to receive funding to implement and scale their solutions. There is no pre-determined number of funded solutions; funding recipients will share a pool of $38M within the Small, Medium and Large project categories.

  • 1.4. What kinds of barriers are you looking to address?

    Pre-development barriers might include long approval timelines, community resistance to projects and the people who will be housed there, processes that are not optimized to support expedient development of innovative and affordable new options, tensions between policy and implementation, and many other challenges. Please refer to the Applicant Guide for more details.

  • 1.5. How will the funding recipients be chosen?

    A panel of evaluators, selected based on their specific expertise, will score and assess applications for shortlisting and for funding. Selection will be based on a combination of score and the solution’s ability to reduce or remove pre-development barriers for housing that is affordable.

  • 1.6. Who will be on the evaluation panel?

    The evaluation panel will include CMHC and external subject matter experts from various sectors, e.g., municipal policy, housing development, planning, and finance, and who represent a variety of communities and regions. We are committed to assembling a diverse pan-Canadian panel to ensure a transparent and equitable evaluation process.

  • 1.7. How will my application be reviewed?

    All application forms and supplementary materials will be evaluated against the evaluation criteria outlined in the Applicant Guide. Shortlisting will be based on a combination of score and the solution’s overall contribution toward the round objectives.

  • 1.8. Can I talk to someone about my idea?

    If you would like to discuss the relevance of your idea to the Getting Started Round, you can connect with Evergreen at HSC-DOLsupport2@evergreen.ca or call at (647) 670-2265 to get in touch with a member of the support team.

  • 1.9. How do I submit an application?

    Applications will be accepted through the online applicant form on the Impact Canada website. If you require a paper version please email us at challenge@cmhc.ca. For guidance on filling out the applicant form, please refer to the Applicant Guide. Only materials submitted via the application form will be accepted and evaluated.

  • 1.10. Where can I get help with my application? How much support am I going to get from Evergreen with my application?

    The Housing Supply Challenge Support Program is a program run by Evergreen - a national not-for-profit helping make cities flourish. Evergreen support includes dedicated staff to respond to questions, webinars on specific elements of the Getting Started round, and a Networking Session. Please review the Applicant Guide for more information.

    Participants can access the Housing Supply Challenge Support program online at: portal.futurecitiescanada.ca/participate/housing-solutions

    Applicants can also email Evergreen at HSC-DOLsupport2@evergreen.ca or call at (647) 670-2265to get in touch with a member of the Evergreen support team.

  • 1.11. Would a Letter of Intent/Support be satisfactory for a non-profit partner in Stage 1?

    Yes, at this stage a letter would be satisfactory. If selected for shortlisting, further evidence of support may be required.

  • 1.12. What is the typical term of the contribution agreement?

    Contribution agreements for implementation funding will be negotiated in summer 2022. All funding must be spent by March 2024 at the latest. The term of the CA will be no longer than 21 months.

  • 1.13. How do you envision overlapping solutions from different teams?

    The evaluation panel understands there may be shortlisted solutions that are similar, but with sufficient differences that make them all worth funding. Where appropriate, and if both teams consent, teams may choose to collaborate on one submission. Team composition may change from Stage 1 to Stage 2 provided the Lead Applicant remains the same.

  • 1.14. What are some example solutions?

    The examples are not intended as suggestions, but rather to demonstrate a range of potential responses to the challenge question. A list is available in Appendix C in the Applicant Guide.

  • 1.15. Will there be something like a networking board for groups to connect?

    Evergreen will be hosting opportunities for interested participants to connect through the Support Program. Please contact Evergreen for details.

  • 1.16. Do you favour only brand-new units being produced?

    The response is two-fold.

    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 objective of the Housing Supply Challenge is to reduce or remove structural or systemic barriers to housing supply that hinder the creation of new housing units.

    The Getting Started round is seeking solutions that address barriers in the pre-development process for new construction, conversion, or regeneration, and will not directly fund the creation of new units.

  • Could solutions include staff to explore funding mechanisms and approaches to incent and support developers to build affordable housing?

    If your solution is shortlisted, the incubation funding provided can be used for staff and/or consultations. If the main premise of the solution is merely to hire more staff to clear a backlog, it may not meet the Getting Started Round’s objective to fund and implement longer term solutions that improve pre-development processes.

  • 1.17. Are there any restrictions on commercialization of solutions during the implementation stage?

    Yes. Commercialization is restricted for the duration of any funding agreements between a Lead Applicant and CMHC. This includes Incubation Funding and Implementation Funding. Participants may wish to commercialize solutions after the end of the Contribution Agreement (~March 2024).

