Funding & resources update

Each month we provide an update on UBCM funding programs and information on other programs, events, and resources that may be of interest to local governments and First Nations.

Local Government Program Services

Applications are currently being accepted for the following funding programs. A complete and chronological listing (by intake deadline) of currently offered Local Government Program Services grants is also available on the UBCM website.

Strengthening Communities’ Services: $100 million in Safe Restart funding has been made available to help improve the health and safety of unsheltered homeless populations living in public or private spaces, and to address related community impacts in neighbourhoods where people are seeking temporary shelter and services. Local governments and Treaty First Nations are eligible for this application-based program. Deadline to apply is April 16, 2021.

Asset Management Planning: The intent of the program is to assist local governments in delivering sustainable services by extending and deepening asset management practices within their organizations. Application deadlines are April 30, 2021 and September 24, 2021.

Local Government Development Approvals: The intent of the Local Government Development Approvals Program is to support the implementation of established best practices and to test innovative approaches to improve development approvals processes while meeting local government planning and policy objectives. The application deadline is May 7, 2021.

Active Transportation Planning: The intent of the Active Transportation Planning program is to support local governments to incorporate or enhance active transportation components of formal planning documents (Official Community Plan, Sustainability Plan, Neighbourhood Plan, or Transportation Plan), including research, consultation, and policy development. The deadline to apply is May 21, 2021

Housing Needs Report: The Housing Needs Reports program supports local governments in undertaking housing needs reports in order to meet the provincial requirements. The reports will strengthen the ability of local governments to understand what kinds of housing are most needed in their communities, and help inform local plans, policies, and development decisions. This will be the final intake of this program and the application deadline is June 4, 2021.

Other Funding

Thriving Cities Challenge: The Salazar Center for North American Conservation launched a call for applications for a $100,000 prize, awarded to winning projects that improve equity, health, and resilience in the applicant's community. Priority will be given to ideas or projects that advance climate resilience, break down barriers to community-wide racial equity, and use nature-based solutions to realize transformational change. Teams from Canada, the U.S., and Mexico may apply. Applications are accepted until April 15, 2021, 4pm.

Local Goverment Partnership Program: The Local Government Partnership Program (LGPP) provides funding to help regional districts and municipalities develop, update and implement agricultural planning tools. This program funds the development and implementation of agricultural area plans in British Columbia. Applications are now being accepted until May 19.

First Nations Well Being Fund 2021: The First Nations Well Being Fund has been developed and is being implemented by the First Nations Public Service Secretariat (FNPSS), which is an initiative of the First Nations Summit. There are two streams of funding. Stream 1 provides up to $35,000 dollars and Stream 2 provides up to $25,000 dollars per applicant First Nation. First Nations may apply to both streams. The application deadline is May 30, 2021.

2021 PlanH Grant Streams: PlanH is distributing 30 grants across two streams. The Community Connectedness funding stream offers 20 grants of $5,000 each and the Healthy Public Policy stream offers 10 grants of $15,000 each. Both funding streams have an application deadline of June 1, 2021.

Safe Voluntary Isolation Site Program (SVISP): The funding is offered by the Government of Canada and aims to decrease community transmission of COVID-19 by addressing gaps identified for individuals who are unable to safely self-isolate due to housing conditions. $100 million is available for the SVISP as part of the efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding will be determined based on assessment of applications by eligible recipients for eligible projects and activities. For additional information about this funding stream and to obtain an application package, please contact and reference “Safe Voluntary Isolation Sites Program” in the subject line.

Municipal Asset Management Program: MAMP is an eight-year, $110-million program funded by Infrastructure Canada to support Canadian municipalities and communities in making informed infrastructure investment decisions based on stronger asset management practices.

Funding for Energy Efficient Affordable Housing: This $300 million FCM initiative offers support to local and affordable housing providers, including local governments, to retrofit affordable housing units or build new energy efficient units. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis until annual funds are exhausted.

Infrastructure Planning Grant Program: The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing offers grants up to $10,000 to help local governments plan, design and manage sustainable infrastructure.

Connecting British Columbia: This program is currently accepting applications for funding through successive in-takes. Funds are available to help internet service providers and regional and local governments connect people in rural and Indigenous communities with high-speed internet.

Universal Broadband Fund: The Universal Broadband Fund supports broadband infrastructure projects bringing high-speed Internet to rural and remote households in areas that lack service of at least 50/10 Mbps. The program also supports mobile projects that primarily benefit Indigenous peoples.

