First Nations Development Funding

Are you looking to buy, build or renovate a single-family home or multi-unit rental property in your community? Insured loans from CMHC help First Nation members living on-reserve get access to financing for housing projects.

How does the loan program work?

CMHC provides loan insurance to approved lenders. This allows them to confidently offer guaranteed loans for on-reserve First Nation housing projects. An approved lender might be a bank, credit union or Aboriginal Capital Corporation.

An approved lender will work with you to prepare and submit a loan application to us for approval. Your council will also help you get the necessary approvals for your project.

All loans are secured by a council resolution and a ministerial loan guarantee from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC). If you cannot repay the loan, the outstanding balance will be paid to the approved lender by INAC on your behalf. However, INAC will then require repayment from your First Nation.

Who is eligible for a loan?

To be eligible for a loan, you must:

  • have a certificate of possession or have been granted use of the land by the First Nation
  • meet the approved lender’s minimum requirements, including being able to repay the loan

There are also additional requirements based on the type of property you’re buying or building:

  • If you’re a home buyer, you must have savings (or INAC contributions) equal to at least 5% of the loan’s value. This means if the cost to build your house is $90,000, you need a down payment of at least $4,500.
  • When investing in a property of 4 units or less, the minimum down payment is 20% of the loan’s value. CMHC-insured loans are available for qualified rental projects up to a maximum of 80% of the loan’s value.
  • For rental projects of 5 or more units, the minimum down payment is 15% of the loan’s value. CMHC-insured loans are available for qualified rental projects up to a maximum of 85% of the loan’s value.

Watch Video: CMHC Seed Funding

For more information about this program, please contact your local CMHC office or CMHC consultant.

Contributions and interest-free loans

You can apply for Seed Funding to help cover some of the soft costs associated with your affordable housing project. These costs can include:

  • incorporation
  • preliminary financial feasibility
  • the development of a business plan
  • project drawings/specifications

Seed Funding is available in the form of a non-repayable contribution of up to $50,000. Additional funds may be made available in the form of a fully repayable, interest-free loan of up to $200,000.

CMHC provides Seed Funding to all kinds of applicants looking to build affordable housing


Connect with an Affordable Housing Specialist

CMHC’s Affordable Housing Specialists can connect you with industry partners and help develop solutions for your affordable housing projects.

Our specialists are experts in the specific needs, challenges and opportunities within their unique markets across Ontario, Atlantic Canada, Quebec, British Columbia, the Prairies and Northern Canada.

Choose your region below to find an Affordable Housing Specialist near you.


Contact: Michael Schell, Architectural Technologist, Aboriginal business & Entrepreneur 

Company: Premium Urban Design, 2840 Nanaimo Street, Victoria, BC, 250.383.9990

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