  • Can two partners establish a company and apply?

    Yes. Evaluators will be interested in the team’s capacity to deliver the solution so be sure to provide details in the “Applicant Capacity” section of the application form.

  • 1.18. Is the HSC Program related to the Affordable Housing Challenge Toronto through Beebreeders?

    The Housing Supply Challenge is a federal program and distinct from municipal initiatives.

  • 1.19. What types of solutions qualify? Could it be anything like – data related, policy related, land access related, construction technology related, etc.?

    Yes. There is no preconceived notion of what solutions should look like, and solutions can vary in approach as long as they meet the requirements of the Getting Started round. Please refer to the challenge statement and objectives to ensure your solution aligns with the goals of the Getting Started Round.

    For policy related solutions, please ensure you include information about the feasibility of your solution, the key players crucial for successful implementation, and your preliminary plan to achieve buy in.

    A solution focused on new building technology may fit well into the upcoming Construction Technology round.

    Keep in mind that the Getting Started round is seeking systemic solutions and will not fund the acquisition of a specific site.


2. General FAQ

Interested participants are encouraged to check the Housing Supply Challenge’s Applicant Portal to stay on top of important dates, and learn of available resources. Interested participants are also encouraged to reach out to Evergreen to access the Housing Supply Challenge Support Program online at: portal.futurecitiescanada.ca/participate/housing-solutions

Applicants can also email Evergreen at HSC-DOLsupport2@evergreen.ca or call at (647) 670-2265 to get in touch with a member of the Evergreen support team.

  • 2.1. How did you come up with the Challenge round topics?

    CMHC experts on housing supply from across the corporation contributed to the portfolio of topics. Feedback on a tentative shortlist of topics was collected during a series of workshops that took place across the country in January and February 2020.

    Published references for the topic list include the National Housing Strategy “Let’s Talk Housing: What We Heard” document and CMHC’s Escalating House Prices report.

  • 2.2 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 toolkit of programs includes 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.

  • 2.3 I got funding from another CMHC program already - can I apply to the HSC?

    Yes, provided your proposal meets the requirements of both programs. However, applicants will be asked to explain how the funding will be used for different pieces of the proposal.

  • 2.4 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 www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/nhs for more information on other programs such as Seed, Innovation Fund, Solution Labs, and more.

  • 2.5 I have an idea, but I am not currently affiliated with a legal entity that can accept a contribution agreement on my behalf. How can I participate?

    Interested participants who don’t meet the eligibility criteria are encouraged to team up with an eligible Lead Applicant and submit an application together. The Applicant Support Program provided by Evergreen may be able to support participants in connecting with one another and identifying potential opportunities for collaboration. Forming a team is not required and it is completely up to applicants if they see advantages in doing so.

  • 2.6 What benefits are there to participating in this Challenge, other than the funding if selected?

    Applicants participating in the Housing Supply Challenge may gain valuable experience navigating a Challenge structure to apply for funding. Applicants will have a chance to connect with one another and develop collaborations that may go beyond the Challenge. Shortlisted Stage 2 applicants will have their solutions posted online where consent is given, opening the opportunity to others in the field to take interest in applicants’ ideas. CMHC will be promoting the Challenge through various outreach streams, including social media.

    Through the Housing Supply Challenge Support Program run by Evergreen, Stage 2 applicants will also have access to education modules covering various topics that support design thinking and problem framing.

  • 2.7 Can multiple faculties/departments within a university/organization apply to the Challenge?

    Lead Applicants can only submit one application (ie, a university can only be a lead applicant once). If various departments and faculties are interested, they are encouraged to work together. Organizations can participate on multiple teams as a partner to a different Lead Applicant, but cannot be a Lead Applicant more than once per round. If an organization submits multiple applications as Lead Applicant, they will be asked to choose which application they wish to proceed to evaluation.

  • 2.8 Will CMHC own my idea after the challenge is finished?

    Participants will retain ownership of their solution but application materials will become CMHC property (description of project, application form, etc).

  • 2.9 If I apply as part of a team with someone affiliated with another legal entity, how will the implementation funding be awarded?

    Contribution agreements will be negotiated with the Lead Applicant. Any arrangements between the Lead Applicant and Team members are strictly the responsibility of the Lead Applicant. CMHC is not liable for any outcome from those arrangements.

  • 2.10 If my team were to receive funding, will CMHC be providing tax slips?

    Teams must be associated with 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.

  • 2.11 Which housing markets is the challenge focused on? Any big cities in particular?

    The Housing Supply Challenge is a national program, and applications are welcome from any community, large or small, across the country for the Getting Started round.