Affordable Housing Demonstration Projects Initiative


Affordable Housing Demonstration Projects Initiative

In an effort to generate innovative new affordable housing supply in the province, Housing Nova Scotia is calling on private and non-profit developers to submit proposals under the new Affordable Housing Demonstration Projects Initiative (AHDPI). Government will commit $10 million to this fund in 2021/22.

The AHDPI provides capital contributions to expedite the delivery of innovative construction and renovation projects that add new, affordable housing rental supply across the province. Priority will be given to innovative models or approaches that can achieve higher social, economic, and environmental outcomes.

Each project will be evaluated based on various criteria, including how quickly the project can achieve occupancy, the level of affordability, accessibility, and energy efficiency, and partnerships. Consistent with government’s commitment to building capacity in the community housing sector, projects involving co-operatives and non-profit housing providers will be prioritized.

Download the program details here:
Affordable Housing Demonstration Projects Initiative Program Details


Call for proposals

Applications for the Affordable Housing Demonstration Initiative can be submitted on or before August 31, 2021, at 5:00 p.m., Atlantic Time.

HNS can assist with the quality and completeness of proposals. Organizations who require assistance or would like early feedback will be able to submit draft summary draft of their proposal (4 pages max) before August 11, 2021. HNS staff will review and provide comments within 10 business days to allow sufficient time to submit the application before the deadline.


Program Details

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible applicants are:

  • Private corporations
  • Cooperatives
  • Indigenous organizations (off-reserve)
  • Non-profit societies
  • Municipalities

Proposals that include partnerships between multiple sectors will be prioritized.


Property Type and Size Requirements

  • Located in Nova Scotia (off-reserve only)
  • Single site or portfolio approach are considered
  • Permanent housing (affordable units must be on a 12-month lease)
  • Self-contained units or single room occupancy
  • Commercial space can be part of a mixed-use development to improve the viability of a project. However, funding is only available for the residential portion of the project.

Homeless shelters are not eligible under this program.


Mandatory Minimum Criteria

  • Financial Viability – Projects must demonstrate a means to be financially sustainable or describe how they will obtain subsidy to offset any projected operating losses. All funding sources must be disclosed and related funding details provided.
  • Affordability – Funded units must serve households in core housing need, with rents at or below 80% of average market rent (AMR). AMR can be found at the CMHC Housing portal:
  • Environmental – National Building Code minimum standards
  • Accessibility – National Building Code minimum standards


Assessed Criteria

The following criteria will be used to prioritize, evaluate, and determine level and nature of contribution (if any) made to a proponent project:

  • Innovation – Does the project utilize innovative construction methods, partnerships, operating models or services?
  • Project Viability & Sustainability – Is the project feasible and viable, both through capital financial assembly and ongoing operating pro-forma, as well as the project environment (zoning, environmental, site constraints etc.)? Is the project aligned with the recommendations of the report of the Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission, the objectives of the National Housing Strategy, the Nova Scotia environmental and accessibility targets, or other government priorities?
  • Project Stage & Timeline – What stage is the project at (concept, design, planning approval, site prep, etc.)? How realistic is the proposed timeline? How rapidly does the proposed timeline bring new affordable housing to market?
  • Ability to Deliver – Can the main proponent and its partners deliver the project as per timeline? Overcome any unforeseen obstacles? Assemble proposed funding?
  • Vulnerable Populations – Does the project target any specific vulnerable population as described under the National Housing Strategy? Any cultural community of significance? Any location of importance? (for definition of vulnerable population:
  • Scale – Is the project of a scale that it may have impact? Priority will be given to projects with a higher scale of units and affordable units.



A total of $10 million is available to support the construction of new, innovative affordable rental housing projects through capital contributions. As part of the $10 million, an early seed fund of $1 million is available to rapidly advance projects from concept to shovel ready development within 60 days of award.

There is no minimum or maximum funding per unit. HNS seeks to optimize its investment and will select projects that can deliver the most affordable units and achieve the best social, economic, and environmental outcomes.

Once all conditions have been met, funding will be released during construction in accordance with an approved cash flow schedule for the project, upon presentation of a third-party progress claim. The final draw, equivalent to 10% of the total approved capital contribution, will be released upon project completion, as defined in the Project Contribution Agreement.


Approval Process

HNS staff will review each application in September. Successful proponents will then be contacted by staff.

Questions on the program should be directed to in writing. Answers that may have material impact on submissions will be compiled and answered in a virtual Q&A session (date to be determined).