FNMHF Elements

Access Criteria

The idea of building housing markets on-reserve in order to respond to housing needs has already been implemented in some innovative First Nations in Canada. However, establishing housing markets in these communities did not happen overnight. It was first important for community leadership and community members to make a commitment to changing the nature of housing in their communities. It was also necessary for First Nations to commit financial resources, build capacity and develop the processes necessary to support better housing systems. These communities now enjoy the benefits of living in good quality homes, experience the pride of home ownership and benefit from the associated economic opportunities.

The Fund’s Access Criteria were developed in relation to the demonstrated examples of these innovative communities as well as the input of First Nations and financial institutions from across the country.

What is the purpose of the Fund’s Access Criteria, and what do they provide access to?

The First Nations Market Housing Fund’s (the "Fund") Access Criteria serve as a basis for the assessment and qualification of First Nations which: (1) apply for the Fund’s Credit Enhancement; and/or (2) receive targeted funding from the Fund’s Capacity Development Program.

Who do the Access Criteria apply to?

The criteria apply to First Nations who choose to apply to the Fund.

What are the Access Criteria?

The three pillars of the criteria and the overarching principles are outlined below.

  1. Financial Management
    Overarching principle to be assessed: First Nation demonstrates competency in financial management, a history of paying its obligations, and an adequate financial position.
  2. Good Governance
    Overarching principle to be assessed: The First Nation demonstrates that it has good governance and administration within the community. In particular, it has sustainable processes and systems which will support the community’s commitment to housing management over the long-term.
  3. Community Commitment and Evidence of Demand for Market-Based Housing
    Overarching principle to be assessed: There is evidence that community members support the concept of market housing and can afford homeownership and/or market rentals in the community.

What exactly is evaluated in relation to the Access Criteria?

In order to provide more flexibility in terms of how a First Nation will be able to demonstrate competency in a particular category, the Fund’s Access Criteria are principles-based rather than rules-based. Within each of the three pillars of Access Criteria, a principle is established and it will be incumbent upon the First Nation to demonstrate how it meets this principle.

First Nations which apply to the Fund would be evaluated at the time of their application and, for those which qualify, will be monitored on an annual basis thereafter by the Fund’s staff in relation to twelve separate but complementary categories as outlined below:

Pillar 1: Financial Management

  1. Audited Financial Statements
  2. Qualified and/or certified individuals responsible for financial and loan management
  3. History of Debt Repayment
  4. Financial Flexibility

Pillar 2: Good Governance

  1. Good Governance and Administration within the Community
  2. Development and approval of a housing policy which supports market based housing (i.e. governance considerations)
  3. Demonstrated implementation of effective housing management (i.e. administrative considerations)
  4. Quality and maintenance of housing are encouraged within the community
  5. Security of land tenure, particularly as it pertains to market housing

Pillar 3: Community Commitment and Evidence of Demand for Market Based Housing

  1. Community Commitment
  2. Borrower Demand
  3. Market Characteristics

First Nations will be evaluated on the basis of whether they exhibit: “Strength; Meets; or Needs to Strengthen” for each of the above-noted categories. Specific considerations and/or requirements will be taken into account by the evaluator in determining whether a community “meets” or exhibits “strength” in a category. Additional information regarding these categories is available here.

Are there any minimum requirements?

In recognition of the critical importance of each of the three pillars of Access Criteria, First Nations will need to demonstrate adequate strength within each pillar in order to be eligible for Credit Enhancement.

In addition, certain categories which will be assessed by the Fund are considered absolutely critical for a community to achieve and maintain success in market-based housing. Therefore, it will be necessary for a community to attain a “meets” or “strength” evaluation within each of the following “required” categories:

  1. Unqualified Audited Financial Statements (minimum 3 years)
  2. History of Debt Repayment
  3. Good Governance and Administration within the Community
  4. Community Commitment

What are the possible outcomes of this analysis?

Upon completing an assessment of a community within each of the twelve categories described above, the Fund will assign an Overall Rating for the community. Possible ratings will include “Needs-to-Strengthen”, “Satisfactory”, or “Strong”. This rating will impact the degree to which the community may be eligible for First Nation Housing Loan Guarantee Credit (HLGC), which in turn impacts the amount of Credit Enhancement which may be available to lenders with which the community has established a relationship. In addition, the Fund’s assessments within the Access Criteria categories and the Overall Rating are important factors for participation in the Capacity Development Program.

How were these criteria developed?

The Fund’s Access Criteria were developed and validated with representatives of First Nations and the financial community from across Canada which had experience in First Nations housing and market-based on-reserve housing loan programs.

How does a First Nation apply?

Click here for additional information about how to assess your community’s readiness to participate in this exciting approach to market-based housing.

To download an application form, click here.

Where can I learn more?

Information on how to contact us is available here.