Shelter Initiative for Inuit women and children

Questions & Answers

1. Who is eligible for the shelters initiative funding?

Inuit and land claim organizations and governments across Inuit Nunangat and urban centers, are eligible to submit an application package. Inuit applications will be prioritized.

Non-Inuit organizations and governments are also eligible These applications will need to indicate the Inuit communities they will serve, and that there is demonstrated support from Inuit local authorities, and Inuit led services.

2. What project types for shelters are eligible under this initiative?

Funding under this initiative is for new construction or acquisition and conversion of existing property for the creation of new shelter spaces intended for Inuit women, children and 2SLGBTQ escaping family violence. 

3. How many shelters will be built under this initiative?

Funding has been allocated to fund at least 5 Inuit specific shelters.

4. How much funding is available to build the shelters?

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation will provide funding based on an average cost of $7.2 million per shelter in northern geographic areas of the country and $3.48 million per shelter in southern and urban areas. However, applicants must provide a construction budget that is specific to their proposed facility.

The allocation is in the form of a forgivable loan for up to 100% of eligible capital costs for the construction of new shelters or for the acquisition and rehabilitation of buildings for conversion to shelters. Selected proponents will enter into a loan agreement with CMHC for a 20-year period. The full amount of the forgivable loan will be earned in 20 equal annual amounts, provided the terms and conditions of the agreement continue to be fulfilled.

Eligible capital costs include:

  • Land acquisition
  • Construction, acquisition and rehabilitation or conversion of facilities
  • Soft costs (i.e. architect, engineer, or project management fees, other consultants’ fees, the cost of development fees and/or permits, taxes, course of construction insurance, interest charges on interim financing, legal fees, audits, enrolment in recognized warranty programs if applicable, and advertising costs for tenders.)
  • Accessibility for persons with disabilities
  • Hard furnishings required for the operation of the project (i.e. appliances, built-ins, non-movables and major pieces of maintenance equipment.
  • Appropriate building security
  • Children’s  areas
  • Landscaping

5. How much funding is available to operate the shelters?

Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) will provide an average of $1 million per year per shelter through its Family Violence Prevention Program (FVPP). However, applicants must provide an operational budget that is specific to their proposed facility.

Selected proponents will enter into a funding agreement with ISC and will be required to submit annual financial and activity reports.

Eligible costs include:

  • Salaries and employee benefits        
  • Professional fees (contracts)
  • Honoraria for elders
  • Domestic travel and transportation
  • Meetings
  • Hospitality
  • Equipment
  • Rent and utilities
  • Translation and communications
  • Operations, minor maintenance, upgrading and repairs to facilities not exceeding $50,000      
  • Materials and supplies        
  • Audits and evaluation
  • Legal and banking fees                   
  • Insurance                
  • Overhead administration costs
  • Direct client costs   
  • Training and development
  • Crisis line
  • Off-hour emergency services

6. What is the process to access the funding?

Proponents have the opportunity to submit an application in response to the call for submission. A selection process of all eligible applications received will take place periodically over 2021 and 2022 to determine the shelters to receive funding.

7. How will proposals be evaluated?

Proposals will be reviewed and assessed with input from representatives of Inuit organizations  and federal partner organizations (e.g., CMHC, Indigenous Services Canada, Pauktuutit, and Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada).

8. How are Inuit organizations going to be involved?

Representatives from Inuit organizations will be part of a selection committee to establish scoring process, as well as review proposals to determine which are eligible to be selected.   

9. What will be the criteria for evaluating the proposals?

Given the limited funding available, priority will be given to proposed shelters that serve the greatest needs. Proposals will be evaluated on a number of different criteria, including how proposed projects respond to shelter needs, number of communities served, geographic location, planned measures to ensure the safety of occupants, energy efficiency, and accessibility, construction and operational costs.

10. Who can I contact for more information?

You can send an email to CMHC’s mailbox at and a member of the Shelter Initiative will contact you.

You can also contact Christine Lund at  who can provide more information to help you complete the application.