The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) provides Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Programs (RRAPs) to support the maintenance of quality housing for low-income households and persons with disabilities. Financial assistance is provided in the form of a forgive-able loan. Applicants must meet eligibility requirements and comply with the terms and conditions of the programs to qualify for financial aid.
The CMHC Homeowner Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program-(RRAP) provides financial assistance to low-income homeowners who can not afford to complete necessary repairs to their dwellings or who live in sub-standard dwellings. The programs supports the availability and quality of affordable housing for low-income homeowners. The CMHC Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program for Persons with Disabilities (RRAP-Disabilities) provides financial assistance to landlords and homeowners to make modifications to existing dwellings to increase the accessibility of the dwelling to meet the needs of persons with disabilities.
Eligible properties for the Homeowner RRAP include those that are a minimum of five years old, meet CMHC property value criteria, are of sub-standard quality, are in need of substantial electrical, fire safety, heating, plumbing or structural repairs, or are over-crowded. Eligible RRAP-Disabilities dwellings include those that are already occupied by, or will be occupied by, a person with a disability who has a low-income; a dwelling that is a rental property with below average rents for the area, a dwelling that is a home valued at below the CMHC pre-determined amount, or a dwelling that meets minimum safety and health standards.
Eligible Repairs and Mofications
Homeowner RRAP eligible repairs include necessary electrical, fire safety, heating, plumbing or structural upgrades. The repairs must be of sufficient quality to benefit the useful life of the home for a minimum of 15 years. Eligible RRAP-Disability modifications include the installation of bath lifts, chair lifts, counter top height adjustments, doorbells or fire alarm cues, handrails, and ramps. The completed work must bring the dwelling up to minimum safety and health standards. Repairs must only be carried out once the applicant receives approval in writing from CMHC.
Assistance for both the Homeowner RRAP and the RRAP-Disability is provided in the form of a forgive-able loan which does not have to be repaid if the applicant continues to live in the home for the period of loan forgiveness; or in the case of a landlord, agrees to restrict the modified rental unit to low-income individuals for the period of loan forgiveness. The loan forgiveness period may be a maximum of five-years. The maximum amount of loan funding for an individual applicant varies from $16,000 to $24,000, depending on the zone the applicant resides in. The maximum funding a landlord ranges from $24,000 to $36,000, depending on the zone resided in.
Serena Cassidy has written reports, policies, and research documents since 2000 on community development and government policy issues, and she has been featured in "CIO Canada." She has a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Saint Mary's University and a Master of Public Administration from Dalhousie University. She currently works as a government policy analyst.