Community-Based

Tenant Initiative Fund

All pdfs to be updated by Septembre 28, 2020.

Tenants in Action
Transformation

“Transformation” is in our name and is central to what we do. It is also the lens in which we analyze project proposals. Transformation can be accessible to all groups, no matter the size or scope of activities. We define transformational impact as change that is sustainable, long-term, concrete, and far-reaching. What we essentially mean is that structures and processes will be put in place throughout the project that will have a sustained and significant impact. Groups need to identify the issue/challenge they want to address and propose a method that will lead to impactful change. 

As such, proposed projects need to include new approaches, tools and/or ways of doing things within the organization/sector. This does not necessarily mean that the methods or approaches are new altogether but, simply, that they are new for the specific provider proposing the project. 

This process is a way to improve and increase service levels for your organization and/or community that will lead to a better, bigger, and more dynamic community housing sector. There is no rigid formula to follow; rather, we encourage creativity in imagining solutions that will strengthen your organization and/or the sector more broadly. 

Moreover, the CBTI Fund more specifically hopes to contribute to the process of turning tenants from a customer/receiver position to one of becoming active participants within the housing world. Whether tenants live in for-profit housing or community housing, they should be actively involved in decisions that impact them. We strive to create opportunities where tenants when informed of their housing options, organize to develop, or advocate, for more and better community housing improved housing programs and renew urban planning policies that take their needs, hopes, and rights into consideration. 

Here are some questions to guide your reflection: 

If you are a housing provider, is your project a way to better serve your tenants? 

If you are a community organization, will the tenants involved in the project be empowered to defend their rights and promote community housing? 

Are tenants actively involved in the project? 

Will the result lead to a stronger and more resilient sector and/or strengthen your organization?

Would your project have a lasting effect beyond its completion?

This is what will drive transformation! 

Examples of Projects Funded by the Centre 

  • Taking concrete steps to increase diversity representation on the Board of Directors
  • Creating tenant leader groups and/ or committees to improve tenant participation
  • Offering training to tenants in order for them to improve skills needed for involvement within their housing 
  • Conducting tenant-led participatory research projects to better understand neighbourhood housing trends and proposing solutions 
  • Organizing consultations for and by tenants in order for them to inform and contribute to housing projects 
Context

While Canada’s community housing sector includes about 600,000 housing units, this number has been more or less stagnant in the last 20 years. During this time, the population grew by almost 23% and the need for proper and affordable housing has continued to rise.
In order to reverse that trend and adapt to an evolving housing market reality, the community housing sector advocated for what was to become the National Housing Strategy (NHS). Among other aspects, the NHS has set targets to build, repair and renew affordable housing. While this is urgently needed, it does not, in and of itself, address the entirety of the housing sector’s needs. Beyond bricks and mortar, there is also a necessity to support already existing housing providers in addressing challenges. As a result, a resource centre was created — the Community Housing Transformation Centre.
While the Centre will not fund construction and renovation projects, it will provide new funding streams for those organizations willing to be the front runners in the journey towards improved capacities, long term viability and improved footprint reduction practices. It’s important to note that the community housing sector includes non-profit housing, co-op housing and social housing. It does not include privately owned buildings or the for-profit sector.

Introduction (CBTIF)

Tenant engagement is at the core of a sustainable community housing sector and is a key contributor to a vibrant and thriving model. Tenant participation can range from operational to strategic, but this involvement and expertise is always foundational to growing in the right direction and achieving the mission of ensuring a home for all.
In practice, however, due to a lack of resources, opportunities to fully take advantage of tenant participation are sometimes limited. The Community-Based Tenant Initiative Fund is there to raise awareness and support the implementation of new and improved tenant engagement practices.
The active engagement of tenants in their rights and in the housing decisions that affect them can create active and empowered citizens who will co-lead the community housing sector as it builds capacity, for itself, and longevity, for the future.
While we are using the term “tenant” throughout this document for simplicity purposes, it also includes members of cooperative housing providers.

The Centre's Priority Areas

These are the top priorities set by the Centre which inform all that we do. Projects must correspond to at least one of these priority areas:

-Answering to gaps in service for Indigenous communities

-Reducing the sector’s environmental footprint

-Supporting innovative and sustainable business practices

-Increasing social inclusion and community engagement

-Facilitating growth of the community housing sector

Funding Objectives (CBTIF)

The Community-Based Tenant Initiative Fund (CBTIF) aims to provide contributions for community housing providers, organizations, sector service providers and tenant associations to support vulnerable tenants. CBTIF should help achieve at least one of these funding objectives:
-increase/ promote access to information
-build capacity around housing decisions and responsibilities
-increase participation in housing-related decisions and projects

Restrictions (CBTIF)

The Community-Based Tenant Initiative Fund will not provide funding for the following activities:
-Recreationnal, social, supportive, or health-related activities;
-Construction and renovation activities;
-Fees related to legal or administrative actions (legal consultation is not restricted);
-Individual assistance in accessing housing;
-Activities not supporting the priority areas;
-Expenses for activities carried out prior to the Centre’s written approval of funding;
-Activities that are not new or transformative to the organization, provider or sector;
-Core programs, regular services, administrative and operating expenses;
-Retainer fees for work to be completed in the future;
-Fundraising activities.

Required Documentation (CBTIF)

Along with a completed application form, projects that are submitted must include the following documents according to the scale of the grant requested (please refer to chart below).Along with a completed application form, projects that are submitted must include the following documents according to the scale of the grant requested (please refer to chart below). Please note that quality references/ reference letters should:

– support your proposal and elaborate on your organization’s capacity to carry out the project

AND – come from contacts linked to related experiences and/ or your partners on this project

Project Attachments required

Project under $25,000:

• As an alternative to reference letters, please provide two references we can contact if we require more information.

Name, Surname, Phone, Email, Organization, Relationship to applying organization

• Letters patent or other incorporating documents of your organisation• Void cheque

Project of $25,000- $49,999:

• Latest Financial Statement

• Upload 1 Reference letter

• Letters patent or other incorporating documents of your organisation

• Void cheque

Project of $50,000- $99,999:

• Latest Financial Statement

• Upload 2 Reference letters

• Letters patent or other incorporating documents of your organisation

• Void cheque

Project over $100K:

• Latest Financial Statement

• Upload 3 Reference letters

• Letters patent or other incorporating documents of your organisation

• Void cheque

The information provided in the application form should be sufficient in the evaluation of projects. However, occasionally, you may be asked to provide additional supporting documentation such as a detailed project timeline, budget or proposal.

Eligibility Requirements (CBTIF)

-Funding is available to community-led organizations that work with tenants, tenant associations, community housing providers (non-profit, social housing or co-operative) or sector service providers;
-The proposal purpose, objectives and programming must fall under the funding objective, priority areas and eligible activities;
-The grant must be used for the specific activity for which it is requested;
-Projects must be completed, and final reports received, by March 2024. Therefore, the deadline to apply for projects under the CBTIF will be March 31, 2023.
-An organization presenting a second or additional application should not be in default under any of the obligations set out by any on-going or previous funding contract with the Centre;
-The amount requested cannot exceed $150,000.

Type of activities covered (CBTIF)

-Taking concrete steps to increase representation of members from underrepresented groups on the Board of Directors and/ or on Committees
-Creating tenant leader groups to improve tenant participation
-Offering training to tenants for them to gain needed skills for involvement within their housing
-Conducting tenant-led participatory research projects to better understand neighbourhood housing trends and proposing solutions
-Promotion of community housing through tenant-led initiatives
-Organizing consultations for-and-by tenants for them to inform and contribute to housing projects that impact them
-Integrating Indigenous knowledge within tenancy initiatives
-Improving financial literacy/ management capacity related to housing, etc.

