What is being offered?

The Government of Canada announced on June 8, 2023 that it would provide $281.5 million to address the critical need for safe and affordable urban, rural and northern Indigenous housing projects for Indigenous people living away from their traditional communities. In recognition of the need for immediate action, the National Indigenous Collaborative Housing Incorporated (NICHI) will deliver this funding through an Expression of Need call-out to Indigenous-led, non-profit projects that address urgent and unmet housing needs of Indigenous Peoples in urban, rural and northern communities. Over 87% of Indigenous Peoples live away from their traditional communities and most cannot access adequate housing support. Regardless of their size and location, Indigenous housing providers can now apply for this fast-track funding through a simple online application process.


Who is the funding for?

The allocation will prioritize those projects addressing the urgent and unmet needs requiring funding assistance and address a variety of funding needs regardless of where they are on the housing continuum.


What are the steps of the application process?

Fill out the online Expression of Need form below.


What documentation is required to apply?

The online Expression of Need Application Form is the only submission necessary though you will be asked to include supporting documents such as:  Board composition, Incorporation Documents, Needs Data for your Community and other items which will be noted on the form.


What are the eligibility criteria?
  •   Be an Indigenous-led organization (we define Indigenous-led organizations as board composition is over 50% Indigenous, Executive leadership is Indigenous; [AK1] and you are in place to serve the predominantly First Nation, Inuit or Métis population in your community/locale.
  •   Be a non-profit organization.
  •   Explain how you are addressing urgent and unmet Indigenous housing needs.
  •   Organizations must serve all or one of the 3 Indigenous group recognize by constitution as First Nation, Metis or Inuit.


Further you must provide at least one of the following:

  1. Supportive Services – i.e., Rental supplements, program staff that do outreach (mental health/addictions, food security/support, cultural, should also go directly to unit development) – show on housing continuum
  2. Transition/Supportive Housing – i.e., second stage housing after domestic violence shelters, being in the justice system, aging out of care, being in healing systems, transitions leaving care before being homeless again.
  3. Non-market Housing – i.e., public, not market, rental supplements, eviction preventions, subsidized
  4. Affordable Housing – i.e., Rent geared to income, transition to stable longer term housing


When will funds be deployed?

Funding will roll out quickly after the announcement of successful applications once the funding agreements have been put in place.


What are the two funding brackets?

- Capacity & Organizational Development: Up to $1 million targeted to project development, on the ground assistance, operational shortfalls and other project development requirements such as modernization and improvement needed to ensure project success/continuity.

- Capital Development: Project Funding requirements in excess of $1 million up to $10 million needed leverage further funding for large scale projects, major renovations, new builds, etc




What period must the funding be used in?

The funding allocated to this initiative is expected be fully expended by the approved projects before March 31, 2025.


How is the funding being prioritized and rolled out across the country?
  1.     Open call-out for Expression of Need on November 24th, 2023
  2.     All submissions must be received by January 12th, 2024
  3.     Advisory Council will review each submission and will recommend funding for projects depending on funding availability, fair and equitable distribution across the country, projects which target urgent and unmet needs.
  4.     NICHI will advise all organization if they are funded or not by end of January, 2024.


Is NICHI part of the Government of Canada?

No. NICHI is a For Indigenous By Indigenous organization committed to addressing the need for safe, appropriate and affordable housing for urban, rural and northern people living away from their home communities or traditional territories. Access to safe and affordable housing is critical to improving health and social outcomes, and to ensure a better future for Indigenous communities and children. This funding initiative is part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to address the social determinants of health and advance self-determination in alignment with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People articles 21 and 23. Deploying funding through NICHI is part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to moving ahead in the journey towards reconciliation.


Who is behind NICHI?

NICHI is an incorporated non-profit organization created through the collaborative efforts of a number of Indigenous housing organizations and experts from across Canada. NICHI’s objective is to ensure government funding reaches those most in need, regardless of size or scope, expediently, objectively and with Indigenous wisdom and cultural sensitivity.

Who does it serve?

NICHI supports Indigenous housing providers and organizations with a strong mandate to serve Indigenous Peoples. These organizations serve the 87% of Indigenous people who live away from their traditional communities and are unable to access support.


Who is evaluating applications, how are they chosen?

The Project Selection Advisory Council is made up of impartial Indigenous leaders from across the country. They understand the needs of urban, rural and northern communities. They will review and evaluate the applications.


We are a small organization, what chance do we have of being awarded funding?

Evaluation is based on need, tell us what will change with funding. Size of organizations doesn’t matter. Tell us who you serve and what are their unmet needs.

What if my Expression of Need application is unsuccessful?

The $281.5 million allocated to this initiative isn’t nearly enough to address the most urgent and unmet needs. Longer-term funding is being pursued in order to respond to the significant needs which exist and can’t be addressed in this call-out. You will be able to re-apply for any additional program funding which may become available.


Why was NICHI created?

To provide a For Indigenous By Indigenous approach to allocating funding and in doing so address the urgent & unmet needs through a culturally appropriate lens.


Until now, the housing needs of Indigenous peoples have been addressed with an approach that is for Indigenous - by government. At best this has been culturally insensitive; and at worst, it has perpetuated systemic marginalization, often leading to poor outcomes in education, family violence, youth development and unsafe environments. NICHI is a departure from colonial models. NICHI is Indigenizing this Expression of Need and how Indigenous housing and service providers address their needs. NICHI is redefining the western vision of funding Indigenous Housing and service delivery. It represents a new, For Indigenous By Indigenous (FIBI) approach where no Indigenous person will be left behind because of where they live. It is completely neutral, unbiased and has representation from coast to coast to coast. NICHI will rely on those applying for funding to define their urgent and unmet needs and describe where their project fits on the housing continuum. Every region has its own setbacks and challenges.


NICHI does not take a prescriptive approach. We’re asking applicants for a truly Indigenous and local perspective. Where are you on the housing continuum? Where are the pressure points? What do you need to help you get where you need to go?