Local Projects

Sector Transformation Fund

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Communities 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 in general. 

Moreover, the Sector Transformation Fund is a great lever to respond to service gaps across the country. It aims to reinforce successful models of development and make the tools needed to make the sector more resilient and accessible to a larger audience. The main goal is to enhance the organizational capacity of the sector and help it grow and flourish  over the next decade. Eventually we want to ensure that the sector has the capacity to make more affordable units available across the country. We are looking to improve the capacity of the organizations and their long-term viability. 

Here are some questions to guide your reflection: 

What would you need to make your organization stronger/more efficient? 

Do you have a project idea that would fill an identified gap in the community housing sector? 

What kind of partnership would create better services? 

What would it require for your organization to be able to build more units? 

Will the results of the project 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 

  • Land trusts
  • Trainings, strategic planning, growth strategies
  • New software to optimize management or new tools
  • Amalgamation, new partnerships, or shared services
  • Feasibility studies, setting up collaborative models
  • Engagecommunitiesto create new 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

The Sector Transformation Fund, managed by the Centre, is a great lever to respond to service gaps across the country. It will reinforce successful models of development and make more accessible the tools needed to make the sector more resilient. The main goal is to enhance the organizational capacity of the sector and help it grow and flourish through the next decade.
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

The Sector Transformation Fund (STF) provides access to financial resources for the community housing sector so it can undertake transformative changes to improve sectoral resilience and develop innovative housing solutions. STF is meant to support initiatives led by non-profit, social or cooperative housing providers and sectoral service providers.
The Centre defines transformational impact as change that is sustainable, long-term, concrete and far-reaching. As such, proposed projects need to include new approaches, tools and/ or ways of doing things within the organization/sector
This doesn’t mean that the method or approaches are new altogether but, simply, that they are new for the specific provider proposing the project. Implementing a new method in your organization that has been proven by other providers is “new” and “innovative” for your organization.

STF should help achieve at least one of these funding objectives:
-Leverage existing funding
-Lead the sector to reduce its environmental footprint
-Encourage housing initiatives for Indigenous peoples
-Develop tools and make them more accessible
-Support sectoral consolidation and other partnerships
-Reinforce organizational capacity
-Enhance sector resilience
-Identify and fill sectoral gaps in housing services
-Engage community

Types of activities covered (STF-Local Projects)

– Tools, initiatives and partnerships that can be adapted to the benefit of the sector

– Partnerships improving the quality of the services available in the sector
– New business models
– Services filling the identified gaps in the sector
– Other transformative initiatives that align with STF funding objectives-Pilot projects and initiatives that build sectoral capacity.
Restrictions

The Sector Transformation Fund will not provide funding for the following 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;
-Recreationnal, social, supportive or health-related activities;
-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; or
-Capital investment projects
-Research projects.

Required Documentation

Along with a completed application form, projects that are submitted must include the following documents according to the scale of the grant requested.

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.

Streams of STF Grants: STF-Local Projects

The Local Projects Stream is meant to support local community housing providers, individually or as a small group. This type of grant prioritizes transformative projects that bring more or better services to their communities and increase organizational capacity of the grantee(s). They should contribute to a viable solution and strengthen the organization(s)’s mission.

Evaluation Criteria

The evaluation of each application will be undertaken through a thorough process by our Program Managers and may include in some cases a feedback process by our Volunteer External 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).
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.).
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.
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.
Feasibility: Budget viability, human/ material resources (including those coming from partnerships) and whether the project is realistic given the organization’s scale and scope.

 

Projects of over $50,000:

Clarity of the request: Proposal has clearly elaborated on project’s beginning (planning/initiation), middle (execution) and end (closure).

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.).

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.

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.

Project scale and budget properly aligned.

Organizational capacity: Organizational capacity is defined as human and material resources and ability to overcome challenges.

Capacity to innovate: Application proposes implementing an existing idea/concept in a new way or proposes innovative approaches in the organization/sector.

Disbursement and Reporting General Guidelines, 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.

Community-Based Tenant Initiative Fund

Tenant engagement projects that aim to involve tenants in housing decisions that impact them and in defining services.

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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