Launch of Canada Greener Affordable Housing (CGAH) program
May 26, 2023
Everyone deserves a safe, affordable place to call home. Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, Majid Jowhari, Member of Parliament for Richmond Hill, and Mayor David West, City of Richmond Hill announced the launch of the Canada Greener Affordable Housing (CGAH) program, which will modernize affordable multi-unit residential buildings by making them more energy efficient and affordable to operate, while also extending building lifespans.
The CGAH program will make available $1.2 billion in low-interest repayable and forgivable loans over the next four years to help affordable housing providers complete deep energy retrofits on residential rental buildings. The program will offer contributions for completing the pre-retrofit activities needed to plan, prepare, and apply for the retrofit funding and will be administered by CMHC. Affordable housing providers interested in the CGAH program can begin preparing applications as the application portal will open this June.
This funding will allow affordable housing providers to make improvements to aging buildings that will improve energy efficiency and extend their lifespan. In the long-term, this will reduce the operating costs of affordable housing so they can continue to serve low-income households for many years to come. For affordable housing residents, this program will improve indoor air quality, comfort, and quality of life through retrofits which may include updates like the installation of heating and cooling systems, and energy-efficient appliances, windows, and doors.
An investment in sustainable affordable housing is an investment in strong communities — communities where people have a good place to call home, and clean air for generations to come. CGAH gives affordable housing providers the necessary support to make energy efficient upgrades that will lead to deeper reductions in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
For details on the CGAH program, including eligibility criteria and a checklist of what is required to apply, please visit cmhc.ca/CGAH online. CMHC will also hold information sessions for stakeholders and potential participants.
“Everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. That is why today we launched the Canada Greener Affordable Housing (CGAH) program, which will make significant improvements to affordable housing benefiting residents for decades to come. CGAH will mean real results for residents, while helping our environment. By launching the CGAH program, the Government of Canada is taking a significant step towards improving energy efficiency and reducing emissions in residential buildings while making them more sustainable, affordable, and comfortable for future generations.”
— The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion
“Canada Greener Affordable Housing is the kind of program we need more of: a program that doesn’t treat our national challenges as separate issues. With this program, the Government of Canada is, at once, strengthening our country’s affordable housing stock while also getting us closer to net-zero carbon emissions. Affordable-housing providers get support for retrofits, residents get better living conditions, and all of us get fewer greenhouse gases. Affordable housing is at the forefront of our government’s priorities and today’s announcement brings Richmond Hill and its residents one step closer to accessing more affordable housing units across our community”
— Majid Jowhari, Member of Parliament for Richmond Hill
“Affordable homes and housing options for everyone are essential to a welcoming and inclusive city, and are the core of strong, caring and safe communities for all. At the same time, climate change is a pressing issue that affects us all. Adopting environmentally friendly practices and ensuring financial sustainability are essential objectives for well-functioning cities. That’s why programs like this are critical to improving the lives of our residents, now and for years to come, and why I’m pleased to welcome our federal partners to the City of Richmond Hill to help unveil it. Together, we are committed to fostering a more sustainable future.”
— Mayor David West, City of Richmond Hill
The Government of Canada is taking steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and CGAH is committed to supporting these efforts through climate change mitigation and adaptation in the housing system. To support CMHC’s efforts to build a climate-compatible future for people living in Canada, we’re taking steps across its programs, activities, and operations to make this transition more affordable and sustainable for individuals and our housing partners.
Canada’s ageing infrastructure is increasingly vulnerable to more frequent and intense extreme weather and other climate-related impacts, putting the health and safety of people living in Canada at risk. CGAH will help improve the quality of residential buildings, adapt to climate change, and extreme weather events, resulting in increased overall comfort and quality of life for residents.
To make this transition possible for affordable housing providers, CGAH has two funding opportunities. The first funding opportunity provides contributions for pre-retrofit activities needed to plan, prepare, and apply for retrofit funding. The second one provides forgivable and low-interest loans to help finance building retrofit measures and activities needed to meet climate objectives.
Eligible applicants include affordable housing providers (such as social housing organizations, non-profit housing organizations, and rental co-operatives), municipal, provincial, and territorial governments and agencies; and Indigenous governments and organizations (including First Nation Bands, Tribal Councils, and Indigenous housing providers).
To be eligible, applicants must be an affordable housing provider with an affordable housing purpose and a proven mandate to provide housing deemed affordable.
The housing project is considered affordable if it is mandated to follow:
a municipal, provincial, territorial, Indigenous government, or CMHC program or product affordability criteria; or
other affordability criteria such as rent-geared-to-income, low-income, moderate-income, established income, or rent limits/thresholds, or other criteria as accepted by CMHC.
CGAH aims to achieve net-zero and climate resilience and contribute to Canada’s Emission Reduction Plan and the forthcoming Green Buildings Strategy (GBS) to help meet net-zero emission by 2050. Specifically, deep energy retrofits under the CGAH program must target:
a 70% reduction in energy consumption relative to pre-retrofit performance; and
an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions relative to pre-retrofit performance.
The CGAH falls under the suite of programs delivered through Canada Greener Homes Initiative. This includes the Canada Greener Homes Grant (CGHG), and the Canada Greener Homes Loan (CGHL) for homeowners.
As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. For more information, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook. To find out more about the National Housing Strategy, visit: www.placetocallhome.ca
Consult the National Housing Strategy Housing Funding Initiatives Map to see affordable housing projects that have been developed across Canada.
For information on this release:
Office of the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation