multi-unit building

Affordable rental housing funding program

The City of Thunder Bay has developed an Affordable Rental Housing Funding Program to foster the construction of local affordable housing. The Program will guide the allocation of available funding, providing financial support to Not-For-Profit organizations that create affordable housing in the City for low to moderate income households. The Affordable Rental Housing Funding Program supports the City of Thunder Bay’s housing targets under the Housing Accelerator Fund and aligns with the City’s strategic goal to support urban density through complete, compact, and walkable development by incentivizing affordable and equitable mixed-use neighbourhoods.

The Program will provide funding contributions to eligible Not-For-Profit organizations to help offset the capital costs of providing affordable residential rental housing units for low to moderate income households in the city of Thunder Bay. The Program will be funded by the Housing Accelerator Fund for up to three years.

Application is now open!

The deadline to apply is 11:59pm on Sunday, July 21, 2024. Submit your pre-application form to 

 Phase 1: Pre-application submission

 You must submit a pre-application form via email to 


 Phase 2: Eligibility determination

A Housing Accelerator Coordinator will review your pre-application form. They will determine whether your organization and proposal are eligible to proceed to the next stage of the application process. You will receive a response within two business days of the date we receive your pre-application form. 


 Phase 3: Full application submission

If your organization and proposal are determined to be eligible to proceed to the next stage, a Coordinator will send you a full application form via email.

It is important to note that even if a project is deemed eligible to move forward with a full application, it does not guarantee full application eligibility or that the project will be approved for funding.

As you complete your application form, contact your Coordinator if you have any questions. Once you’ve filled out the application form, submit it via email to 


 Phase 4: Application review

Once the full application form is submitted, a Coordinator will review your application for accuracy and completeness and will work with you to resolve any remaining questions.


 Phase 5: Internal review and evaluation

The Funding Review Team evaluates all applications against the Evaluation Criteria included in the Affordable Rental Housing Funding Program policy. The Team will make a funding recommendation to the General Manager – Infrastructure, Development & Operations. 


 Phase 6: Funding decision
The General Manager – Infrastructure, Development & Operations reviews and approves the funding recommendation made by the Funding Review Team. We anticipate a funding decision three to four months after the funding application deadline.

Creation of an Affordable Housing Incentive Program will provide grants to boost affordable housing in target locations of the city. Part of the strategy also includes the sale of city-owned surplus lands for the purpose of affordable housing. An incentive for maximizing residential unit density up to the allowable limits in the zone would encourage developers to add additional units to planned developments.

What is “affordable”? 

To be eligible to apply for a grant, a minimum of 30% of the units must be affordable. Affordable Units are defined in the Policy as being rental housing units whereby the rent of a unit, inclusive of all utilities, is set at or below 80% of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) Average Market Rent, by bedroom type, in the regional market area, for a minimum of 10 years. The average market rent table and the affordable threshold for 2023 is: 

Unit Size (by # of bedrooms) 

Average Market Rent 

80% of Average Market Rent 


$        823 

$        658 

1 bedroom 

$     1,054 

$        843 

2 bedrooms 

$     1,320 

$     1,056 

3+ bedrooms 

$     1,678 

$     1,324 


$     1,221 

$        977 

Eligibility criteria 

  1. Applicant is a Not-For-Profit organization as defined in the Policy
  2. Applicant must own or have an accepted offer to purchase the subject property, OR have secured a long-term lease from another Not-For-Profit agency or governmental organization (ex. the City of Thunder Bay or CMHC) for affordable housing purposes 
  3. The project must be located within the geographic boundary of the City of Thunder Bay 
  4. The entire building will be rental tenure 
  5. A minimum of 30% of the residential units in the project will be Affordable Units as defined in the Policy, for a minimum of 10 years 
  6. The units are to be owned and operated solely by the organization 
  7. This project will not receive ongoing federal or provincial subsidies for operational purposes 
  8. This project is new construction (includes additions and extensions) 
  9. This project is a conversion of non-residential buildings (in whole or in part) to affordable residential rental housing 

Projects that are not eligible include: 

  • Projects by commercial enterprises (i.e., for-profit),  
  • Secondary suites,  
  • Long-term care facilities,  
  • Purpose-built student housing with shared kitchen or bathroom amenities,  
  • Shelters and crisis care facilities,  
  • Transitional or time limited housing without security of tenure,  
  • Repairs/renovations to existing buildings unless the works result in the creation of new Affordable Units, and,  
  • Community Housing that receives ongoing federal subsidies and/or provincial subsidies.  

Financial incentives 

Each new affordable housing unit created is eligible for up to $40,000, and each new rental market unit is eligible for up to $20,000, for a maximum project amount of $1,300,000. 

Additional links 

Sign up for the Housing Accelerator Fund email list to get the most up-to-date information on this program and more. 

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