Rural Enhancement Funding Stream

The Rural Enhancement Funding Stream is designed to support priorities of rural communities to contribute to healthy and strong communities.

Who is Eligible?

Rural municipalities, Indigenous communities, not-for-profit organizations and Local Services Boards having or serving a population of less than 30,000.

What Projects are Eligible?

Incremental improvements, repairs, and/or renovations to improve and extend the useful life of capital assets including; social and recreational facilities, municipal assets and community halls, that contribute to a healthy and vibrant community.

The NOHFC Board of Directors may consider exceptions to these eligibility criteria for projects that address a priority need in Northern Ontario.

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Identification and alignment with a planning process such as community or organizational plan
  • How the project builds on and optimizes the capacity and efficiency of existing infrastructure
  • Strength of project plan that identifies the technical, managerial and financial capacity for implementing the project and sustaining the facility
  • Applicant should demonstrate how an NOHFC investment is necessary to make the project viable


  • Funding is in the form of a conditional contribution, and will not exceed:
    • For communities under 1,500 and Indigenous communities, up to 90% of total eligible costs to a maximum of $200,000;
    • For communities over 1,500, up to 75% of total eligible costs to a maximum of $500,000.
  • The amount of funding for each project is determined by the NOHFC Board of Directors, and limited funding is available. Not all projects meeting the criteria will necessarily receive funding.
  • NOHFC may decline funding where support for a project is considered to fall within the mandate of another federal or provincial government program, except that NOHFC may provide additional assistance to a project once a decision is made under such other program, at NOHFC’s sole discretion.

What is Not Eligible?

  • Core infrastructure such as municipal public services including roads, bridges, water, and sewer
  • Administrative space or office buildings
  • Residential projects
  • Operating expenses, including routine and on-going maintenance
  • Rolling stock
  • Stand-alone equipment purchases
  • Stand-alone furniture purchases
  • Stand-alone studies (feasibility, engineering, strategy etc.)

Program Requirements

  • All buildings, facilities or land improved with NOHFC funding must be owned by the applicant.
  • The applicant may be required to reimburse NOHFC if assets financed by NOHFC are sold within the first three years after project completion.


Q: My organization wants to pursue an important project, but it is not within any of our formal plans; can we still apply?


A: NOHFC recognizes that some projects develop quickly and will consider those projects on a case-by-case basis.

Q: How do I demonstrate that funding from NOHFC is necessary to make the project viable?


A: You must demonstrate that you have investigated and/or applied to other relevant federal or provincial funding sources.

Q: Our project includes some administrative and/or residential space. Does this mean that the entire project is ineligible?


A: No. Depending on the project and the percentage of ineligible space, NOHFC may consider part of the project to be eligible while the administration and/or residential space would be ineligible.

Q: Can my organization apply for more than one project at a time?


A: NOHFC will accept multiple project applications from an applicant.

Q: Based on the latest census, my community population was under 30,000 residents. Am I eligible for the Enhance Your Community stream?


A: Yes. The Enhance Your Community stream is open to all eligible applicants regardless of municipal, community, or catchment area population.

Q: Is new capital construction eligible under the Rural Enhancement Stream?


A: The construction and/or renovation of capital assets that support community economic development or contribute to a healthy and vibrant community is eligible under the Rural Enhancement Stream provided the request meets the guidelines, including the maximum funding percentage and maximum funding amount for that specific program stream.

Q: My non-profit organization requires operational funding support (i.e. money to maintain normal operations and activities such as salary and benefits, rent or leasing expenses, office equipment, travel, marketing, etc.). Can I apply to the NOHFC for financial support for these types of costs?


A: No. As per the Community Enhancement Program published guidelines under What is Not Eligible, operating expenses are not eligible for funding.