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Housing Development

Project Development Fund (PDF)


The goal of the Project Development Fund (PDF) is to address the significant shortfall in affordable rental housing stock within the Cowichan Region.


Some of the main impediments to the development of more affordable housing projects (including emergency/shelters and second stage housing) are the start-up and soft costs associated with residential development.


The purpose of the PDF is to assist housing developers and community groups interested in developing affordable housing to conduct pre-development work required to obtain funding from senior levels of government. Priority will be given to new construction, and projects that address housing affordability and/or are based on a rent-geared-to-income tenancy model.


Eligible Activities

Include but are not limited to:

  • Analysis of need and demand for the proposed project

  • Special purpose surveys

  • Preliminary financial feasibility

  • Business plans and operational budgets

  • Incorporation of non-profit

  • Professional appraisal

  • Site surveys

  • Local government fees (i.e., rezoning, development agreement costs)

  • Preliminary design


Criteria for Affordable Rental Housing

Proponents can use any one of the following definitions of “affordable” in accordance with the type of housing proposed: 

  • Rents charged will be on average 20% or lower than the median or average rent based on municipal or electoral boundaries.


  • Rents will be based on 30% of gross household income or at Income Assistance shelter allowance for 70% or more of the planned units.


Available Project Funding

Applicants are encouraged to apply based on their need. Typical funding per application is $25,000.


Ineligible Activities

Construction, demolitions, renovations, or repairs to an existing residential building.

Activities that are eligible under the PDF will not be eligible for funding under the Rental Capital Housing Fund (RCCHF) in the same calendar year.



This funding is available to non-profit (including charities and/or housing cooperatives) and for-profit organizations who intend to build affordable housing. Applicants must submit an application and must demonstrate the following:

  • The organization is in good standing and has a strong track record addressing community needs.

  • The organization must demonstrate functional capacity to deliver the project for which funding is sought.

  • The proposed project is aligned with the Cowichan Attainable Housing Strategy and PDF criteria.

  • The proposed project is more than three units.

  • There is community support for the type and nature of affordable housing under consideration.

  • The proposed project will take place within 6-12 months of approval.

  • Preference will be given to submissions with other funding sources (internal or in-kind contributions, CMHC seed funding, BC Housing PDF funding, etc.).


Application Process
  • After first contact, the proponent and CHA Executive Director meet to discuss the project concept.

  • The proponent submits a PDF Application Package to CHA (available from the CHA Executive Director).

  • The CHA Executive Director presents the application package to the Allocations Committee for evaluation and scoring. A recommendation is made to the CHA Board; (a) grant funds to the proponent, (b) request further information from the proponent or (c) reject the application.

  • The CHA Board reviews the Allocations Committee’s recommendation(s) and, if in agreement, provides final approval for the proponent to receive funding.


Application Assessment

Allocations Committee will evaluate eligible applications and assess them according to specified criteria and weighting. This includes urgency of the need, number and size of units being contemplated, and potential impact of the affordable housing project to address regional and local housing needs.



Funding will be distributed based on submission of invoices. An approved proponent may, upon request, receive an advance of up to $5,000.


Reporting Requirements

Projects will be required to submit quarterly Project Progress Report and a Final Report.

Request a PDF Grant Application

For more information, please fill out the following form.

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