Inuit women, children and 2SLGBTQIAA+ people face unique challenges and barriers to housing. For those who experience gender-based violence, a shelter is often a first step to rebuilding their lives and protecting them from further violence.
The Shelter Initiative is led by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Indigenous Services Canada (ISC). CMHC will provide forgivable loans for up to 100% of total eligible costs for the construction/rehabilitation of new shelters. ISC will also provide funding to support operational costs on an ongoing basis.
Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada has long been calling on the federal government to urgently provide shelters for Inuit women. In 2020 Pauktuutit asked for a $20 million commitment towards the building of shelters and second‐stage transitional housing in Inuit Nunagat and in Ottawa for Inuit women and children escaping violence at our 2020 Annual General Meeting. In January 2021, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, along with the Honourable Ahmed Hussein, Minister of Families, Children, and Social Development, committed to fund the construction and operation of shelters for Inuit women and children across Inuit Nunangat as well as in urban centres. Funding for the new Inuit specific shelters is part of the comprehensive Violence Prevention Strategy as announced in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement. The strategy will also support new shelters and transitional (second-stage) housing for First Nations, Inuit and Métis across the country, including in the North and in urban areas.
The submission window for all eligible groups to apply for funding for Inuit-specific shelters is now open.
Shelter Initiative for Inuit women and children Application Guide
The following Application Guide is intended to provide you with information to assist in completing the Application Form, gain further detail on the scoring criteria used to assess proposals, and define the terms used by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and Indigenous Services Canada throughout the process.
For more information on this initiative or for help preparing your application please connect with a Housing Solutions Specialist in your region.
Do you need funds to help prepare your application? Seed Funding is available. Click here for details.
Download Application Guide
Questions & Answers
Who is eligible for the shelter’s initiative funding?
Inuit representative organizations, Inuit governments, Inuit communities, provincial / territorial governments, municipalities, non-governmental and voluntary associations and organizations, including non-profit corporations are eligible to submit an application package.
Inuit applicants will be prioritized. All non-Inuit organizations, including provincial, territorial, and municipal governments, require demonstrated support from Inuit organizations or Inuit community groups to be eligible for funding.
Proposed projects will have to meet the following requirements:
- Intended use for Inuit women and children escaping family violence.
- Demonstrated support from Inuit organizations or Inuit community groups.
- Eligible to obtain operational support for the shelter through Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), in accordance with the posted Terms and Conditions.
- Eligibility to obtain appropriate loan security to cover the value of the forgivable loan received.
- Minimum requirements for energy efficiency and accessibility
- Application package and financial worksheet completed.
- Support commitments/letters for the project
Capital cost funding is delivered by CMHC, while funding for ongoing operating costs must be secured through ISC. The funding for both the construction and operation of the shelters will be sought through a single application.
The construction of the Inuit shelters will be financed through the Co-Investment Fund, with a forgivable loan for up to 100% of the total eligible capital costs.
On-going operational funding will be provided through ISC’s Family Violence Prevention Program (FVPP). Operational funding includes wraparound services, which are a comprehensive and holistic approach to addressing client needs and challenges. Wraparound services can include counselling, addiction services, mentorship, employment and housing support, skills development, training, childcare, and children’s programs. Applicants must provide an operational budget that is specific to their proposed facility.
Contribution amounts for operational funding are based on a national funding formula. The formula calculates a core operating budget for each shelter based on the province or territory of operation, size of area served and geographical location using four expenditure factors: staff salaries and benefits, operational and administrative costs, and where applicable, funds to cover the costs associated with remoteness and emergency needs.
Seed funding to support applications
CMHC Seed funding is available through non-repayable contributions to help with costs related to pre-development activities. This can include business plans, preliminary designs, development permits and more.
Details on the Seed program and links to the documents listed above can be found on CMHC’s Seed webpage: https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/professionals/project-funding-and-mortgage-financing/funding-programs/all-funding-programs/seed-funding
The application package must contain:
- Completed Application Form (including all required documentation listed in the application form’s Checklist and the completed Financial Worksheet)
Proposals will be reviewed with input from representatives of Inuit organizations and federal partner organizations.
SEED Funding provides interest-free loans and/or non-repayable contributions to help with costs related to pre-development activities. This can include business plans, preliminary designs, development permits and more. Information on SEED funding can be found by clicking on the following link https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/professionals/project-funding-and-mortgage-financing/funding-programs/all-funding-programs/seed-funding Find out how affordable housing organizations in Gatineau, Quebec are using Seed Funding to help women affected by domestic violence have an affordable place to call home.
Shelter operating expertise
Contacting an existing shelter provider could be beneficial to obtain information on management and operations best practices and important considerations. You can find shelters in your area by consulting Women’s Shelters Canada website at https://endvaw.ca/home/
Research and reports on shelters and second-stage housing
Surviving Abuse and Building Resilience—A Study of Canada’s Systems of Shelters and Transition Houses Serving Women and Children Affected by Violence (Standing Committee on the Status of Women, 2019) On May 1st, 2019, the Standing Committee on the Status of Women (the Committee) tabled its report on the systems of shelters and transition houses serving women and children affected by violence. The Committee conducted this study with the understanding that the physical and psychological effects of violence are profound and long-lasting. Individuals affected by violence require access to safe housing and appropriate support services.
Study by the Women’s Shelter of Canada: More than a Bed – A National Profile of Violence Against Women Shelters and Transition Houses (2019).
Study by the Women’s Shelter of Canada: Second Stage Shelters – Transitioning to a Life Free of Violence (2019)
Study of Gender-based Violence and Shelter Service Needs Across Inuit Nunangat, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada – Final Report (2019)
The study addresses the shared priority of increasing the safety and well-being of Inuit women and children.