Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) offers financial assistance for the creation of a Secondary or Garden Suite for a low-income senior or adult with a disability — making it possible for them to live independently in their community, close to family and friends.
CMHC delivers renovation programs in Prince Edward Island, where the province cost-shares on a 75% federal / 25% provincial basis and in Yukon Territory.
In other jurisdictions, Provinces and Territories may choose to design and deliver renovation programs that are cost-shared with the federal government. Information on Provincially/Territorially designed and delivered housing programs are provided underAffordable Housing Programs Across Canada.
What is a Secondary Suite and a Garden Suite?
A secondary suite, sometimes called an in-law suite, is a self-contained separate unit within an existing home or an addition to a home. This means there are full kitchen and bath facilities as well as a separate entrance.
A garden suite is a separate living unit that is not attached to the principal residence, but built on the same property. Garden suites are sometimes referred to as “granny flats” because they were originally created to provide a home for an aging parent of a homeowner. Like a secondary suite, a garden suite is a self-contained unit.
Regardless of which type of housing is chosen, secondary and garden suites must meet all applicable building code requirements as well as local municipal planning and zoning regulations.
Who Can Apply?
You may be eligible to receive assistance if:
- You are a homeowner or private entrepreneur owning residential property that would accommodate an affordable, self-contained rental unit for a low-income senior (65 years of age or more) or adult with a disability.
- Your property meets with the applicable zoning and building requirements.
- You consent to enter into an Operating Agreement that establishes the rent that can be charged during the term of the Agreement.
- You also agree that the household income of the occupant(s) of the newly created self-contained unit will be below a CMHC set level.
The assistance is in the form of a forgivable loan that does not have to be repaid provided that you, as the owner, adhere to the conditions of the program. The maximum loan available varies in accordance with the geographic zone in which the property is located:
|Zone 1: Southern areas of Canada||$24,000|
|Zone 2: Northern areas||$28,000|
|Zone 3: Far northern areas||$36,000|
|A 25 per cent supplement in assistance is available in remote areas.|
Costs related to the creation of a self-contained secondary or garden suite are eligible for funding under the program. Additional assistance may also be available under theResidential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) for Persons with Disabilities for accessibility modifications.
The costs of creating and upgrading common areas and elements will be prorated between the existing unit and the newly created unit. Homeowners may be eligible for assistance under Homeowner RRAP to cover their share of the prorated costs subject to the program criteria being met.
Any work carried out prior to commitment of assistance is not eligible.
To find out how to apply for financial assistance or for more information about these programs please call CMHC toll free at 1-800-668-2642.