Evaluation Criteria

The evaluation of each application will be undertaken through a process by our Program Managers and may include feedback from our Volunteer Reviewers and our Allocation Committee. The Centre will make a final funding decision based on its assessment of the proposal.

Evaluation Scoring

Projects under $50,000:

Clarity of the request: Proposal has clearly elaborated on project’s beginning (planning/ initiation), middle (execution) and end (closure).
Relevance of the project:
Tenant/ resident engagement: Tenants/ residents will be provided with capacity building opportunities to develop their skills, in addition to participating in the realization, co-creation and implementation of the project.
Social inclusion: Social inclusion is defined as making meaningful participation accessible to everyone and thus acknowledging and tackling barriers that impede participation.
Clearly identified need of the project: Proposal presents a solid understanding of the community housing sector in question and/ or the needs of the community/ organization concerned. Proposal identifies gaps in service.
Feasibility to deliver the project: Feasibility is defined as budget viability, human/material resources (including those coming from partnerships) and whether the project is realistic given organization’s scale and scope.

Projects over $50,000:

Clarity of the request: Proposal has clearly elaborated on project’s beginning (planning/ initiation), middle (execution) and end (closure).
Relevance of the project:
Tenant/ resident engagement: Tenants/ residents will be provided with capacity building opportunities to develop their skills, in addition to participating in the realization, co-creation and implementation of the project.
Social inclusion: Social inclusion is defined as making meaningful participation accessible to everyone and thus acknowledging and tackling barriers that impede participation.
Clearly identified need of the project: Proposal presents a solid understanding of the community housing sector in question and/ or the needs of the community/ organization concerned. Proposal identifies gaps in service.
Potential of transformational impact: Transformational impact is described as change that is sustainable, long-term, concrete and far reaching (i.e.: has the potential to leverage resources, enhance resilience, consolidate the sector, develop innovative business models, etc.).

Organizational Capacity
-Project scale and budget properly aligned.
Partnerships: Partnerships sufficient to match scale and scope of the project OR organization’s ability to demonstrate that they do not need partnerships given internal capacity.

Disbursement, Reporting General Guidelines and Sample Contract

The following provides a guideline on the reporting requirements and disbursement schedule according to the funding bracket and timeframe of the project. Please note that these are rough guidelines and slight adjustments may occur depending on the unique conditions and needs of each project.

We understand that milestones will shift and grow as projects do also. The Centre will adapt the disbursement and deporting schedule in order match changing needs.

For projects under $50,000
1 year or less
Reporting:
– Phone call at halfway mark
– Final Report (end of project)

Disbursement:
Beginning: 70%
End: 30%

For project under $50,000
Over 1 year
Reporting:
– Phone call every 6 months
– Progress report at halfway mark or end of each project year minus 1 month
– Final Report (end of project)

Disbursement:
Beginning: 70%
End: 30%

For projects over $50,000
2 years or less
Reporting:
– Phone call every 6 months
– Progress report at the halfway mark minus 1 month
– Final Report (end of project)

Disbursement:
Beginning: 40%
Second disbursement: 30%
End: 30%

For projects over $50,000
Over two years
– Phone call every 6 months
– Progress report at the end of each project year minus 1 month
– Final Report (end of project)

Disbursement:
Beginning: not exceeding 40%
All other disbursements: to be determined according to cost and length of the project
End: 15%

*Final report due 6 weeks after end of project
*Final disbursement set for 8 weeks after end of project (upon review of the final report).

Download the Sample Contract here.

Local Projects

Sector Transformation Fund

Enhance the capacity of your local organisation to provide affordable housing in a better way.

Sectoral Impact Projects

Sector Transformation Fund

Develop new services, models or tools to help the sector build and manage affordable housing.

Become a Volunteer Project Reviewer

Join the Wave of Transforming Community Housing Practices

Explore our Resource Centre

A space providing you with a range of resources and tools such as the Tool Kit, the portfolio of Projects Highlights funded by the Centre, the Self-assessment Tool and the Resource Inventory.

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