On February 1, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation announced the creation of a new financing source, the Temporary Rental Assistance support. Faced with very tight delays — just one month from the TRA launch and the application deadline on March 1, 2020 — the Centre was asked to search for and assist potentially eligible non-profit organizations to prepare their applications. Here are a few of the good news stories that our project consultants would like to share with the Centre’s friends and followers.
TRA will relieve pressure on some overwhelmed orgs
The Bowside Manor is a low-income housing high-rise operated by the Calgary Chinatown Development Association. When their previous CMHC agreement expired, they were committed to ensuring their occupants — many of whom are seniors from the Chinese community who have longstanding relationships in the area — didn’t have to bear the weight of resulting rent hikes. That’s when the Association decided to bridge the gap with their own funding, which they have done ever since. They were elated this month when the Centre brought them news of the Temporary Rental Assistance program. The TRA, even if temporary, will help reduce the pressure on their own financial reserves and allow the Association to invest in other areas of the building.
Unexpected dividends for some NPOs
Trying to find all of the non-profit buildings that can benefit from the Temporary Rental Assistance initiative is one of the huge hurdles that Centre staff have had to face, with incomplete or outdated records potentially letting some eligible properties fall through the cracks. For the Canadian Mental Health Association, however, having one of its numerous properties on the list allowed it to discover that yet another of their projects was also eligible to file for a TRA subsidy. So, sometimes, good news really can strike twice.
The Centre’s standing by to help
Grant applications often come with instructions, but how many come with instructors?! With short deadlines and sometimes complicated data requirements, many groups are hugely relieved to discover that the Centre’s project consultants are here to help them with the TRA process, right up until deadline day … and beyond! Alberta’s Métis Urban Housing Corporation, for example, had to assemble its own team to put together the cases for over 100 of their units, but the Centre’s Louise Casemore is there as a key information resource for any team member who needs help. In addition to helping groups get the job done right in very short order, “a lot of what we are offering is moral support,” she adds.
Better luck … this time!
Publicity around the TRA has attracted a lot of new attention to the Centre, including from many groups that discover, to their regret, that they aren’t eligible for the rent subsidy. Some, however, “discovered that they are very eligible for other grants that the Centre offers,” project consultant Louise Casemore says with a wry grin. “Seeing their enthusiasm and their huge excitement in learning about the Centre and what it can offer has just been fantastic — going from bad news to great news is amazing.”