Access Criteria

Some First Nations in Canada have successfully built housing markets on-reserve to address housing needs. However, this achievement required time and commitment. Community leaders and members first had to commit to changing housing in their communities. This effort involved dedicating financial resources, building capacity, and developing processes for improved housing systems. These communities now enjoy good quality homes, take pride in homeownership, and benefit from economic opportunities.

The Fund’s Access Criteria were developed based on the experiences of these successful communities and feedback from First Nations and financial institutions nationwide.

Purpose of Access Criteria

Access Criteria are used to assess and qualify First Nations in two key situations:

  1. When they apply for the Fund’s Credit Enhancement
  2. When they receive specific funding from the Fund’s Capacity Development Program.

The criteria apply to First Nations who choose to apply to the Fund.

Access Criteria Pillars

Financial Management

The First Nation is proficient in financial management, has a track record of meeting its obligations, and maintains a satisfactory financial position.

Good Governance

The First Nation demonstrates effective governance and administration within the community. This includes sustainable processes and systems supporting the community’s long-term commitment to housing management.

Community Commitment and Evidence of Demand for Market-Based Housing

There is evidence that community members support the idea of market housing and have the financial means to afford homeownership and market rentals in the community.

Elements Assessed in Access Criteria

The Fund’s Access Criteria are based on principles rather than strict rules to allow flexibility in demonstrating competency. First Nations applying to the Fund are initially assessed and monitored annually if they qualify. The evaluation covers twelve categories under three pillars:

Pillar 1
Financial Management

  1. Audited Financial Statements
  2. Qualified individuals for financial and loan management
  3. History of Debt Repayment
  4. Financial Flexibility

Pillar 2
Good Governance

  1. Good Governance within the Community
  2. Housing policy supporting market-based housing
  3. Implementation of effective housing management
  4. Quality and maintenance of housing
  5. Security of land tenure for market housing

Pillar 3
Community Commitment & Evidence of Demand

  1. Community Commitment
  2. Borrower Demand
  3. Market Characteristics

Each category is assessed as “Strength,” “Meets,” or “Needs to Strengthen“.  Specific considerations are taken into account for each evaluation.

Minimum Requirements

To qualify for Credit Enhancement, First Nations must show strength in the three pillars of Access Criteria. Specific categories are essential for success in market-based housing, so a community must get a “meets” or “strength” rating in these categories:

  1. Unqualified Audited Financial Statements (minimum three years)
  2. History of Debt Repayment
  3. Good Governance and Administration within the Community
  4. Community Commitment

Possible Outcomes

After evaluating a community in the twelve categories mentioned, the Fund will provide an Overall Rating:

  • Needs-to-Strengthen
  • Satisfactory
  • Strong

This rating affects the community’s eligibility for First Nation Housing Loan Guarantee Credit (HLGC). The HLGC, in turn, impacts the amount of Credit Enhancement available to lenders partnered with the community. The assessments and Overall Rating are also crucial factors for participating in the Capacity Development Program.

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