Affordable Housing Grant Program

In alignment with our Affordable Housing Strategy, we are launching an Affordable Housing Grant Program to increase the supply of affordable rental housing in Northumberland.

What is affordable rental housing?

Affordable rental housing includes housing in which the maximum monthly rent is less than or equal to the average market rent for that size of unit in Northumberland County as per the County’s Municipal Housing Facilities By-law. This is different from subsidized (rent-geared-to-income) housing - a program where individuals/families pay no more than 30 per cent of their gross monthly income on rent. Visit our Subsidized Housing page for more information about this program.

Affordable rents in Northumberland County

Unit SizeAverage Market RentMaximum monthly rent if utilities are included
Bachelor unit $982 $1,082
One-bedroom unit $1,106 $1,206
Two-bedroom unit $1,237 $1,337
Three+ bedroom unit $1,483 $1,583

Affordable market rents are updated on an annual basis.

What is the Affordable Housing Grant Program?

This program offers:

  • A grant in the form of a forgivable loan (a loan in which some or all of the loan can be forgiven if the recipient meets certain conditions) of up to $20,000 per unit for affordable rental housing
  • A letter of support with conditional approval for a year
  • Other incentives such as a waiver, deferral, or grant in lieu of development charges and/or a tax increment equivalent grant

Please note that approval for the Affordable Housing Grant Program does not guarantee approval of planning applications.

Who should apply?

  • Northumberland property owners
  • Community agencies
  • Non-profit and for-profit residential developers planning to build new affordable rental housing units
  • Non-profit and for-profit residential developers planning to convert non-residential buildings to new affordable housing units
  • Northumberland homeowners planning to add a secondary unit to be rented out in their owner-occupied home

If you are a small business owner, support is available through the Business Entrepreneurship Centre Northumberland (BECN). For more information, please call 905-372-9279 or email the BECN team.

What projects are eligible?

The following projects in Northumberland County:

  • New rental housing construction 
  • Acquisition and/or rehabilitation of existing residential buildings to increase or prevent the loss of affordable housing stock
  • Conversion of non-residential buildings or units to affordable residential rental buildings or units
  • Addition of new affordable buildings or units to existing residential and non-residential buildings
  • Social/affordable housing redevelopment which involves building new affordable units on existing social housing sites
  • Secondary suites or additional residential units (e.g., coach house or apartment over a garage) which are being rented out and where the homeowner lives in the primary dwelling

Rental units must be self-contained with its own bathroom and kitchen facilities.

Additional requirements for homeowners (second suites)

  • Your home in the application must be your only residence
  • You must be a Canadian citizen, landed immigrant or have refugee claimant status
  • Property taxes, insurance and mortgage payments must all be up to date 

  • Insurance coverage for the full market value of the home must be current 

  • Your home must be deemed structurally sound to accommodate the renovation (based on the permit issued by the local municipal Building Department)

  • Zoning must be in place to allow the secondary suite or additional residential unit

Additional requirements for applicants converting non-residential use to rental housing, renovating/rehabilitating existing rental units and/or adding units to an existing building

  • The existing building must be deemed structurally sound to accommodate the renovation (based on the permit issued by the local municipal Building Department)
  • Zoning must be in place to allow for the addition of the purpose-built rental unit to an existing residential or non-residential building
  • Property taxes, insurance and mortgage payments must all be up to date

How long do the units need to be maintained at affordable market rent?

Rents for the affordable units receiving the forgivable loan must be maintained as rental units at the affordable market rent of the current year for a minimum of 25 years, inclusive of a five year phase out.

Which types of tenancies are eligible?

Eligible projects must have a landlord-tenant relationship and tenants must be recognized by the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 or in non-profit housing cooperatives recognized by the Co-operative Corporations Act.

Short-term rentals are not eligible for this program.

How are residents selected?

The landlord must follow the County's requirements for:

  • Tenant selection
  • Income verification when the tenant applies for the unit
  • Reporting
  • Administration of units

Gross household income of residents at initial tenant selection (lease signing) must not exceed the maximum incomes listed in the table below:

Maximum gross household income of residents at initial tenant selection (lease signing)
Unit sizeMaximum income for affordable housing unitsMaximum income for affordable housing units with utilities included
Bachelor unit $39,280 $43,280
One-bedroom unit $44,240 $48,240
Two-bedroom unit $49,480 $53,480
Three+ bedroom unit $59,320 $63,320

These limits will be updated on an annual basis.

How can I apply?

  1. Email us or call 1-800-354-7050 to book a pre-application meeting with County staff to determine if your project is eligible, and obtain the required form and templates for the application.
  2. Complete and submit the application form online or in-person at the Northumberland County offices located at 555 Courthouse Road, Cobourg, and ensure all required documents are included.
  3. Applications will be reviewed by County staff and you will be informed of your project's eligibility in writing. If your application is successful, you will receive a conditional letter of approval which will be applicable for one year from the date of approval and conditional upon receiving all necessary planning and building permit approvals. Please note that approval for the Affordable Housing Grant Program does not guarantee approval of planning applications.

What happens if my project is approved for the program?

  1. You will be invited for a meeting with County staff to review next steps and timelines for obtaining planning approvals and completing construction.
  2. Once all planning approvals have been received from your municipality, you will schedule another meeting with County staff to provide an updated schedule, estimates of cost and confirmation of funding.
  3. Within 60 days of receiving planning approvals, you will sign the Municipal Housing Facilities Agreement.
  4. Lastly, you will receive your project funding. For projects with three or less units, the full amount of the forgivable loan will be issued once a building permit has been issued by your municipality. For projects with four or more units, 50% of the full amount of the forgivable loan will be provided once the building permit has been issued, and the remaining 50% will be provided at occupancy.

For more information, please review the Northumberland County Affordable Housing Grant Program Guidelines or contact our Housing Services Manager at 1-800-354-7050.