Homegrown Solutions is a housing initiative funded through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and managed by the Canadian Housing Renewal Association. Other partners in this initiative are the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Cooperative Housing Foundation of Canada.
The intent of Homegrown Solutions was to encourage the development of innovative ideas to enable grassroots organizations and communities to find local solutions to solve their housing issues. Since 1995, four proposal calls have been held and 67 groups across Canada received grant commitments of up to $20,000 each. The last proposal call was held in 2000. No further funding rounds are planned by CMHC.
Each selected applicant received a commitment of research funding of up to $20,000 to develop the submitted affordable housing idea. Access to this funding was made through a call for proposals on self-help approaches to housing needs from community organizations and non-profit groups. Participation was open to individuals, organizations and communities, private or public, seeking affordable and practical solutions to their housing needs. Each of the grant recipients was required to document their findings in a research report.
During the 1997 request for proposals, the Ottawa-Carleton Federation of Tenants Associations was one of the successful applicants. Their proposal was to develop a pilot project to involve tenants in maintenance and repair activities in their rental building. They intended to evaluate the potential for their form of sweat equity to offset rent increases and help retain affordability.
The federation received an initial advance of one-third, $6,266.67, of their grant commitment upon contract signing, to help offset initial research and study costs. The contract stated that a second advance of $6,266.67 would be paid to the federation upon receipt of an acceptable interim report. The final advance of $6,266.67 would be paid upon receipt of an acceptable final report documenting their research findings.
The review of the Ottawa-Carleton Federation of Tenants Associations interim report found it to be less than satisfactory and they were unable to provide acceptable documentation to justify any further advances of funds. Subsequently, the Ottawa-Carleton Federation of Tenants Associations was dissolved. No further advances have been made beyond the original $6,266.67 that was paid to them upon signing of their Homegrown Solutions contract. The unexpended money remains in CMHC's budget.