Indigenous Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative: The objective of this initiative is to increase economic development opportunities of Indigenous Peoples and communities in Canada by supporting Indigenous communities and entrepreneurs who are ready to launch agriculture and food systems projects, and others who want to build their capacity to participate in the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector. Proposals invited until September 30, 2022.

First Nations Adapt Program: This federal program supports First Nations communities to assess and respond to climate change impacts on community infrastructure and emergency management. It prioritizes communities most impacted by sea level rise, flooding, forest fires, and winter road failures. Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis.

New Relationship Trust: The NRT is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening First Nations in BC through capacity building. Numerous funding, initiatives and resources are available on their website.

Columbia Basin Trust: CBT offers the grants and programs to help residents and communities in the Basin take action on issues that are important to them.

Other Funding Opportunities: BC Healthy Communities has compiled a list of funding opportunities worth knowing about, along with guides and resources to support your grant writing activities.

Events & Resources

External Resources for Councils & Boards: The Working Group on Responsible Conduct has developed a database of external resources to support local governments. The consultants included provide a range of services that support responsible conduct by elected officials, including conflict management & resolution; coaching; counselling and elected official training.

Technical Communication Lecture Series: The Department of Earth, Environmental and Geographic Sciences at UBC Okanagan is currently offering a free Technical Communication Lecture Series. This lunch-hour lecture series is great for those interested in strengthening, or freshening up on, their technical communications. Webinars are held the second Wednesday of the month, through April 10, 2021.

Local Wildfire Representative Workshops: BC FireSmart is offering LFR training as a free virtual workshop in a one-day session or as two consecutive half-day sessions. The course assists community leaders and fire professionals to implement the FireSmart Canada Neighbourhood Recognition Program, teaches an understanding of current Wildland Urban Interface concepts, wildfire hazard assessments and offers the tools and skills necessary to recruit volunteer community leaders. Existing LFRs need to recertify under this new course. FireSmart 101 is a prerequisite: see the link on the site. Upcoming workshop dates: April 21-22 (two half-days), April 24 (one all-day session).

FireSmart BC Symposium: Learn about the future of FireSmart in BC and across the country at the inaugural event. There will be a live panel sharing community success stories and guest speakers discussing climate change and the WUI, prescribed fire, rebate programs, and more. Wednesday May 26th. More information will be posted soon at BC FireSmart.

Virtual Reconciliation Engagements: Interested in raising awareness about reconciliation for your community, organization or business? In light of the COVID-19 crisis, Reconciliation Canada is currently providing all our engagements online.  They can provide a virtual gathering with our inspiring speaker to help engage reconciliation in a meaningful way.

The State of the Economy in Northern BC: This issue of Northern Dispatch asks the question, “How has COVID-19 impacted the economy in Northern B.C.?”

Advancing Your Asset Management Practice: If you missed this recent Asset Management BC webinar, you can now view the recording. Meet our speakers and learn more about how this unique training program will benefit you.

Rapid Action Resources for Local Governments - Community Food Production: Over the coming months, PlanH will be releasing a series of Rapid Action Resources to provide local governments with an understanding of the equity considerations around various aspects of food security, as well as examples of good practices in food security from other local governments in the province.

Financing tools for local climate action: Canadian municipalities are reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through pilot projects, municipal programs, and more. However, financing these initiatives can be a significant challenge. FCM’s toolkit explains how your municipality can leverage private and community investors to help you take action on climate change in your community.

ReTooling for Climate Change: The Fraser Basin Council hosts this first-stop website on climate change adaptation. Here is the place to find top tools and resources for BC local governments, First Nations and the natural resource sectors as everyone prepares for the impacts of climate change, now and in the years ahead.

BC Rural Centre: The Centre provides a wealth of links to assets, news, videos, services, and resources of value to rural British Columbians.

Resources for Rural & Small Communities: BC Healthy Communities has launched a collection of resources related to PlanH action areas, with a rural and small community lens.

Building sustainable communities with asset management: This guidebook is designed for staff or elected officials in medium and large municipalities who are responsible for green projects or who are interested in municipal sustainable development.

CivicInfo BC: British Columbia's local government information hub offers comprehensive organizational and grant directories, events listings, tools for training, research and career development, bids & tenders, and other resources.

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