Apply for a loan to buy multi-unit residential properties for non-market (community) housing: Community Housing Acquisition Program
The Community Housing Acquisition Program helps community housing providers preserve and expand the supply of affordable housing. Community housing providers can apply to the Community Housing Acquisition Program for a loan to help buy existing multi-unit residential properties for non-market (community) housing. You can apply anytime.
Apply for a loan from the Community Housing Acquisition Program to help buy existing multi-unit residential properties for non-market (community) housing.
You need to use the funding to preserve and expand the supply of affordable housing.
Affordable housing is housing where the rent is below the average market rent (AMR) for the location.
Funding is available for up to 95% of the property cost. The applicant needs to fund the remaining balance of the project.
The funding provides a fixed-interest-rate, repayable loan. Terms of up to 30 years are available. The maximum loan amount available is $10 million per project amortized over a maximum of 30 years.
You can use this funding in combination with funding from the Department of Community Services for supportive housing projects.
Eligible projects need to:
- be an existing multi-unit residential property
- have a minimum of 5 self-contained rental units or single room occupancy units
- have at least 30% of existing rental units with rents below average market rent for the location and similar-sized units
- have less than 30% of the total square footage of the building used for commercial purposes
- be financially viable (capable of producing a profit) throughout the term of the loan with a debt service coverage ratio of at least 1.15
Ineligible projects include:
- residential care
- student residences
- long-term care facilities
- projects that require rezoning, conversion or redevelopment
If you receive funding from the Community Housing Acquisition Program, you need to submit financial reporting throughout the term of the loan.
Accessing the funding
Once a project is approved, the Community Housing Acquisition Program provides an Offer of Finance that outlines the conditions of the loan.
You can apply for the loan if you’re a community housing provider.
You need to:
- be non-profit society, charity or housing co-operative registered and in good standing with Registry of Joint Stock Companies or under provincial or territorial legislation in Canada and are authorized to operate Nova Scotia
- have property management experience or engage a professional third-party property management company
- meet equity requirements
Community housing groups need to make a minimum equity contribution of 5% of the project’s eligible capital development costs in the form of cash.
How to apply
- Review detailed program criteria in the Community Housing Acquisition Program Guide.
- Complete the application form.
- Check the application for details on all required supporting documents.
- Send your completed application and supporting documents by email.
How long it takes
It should take 6 to 8 weeks for the Community Housing Acquisition Program to review your application and let you know if your loan is approved. It can take longer if more information is needed or if your application hasn’t been filled in correctly.
There is no cost to apply for the funding, but you need to be able to meet the minimum equity requirements of 5%.
Before you start
Make sure you have:
- names of board members and senior management team
- description of property management experience or confirmation of partnership with professional third-party property management company
- property description including Parcel Identification Number (PID), address and data supporting the need for affordable rental housing in the area
- copy of the realtor listing
- confirmation of land use designation (zoning)
- rent roll (total income from the property)
- operating costs (copies of annual tax bill, insurance bill and utility bills for the property you’re buying for the last 24 months)
- copy of the Purchase and Sale Agreement
- Building Condition Assessment prepared by a qualified consultant that indicates the property is at least in fair condition
- Phase I Environmental Site Assessment prepared by an independent consultant
- property appraisal (market value of the property) within 3 months before applying for a loan
- financial information including the amount of funding requested, source and amount of proponent’s equity contribution and proforma for the next 5 years
- confirmation of funding for supportive housing projects for the same property from the Department of Community Services, if applicable